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Old 09-20-2009, 05:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1

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, 08:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

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.

Fair winds,
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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