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Boat Wiring Made in the USA

What makes UL 1426 Cable Different?

So what is the big deal with UL 1426 Boat Wiring?

UL 1426 Boat Cable is designed to survive the harsh conditions in and around the marine environment including felxible tinned copper stranding and a durable water and chemical resistant insulation.

It's just not worth taking the chance on wiring your boat with inferior wiring and cables that don't meet the standards provided for by today's marine electrical regulations.

Within the boating world there are regarded sources for safety information and "best practices". The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), The United States Coast Guard (USCG), and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) have paved the way for safer marine electrical installations by issuing safety standards and guidelines for manufacturers, service technicians, and boat owners.

In accordance with testing and evaluation over the years, certain desirable characteristics have been isolated for marine battery cable which are crucial to a safe, long lasting electrical installation. When it comes to wire for boats, the decisive standard is the BDFX.GuideInfo for Boat Cable. It pulls together some of the SAE and USCG best practices and product evaluations to create a more complete safety standard with what should be expected from a quality marine cable.

From the BDFX.GuideInfo for Boat Cable
The basic standard used to investigate products in this category is UL 1426, "Electrical Cables for Boats." Cable rated 600 V is investigated to UL 1426 . Cable rated 50 V is investigated to SAE J1127, J1128, or J378b

The UL 1426 "Electrical Cables for Boats" allows the marking of the jacket on UL1426 cable to state UL 1426, or Boat Cable, or BC-5W2 with the UL mark in the legend of the wire. In order for a cable to become listed under UL 1426 it has to undergo numerous tests. This is from the table of contents for UL 1426 and will give you an idea of the testing done by the UL before it gives it's "seal of approval":


  • Physical Properties of Insulation and Jacket
  • Conductor Corrosion
  • Heat-Shock Test
  • Flexibility Test
  • Deformation Test
  • Cold-Bend Test
  • Vertical Flame Test (Inulated Conductors)
  • Cable Flame Test (Completed Cable)
  • VW-1 Flame Test
  • Relative Permittivity Test
  • Dielectric Voltage-Withstand Test and Alternatives
  • Insulation Resistance Test at 60F (15.6C)
  • Insulation Resistance Test and Elevated Temperature

Now that's an impressive list of testing to make sure that you're getting a quality cable, so keep that in mind next time you see a cable which is UL listed to UL 1426 and carries the marking "Boat Cable" or "BC-5W2" and the UL mark. There are only a few manufacturers of UL listed Boat Cable and their products are of high quality and meet those stringent standards.

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