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Old 10-11-2012
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Elec-tricky-ty Dilema - Battery Wiring

Greetings all…
I have been hard at work attempting to refit a 34 Prout Event, which adopted me about a year ago… She was sailed from Florida, down the western side of South America, ending up in Palau (about 5 years)… After being on a mooring here for 3.5 years, she decided to adopt me and I took it upon myself to try to restore her to her former beauty…

Palau is a paradise island nation in the middle of the ocean… Some 850 miles southwest of Guam, 550 miles east of the Philippines… Beautiful place… Been out here for 17 years… The only problem with paradise is that there are no real hardware stores, horribly expensive wannabe internet services, no formally trained (or even remotely able) diesel mechanics, electricians, etc., etc., etc… Everything must be brought in. We just live out here (we have two small businesses and I am a retired Marine), day by day and try and stay out of trouble….

So, having said that… I think that I should not try to bore you too much but must add that before this project started, I had no knowledge of diesel engines, or elec-trick-ity… Zip, none… So, I have had to remind myself about the good old college days, when cramming was a way of life… I have read a ton of books (now have quite a library on all things sailboat)… Spent countless hours, on the slowest form of internet known to man, finding info I needed (and not covered by the books) in forums, youtube, etc., etc….

So… The diesel is running (purrrrrssss)… Have completely rebedded all hardware, windows, and everything else that is stationary or moves on deck… Have completely gutted the interior and am in the process of re doing that… Have two aft bulkheads out and awaiting re-wire… Which brings me (finally) to my having to ask for help from all you experienced and helpful sailors…

I have figured out and have a pretty good handle on the wiring, capacities, fusing, and installation of same, along with all the components which make up the DC and AC systems… I have started to put together my electrical systems diagram, and will post it as soon as I finish drawing it out in the computer. My batts will be here next week (six weeks in transit) and I still have to bring in the wire and all the attaching gear for the entire job…

My question, albeit stupid, is how do i figure out how big a gauge wire I need to connect the batteries within two separate banks of 6 volt 230AH EGC2's (the East Penn batts from Sam's Club).. One bank (house) will have 6 batts, the cranking bank 2… I have found about 5 or 6 recommended ways of hooking them up in series and parallel to come out with a 12 volt system… But, I still don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling as to what size wire I need to tie them all up… Nothing seems to point to that specifically… Help? (promise to make any follow up posts shorter???)

Thanks a bunch…

Dave
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