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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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Old 11-23-2008
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Introduction to wiring a boat?

Does anybody out there have any good recommendations for literature on wiring a boat from scratch that could be understood by someone with almost no electrical background (im talking i barely know the difference between ac and dc)? Books would be great and websites would be great in the meantime while i get the book mailed to me. Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2008
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The Marine Electrical and Electronics Bible
John Payne

Sailboat Electrics Simplified
By Don Casey

Sailboat Electrics Simplified, Casey


12 volt bible

Any thing from John Payne

Read, study, mark everything!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badsanta View Post
The Marine Electrical and Electronics Bible
John Payne

Sailboat Electrics Simplified
By Don Casey

Sailboat Electrics Simplified, Casey


12 volt bible

Thanks for the reply. Are these things i can find at your average borders book store, or will i just want to order online?
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Old 11-23-2008
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Another good book is Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical & Electrical Manual.

It's pretty readable and fairly easy to understand. Covers both electrical and mechanical systems on boats.

If you have a local vocational school, you might want to take a course on basic electrical systems, where you'll learn to use a volt-ohm meter and other such useful things. Be aware that what works on land, doesn't always apply on a boat.

For instance, a house is often wired with Romex solid wire. A boat really needs to be wired with tinned marine-grade stranded wire. Solid wire fatigues readily under vibration, and will break shortly thereafter. Untinned wire can corrode badly in a marine environment. Household wiring uses wire nuts... which aren't a good idea on a boat. They're a corrosion point as well as something that may come loose due to vibration. ABYC standards say crimped connections are the way to go. Using crimp terminals with adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing is probably the best way to go.
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Thanks alot dog, I'll take a look and try to not suddenly have no GPS in the middle of a tight nav spot.
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Amazon.com is easy.

Marine Electrical System Classes at Annapolis School of Seamanship

Good class I took this several years ago, along with the advanced class. I feel much better now.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badsanta View Post

Marine Electrical System Classes at Annapolis School of Seamanship

Good class I took this several years ago, along with the advanced class. I feel much better now.
Thats handy...maybe I could go there and test for my 100 ton while I'm there.
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Old 01-13-2009
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Here is some of what I've come to be familiar with in re-wiring our boat. It's not so much a reading list as a topic list:
Voltage drop chart (3% or if you must, 10% - Casey or Blue Sea or Genuinedealz or many others); wire protection (circuit breakers, fuses); ampacity of wires and devices; terminations - uninsulated terminals matched to screw/stud diameter); heat shrink tubing (adhesive lined, color coded; labeling topics both ends of the wire (Dymo Rhino shrink tubing); tools (racheting crimper, long handled crimper, hammer or vise anvil for larger wire sizes, propane torch/soldering iron for soldering terminations); vendors (genuinedealz.com, sherco.com); mechanical supports - clamps, expandable tubing, spiral organizer stuff, stainless steel, phillips, pan head sheet metal screws by the box, plastic wire ducts; and thoughtful layout of circuits, including similar functions, ergonomics, neatness and attractiveness , and short path routing. That's some for D.C. A.C. is another topic.
Doug
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Old 01-17-2009
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Boatowners Illustrated Electrical Handbook

by Charlie Wing, IMHO, is better than Calder's book for just electrical. You can probably get a peek inside both at Amazon
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best terminations?

On one end of things are two wires stripped and twisted together with fingers and maybe (delux) some tape wrapped around it.

On the other end, imho, are simple uninsulated, tinned, copper terminals that are crimped with a simple, professional grade crimping plier (Klein). Then soldered, then covered with adhesive lined shrink tubing. Works from 16g to 4/0 (anvil crimper for #8 and up)

The down side of my prefered method is that it is relatively labor intensive. I've tried nylon insulated terminals (don't seal), ready to go crimp terminals with heat shrink tubing attached (can't solder) and very fancy crimp terminals with a band of solder inside an attached heat shrink insulation (expensive and not always a good result).

Doug

Last edited by dsiddens; 01-18-2009 at 12:37 AM. Reason: factual correction
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