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Dauntless Brent 06-18-2013 09:20 PM

Rewiring my sailboat
This is what I have. My boat is an '74 Ranger R29. I've had this boat for about 3 weeks now. Today I hooked up a new battery and nothing is working :eek:. It looks like the PO went in and created a nightmare. I'm talking a few rats nests of wiring. My plan is to go in and rip out everything and start from scratch. I don't have too much concern about my ability to do the work, as I've do a lot of wiring in houses and completely rewired my Jeep. My question is this, is there anything special that I need to know before doing this? Also is there a particular type of wire that I need to use? Any help with this would be appreciated.

mark2gmtrans 06-18-2013 09:42 PM

Re: Rewiring my sailboat
I did the wiring on my Carver Montego double cabin with this stuff

for mine was only like $200.00 I think, it snaps together and they also have all of the panels and so forth. Worth a look.

I have done several with just reels of pre tinned electrical wiring, using high quality crimp connectors and a good crimping tool, not a cheap one, a good one. Also you want to make sure to heat shrink all the connections if you use crimps.

Good luck

deltaten 06-18-2013 09:47 PM

Re: Rewiring my sailboat
Go check out Mainsail's site or tech tips. He'll probably be along shortly to give you the link and a short seminar. Invaluable assistance from a true expert!
Take heart! It *will* end up OK. Rat's nest be damm'd ! Full speed ahead and ta hellwit da old's prolly all black n' oozey with rotted ends and fallin' apart crimp connects anyway. DAMHIK ! :D

chucklesR 06-18-2013 09:53 PM

Re: Rewiring my sailboat
My first boat was a Grampian 26, including that boat - and the bought it new off the factory floor 2007 Gemini 105 catamaran - EVERY boat I've owned has required a large amount of re-wiring to meet my needs and or standard.

Enjoy, but get used to it.

Dauntless Brent 06-18-2013 09:56 PM

Re: Rewiring my sailboat
Thanks for you help! There is a switch panel that I will run everything from. There is also a red "thing a ma jig" that connects to the batteries to use battery 1, battery 2, all or off. I would like to use that also (it's not hooked up). Also there's a meter that I will hook up. Let me add, I do not have an inboard motor. It was removed and I use an outboard.

MikeOReilly 06-18-2013 10:07 PM

Re: Rewiring my sailboat
Hi Brent, I've been in your shoes, having rewired a 1974 34-footer. I started with the idea of doing a small project, but ended up ripping out every wire and re-doing the whole thing. It's a large project, but if you approach it systematically, it's very doable for just about anyone with enough time.

- Ensure you have enough knowledge of electrical systems and components to do this project. You've got to understand the basics of current, voltage and resistance. You've got to understand wire sizing for different runs (voltage drops), series vs parallel, etc...

- Get good tools. A good multi-meter, good ratcheting crimpers, good stripers and cutters will make the job a lot more doable.

- Before beginning, I strongly suggest you create a detailed electrical diagram of your intended new system. A CAD is great, but a well drawn out schematic will also work. Follow it as you're installing the new cables, wires and loads. It's easy to get lost in the wires.

- To your specific question, tinned copper strand wire is what you want. Ancor is the big name, although there are probably others.

Go slow. Be systematic. Have fun ;).

Dauntless Brent 06-18-2013 10:21 PM

Re: Rewiring my sailboat
Thanks! The tinned wire was one of the things that I wasn't sure about. A lot of what I will do will be nothing more than following, removing and replacing the wire that is already there. One thing at a time. I'm on shore power and that works fine, so I won't be messing around with it. I'm focusing strictly on the 12 volt wiring.

MikeOReilly 06-19-2013 08:13 AM

Re: Rewiring my sailboat
Hi Brent, I'd bet you're going to find a lot of poor wiring on your boat Brent. Wire runs tend to get installed on a half-aa$, ad-hoc basis. Over time (decades in your case) you can end up with a very confusing, and ill-designed, electrical system. It may not be wise to simply replace what is there.

But I'm sure you'll figure it out. Just go slow, and be systematic.

Letrappes 06-19-2013 09:42 AM

Get your wire from I saw someone post about it a year out so ago and bought from them. Much cheaper than Anchor for the same spec marine grade wire made in Massachusetts if I remember right.

Dauntless Brent 06-19-2013 09:00 PM

Re: Rewiring my sailboat
Good news is that after some messing around with the wiring, the important wires are working. I will still replace them but its good to know that the switch panel works fine. You're right MikeOReilly. I'm not going to do this half *ss. Knowing that most of the wiring works just helps with the route that I will run the new wire.

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