Boat electrical course offered online

Deborah Mercy

Electricity 135 (3) copy
Photo by Deborah Mercy

Imagine this: Six hours from port and your boat’s engine won’t start. Troubleshooting this situation will certainly include checking electrical sources, connections and components.

To help operators better understand the multitude of electrical systems aboard today’s marine vessels and to deliver training statewide, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program has teamed with UA Southeast Sitka Campus to offer an online boat electrical course.

UAS Sitka is a leader in distance delivery of technical courses, including marine hydraulics and small boat harbor management best practices. Alaska Sea Grant has a statewide network of marine advisory agents who partner with industry and coastal communities to support the economic strength of Alaska’s maritime sector.

“This self-paced course is designed to improve understanding of marine electrical systems and sharpen troubleshooting skills to resolve basic electrical issues,” said Torie Baker, Cordova Alaska Sea Grant agent. “Troubleshooting is a series of observations and decisions; the course gives new and experienced operators practice and coaching in solving realistic problems.”

Eight learning modules cover common boat electrical terms, theory, wiring, power generation, safety, grounding and important troubleshooting techniques. Animations and YouTube videos enrich the online experience. Short quizzes help the students review concepts and self-check comprehension, and students will be able to post questions on the class website.

“We interviewed a lot of fishermen in the creation of this course,” said Marian Allen, UAS Sitka coordinator on the project. “We wanted to hear what kinds of electrical problems they encountered, and we asked for stories and explanations of different problems they have dealt with over the years.”

In addition, an industry expert will be available for a one-week session to answer questions via audio conference or webinar. Enrolled students will be automatically alerted about these dates and times.

Online registration opens Sept. 2, and enrollment is available through May 31, 2015. Once started, the course needs be completed within a three-month period. Course cost is $125. The course is not a certification class, although students receive one continuing education credit.

To register, visit The course title is CEU 045-T78 Boat Electrical. Information is also available at the UAS Continuing Education website,

CONTACT: Amy Crews,, 800-478-6653, ext. 7762, or 907-747-7762.