What makes marine starters and alternators different?

When it’s time to replace electrical parts in your boat or personal watercraft, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying marine-grade components. Electrical parts like starters and alternators that are not marine grade may fail prematurely or pose serious safety risks. That’s why you only want to install marine-grade electrical parts in watercraft.

Built to withstand marine environments

Exposure to water and moisture are obvious environmental conditions on a boat or jet ski. Quality marine-grade alternators, starters and other electrical components will have sealing materials and gaskets designed for more effective blocking of moisture. It’s essential to keep dampness out to limit corrosion within the electrical component. Marine-grade electrical parts also need to be made of corrosion resistant metals or have durable coatings to protect from moisture.

Essential safety safeguards

There’s more to marine-grade electrical parts than just corrosion protection to extend service life. There’s an important safety concern, too. Marine-grade electrical components are designed to reduce the risk of accidental ignition of trapped gasoline vapors on a watercraft. Standard electrical parts used in automobiles do not offer this same level of protection. That’s why you shouldn’t install a land vehicle starter or alternator in a boat. Doing so increases the risk of fire or explosion.

Marine-grade certifications for electrical parts

For a starter, alternator or any electrical component to be considered marine grade, it should be labeled as SAEJ1171 certified or UL 1500 certified. These are industry-accepted standards indicating the component is ignition protected, which means the design keeps sparks from escaping and inadvertently igniting gasoline vapors inside marine engine compartments and fuel tank areas. This is accomplished with internal shielding that contains the sparks so that they don’t meet combustible fumes where they shouldn’t.

Who grants SAEJ1171 Certification

SAEJ1171 certification is administered by SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers. SAE International Is recognized as a leading authority for engineering professionals worldwide.

Enjoy boating days on the water

When you’re soaking up the sun and making waves, the last thing on your mind is electrical parts. That’s the way it should be. Good quality marine starters, alternators, voltage regulators, solenoids, ignition coils and other electrical components will keep you focused on fun because they’re performing like they should out of sight and out of mind.

Boating as sun sets