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Old 09-20-2009, 04:43 PM   #1
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I experienced some galvanic activity on my Beneteau 373, and had to replace zincs after a very short time. Inspection of the wiring didn't uncover anything unusual, so I think that this was due to electrical problem at the dock or on a boat at the marina where I was at the time.

Being of a paranoid nature, I want to have the means to detect such issues in new marinas before problems happen, and I'm investigating getting a reference electrode.

However, these things are quite difficult to find, and cost several hundred dollars. So here are my questions:
  • How long do they last? I gather they're not just one time use, but I read in some places that they may need to be refreshed after some time. Anyone has experience with this?
  • EEG electrodes used in the medical field are also silver silver-chloride devices, but of a very different construction. Can they be used for the purpose of galvanic current detection?

    They are significantly cheaper (see GrassTechnologies for example - $220 for a box of 10, so you could buy a box and hand them out or sell them to your fellow cruisers) or one could possibly get some used ones from the local hospital.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:25 PM   #2
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DC Dynamics Southeast Marine Services www.semarine.com will sell you a reference cell for about $150 more or less depending on lead length desired. Assume you already have a V-Ohm meter to use. The sales person there is knowledgeable and can tell you how long the half cell should last and how to store it, etc.

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