Fixing the spaghetti on my Coronado - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 12-06-2009
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Fixing the spaghetti on my Coronado

I finally made an all-day assault on my boat's wiring.

Oddly enough, the shore power 110v wiring is in pretty darn good shape. I
plugged a worklight and a battery charger set for 2 amps into the boat power,
and I ran my 1600 watt ceramic heater directly from the shore power box on the jetty instead of running the load through the boat wiring. This kept the load on the boat wiring at an acceptable level, I had all the heat and light I needed to work.

As I expected, the biggest problem was that the main ground lug was disconnected from (-) terminal on the battery. I was expecting a grounding bar, not this tiny, inadequate lug. Time for an upgrade.

The whole fuse block is old and wobbly. I'll need to replace it. It uses
automotive type push-on connectors that are all loose and spread open, making for loose connections.

Some of the switches simply don't work. I put my DMM on them and they just indicate an open circuit whether the switch is on or off. Luckily I've found new, identical replacements so I can keep the original switchbank.

By the end of the day, I had identified all systems based on color, run new
wiring for the new bilge pump, and re-run nearly all systems back through the
main, original switchbank. I managed to tighten up a lot of the loose
connectors, and re-terminate many of the crappy ones and seal them against
corrosion.

So far, I have cabin lights, spreader lights, navigation lights, battery cut-off
and a working bilge pump circuit.

The masthead light and the stern light don't come on. I need to review the wiring diagram to see if they share the "masthead light" switch or if the stern light is on the "navigation" light circuit.

I don't work on Mondays so I'm going to buy more electrical supplies and keep
working on it tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to mount the new bilge pump too. Progress, Woot!
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Old 12-07-2009
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first question by your SN where you on boats, i was on the baltimore SSN 704 ( ret ). i was a TM

second normally the stern light is on the nav light circuit. if your boat has a connector of any type at or in the mast you need to check it very carefully.

as for the bilge pump, you dont want it running thru the dc panel. it can be accidentally turned off when you shut the boat off.

as for the loose connectors, you really might want to evaluate cutting off the old and installing new crimp and heat shrink ones. if they loosened they probably have some other corrosion issues.

also on your boat rewiring it completely would be pretty easy, its only a 25 footer, it cant have too much wiring in the first place
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Old 12-07-2009
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I second the rewiring. I did my Pearson 30 last winter. Now I know where everything goes and if there is a problem I know who to blame. Pulling new wire is not the time consuming part of wiring. It's making all of the connections that take the time.
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Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 12-07-2009
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A bilge pump can't be wired to a conventional breaker without losing the auto capability. The proper bilge pump switch (shown below) takes 3 wires, negative and 2 positive - one for manual and one for auto modes. They all have their own fuses and should be wired either to the battery direct or to an "always hot" bus if you have one.
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Old 12-07-2009
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So after yesterday's agony of trying to clean and tighten up the original fuse block, I decided I couldn't wait any longer. I bought a new, marine fuse block with a long, dedicated grounding bar, and then because it had a large, master lug, I daisy-chained another ground bar off of that, for future circuits. I sealed everything with liquid tape and then self-vulcanizing tape around that. Instead of push-on spade type connectors, I used ring terminals with screws. The original fuse block disintigrated in my hands.

I replaced the rest of the faulty switches and now I've got everything working except for the stern and masthead lights. I found the wires, but I ran out of time and daylight.

As you all have said, there isn't a lot of wiring on a 25' boat. I have managed to inspect it all (pulled some paneling) and the actual wiring is fine. It was just at the fuseblock where things went to hell. The ends corroded and the 2nd owner just tried to bypass everything and splice it all to the battery with inline fuses in (some) of the circuits.

The way the switchbank is wired, it all passes through a master battery cutoff switch. The cutoff switch will be left on, the bilge pump switch will be left on, and the pump is a Rule that has a built-in float switch so pumping will be automated. Tada!

Once I get those lights wired up and and the new bilge pump installed, all I need to do to enjoy my boat is re-finish the teak and scrub the whole boat.
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Old 12-07-2009
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please rewire the bilge pump so it does not run thru the battery switch. you can just take it to the lug on the battery switch or better is straight to the battery.

again, are you a bubble head?

and congrats on cleaning up the old stuff
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Old 12-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
again, are you a bubble head?
One of those kind that live -or used to live- in narrow black tubes?
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Old 12-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidmon View Post
One of those kind that live -or used to live- in narrow black tubes?
yup but the nice thing is they are designed to sink and have a way out when it happens so its not a big deal
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Old 12-07-2009
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If you wire the bilge pump right to the battery - and you should - make sure you either put a fuse in line or better yet use a dedicated bilge pump switch as I posted. This lets you use it manually or leave it on auto. If you don't use one of these switches you'll have to run the positive for manual operation to the switch panel not the battery so the pump doesn't run 24/7. The positive for auto goes to the battery positive.
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Old 12-07-2009
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Oops, I missed that question- Yes, I was on submarines. SSN-650, & 723. I was also loaned out for year-long periods to the 767 and 761.
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