I’ve recently been doing some audio upgrades on my pontoon boat and wanted to find out the best place where to ground an amp. I’d not done anything like this before so did a bit of research on the usual boating forums.
The best answer I found was this:
The best option you have is to ground the amp to the battery on your pontoon boat. I personally don’t think this is dangerous as in reality it’s not really any different to how you might ground an amp onto the chassis of a car, which itself is grounded to the car’s battery.
You should run the amp’s ground wire directly to the DC on the boat battery. If there is more than one amp, then get a distribution block for the ground. You will also need a fused distribution block for the positive connection.
Where to place an amp on a pontoon boat
I also headed over to Facebook and found this conversation where someone was asking the same question as me. Here’s how the questions and answers panned out:
Q: Hey are there any audio folks on here who are able to offer me recommendations on the best place to ground an amp on my pontoon boat?
A: I’ve done this before. You will need to create a ground bar from your ground on the battery. Preferably using a spare battery or a second one. I never use the frame or ignition wiring.
Q: Thanks, but can’t I just run the ground straight to the negative terminal on my accessory battery?
A: Yes, you can do this too if you want to. But… please just make sure the gauge wire is big enough so that it doesn’t act as an attenuator and pick up the engine frequency on your speakers in the boat.
Q: I think I get it know, so basically run a little buss bar off of the battery yeh?
A: That’s right, you can do that if you want, or use the battery. As long as you just use a good gauge wire you will be good to go!
Disclaimer: I am not an electrician, and the advice found in this blog post is an amalgamation of what I have read online in boating forums. As with any electrical work, please get a qualified and competent person to do the job.