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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 11-30-2010
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Boat rewire

Crew
I will totally rewire my 36 foot sailboat, and would appreciate recommendations re a manual/primer on boat wiring. I have Calder's manual, but that assumes the boat is wired already, and an old Brotherton manual pre-AGMs, and 3 stage charging. A tome that is up to the minute, and understandable for a literate, enthusiastic but electrically challenged boatie. Cheers. Bill
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Old 11-30-2010
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I don't think there is one that is up to date and complete. The internet is more up to date than the book that will be published next month even.

There are lots of sites with good information. Blue Seas has a lot of up to date info here - Resources - Blue Sea Systems

As for the how to try these Marine Wire Termination Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
Making Your Own Battery Cables Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

Here's the best wire sizing calculator I have seen AWG by wire length/amps calculator
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I'd second what Mitiempo said... and agree with the websites he's chosen.

Also, one thing I would highly recommend is using YELLOW for the 12 VDC ground wiring color, since BLACK is also used for the 110 VAC hot wire. Using YELLOW for the 12 VDC ground makes for a safer installation.
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Old 11-30-2010
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Practical Sailor recently had a really informative article on terminations, crimping and goop for the terminals. A must read for your project.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FDR14127 View Post
Practical Sailor recently had a really informative article on terminations, crimping and goop for the terminals. A must read for your project.
Practical Sailor, if it is the article I'm thinking of, is mis-guided. You shouldn't use "goop" on wire that is going into crimped terminals. Maine Sail's article on Marine Wire Termination is really the way to go.

Ideally, marine wiring should be made up of finely-stranded, pre-tinned marine-grade wire and crimped using adhesive-lined, heat-shrink crimp terminal fittings.

Similarly, Don Casey's advice to let sealant cure and then finish up by snugging up the fasteners is also WRONG. This is very likely to break the sealant's seal along the fastener and lead to a small but persistent leak at every fastener.
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 11-30-2010 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 12-05-2010
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I'm expecting to re-wire in the spring so I've been collecting information as I've come across it. You didn't specify any specific areas your looking for help with so here are all my (random) notes and links.

This is from a restoration of a contessa. I'm sure similar sites exist for boats your size
Northern Yacht Restoration | Equinox, Contessa 26
Northern Yacht Restoration | Equinox, Contessa 26
-blue sea 8385 panel, blue sea 8085 panel
-blue sea 7610 battery sensing relay
-used adhesive to secure bus bars, epoxy?

Fusing at the battery
Fusing Your Batteries - Another Option

Battery Bank Design
Battery bank design recommendations

Battery Overview
Deep Cycle Battery FAQ

DON CASEY
-See wire size on guides on P458, 3% voltage drop
-Use only copper terminals, tinned copper is better
-Use grommets when passing through holes (leather)
-Use Twisted pair around compass
-Support every 18 Inches
-The crimper crimps (indents) oppicite the seam
-Marking. Can buy a book with sheets of letters or numbers
-can cover with clear shrink tubing
-Protect terminal strips and fuse boxes in junction boxes
-COAX
--RG-213/U or RG-8/U but -213 lasts longer
--PL-259 connector goes on obth ends of cable
--Join them with PL-258, heat drink with drip loop for mast connection.

NIGEL COLDER
-wire size guides p164
-Quality Terminal
--Seamless, tinned, annealed coppper, serrated
--ancor marine
-Should use Ratchet crimper
-Hoses make good chafe protection
-Spiral wrap is good
-High Power Fuses, xantrex, bluesea

WIRE
-Tinned Wire
-UL1426
-Boat Cable
-BC5-W

Wire source
Genuinedealz > Marine Electrical Supply - Boat and Marine Electrical Connectors, Tubing
Marine Wire, Boat Cable, Generator Cables, Marine Electrical -Gencable.com
Defender
McMaster
3 wire cable is UL1426
16 AWG Ancor 124710
12 AWG Ancor
Crimping versus Soldering

Ring Terminals
311225 Ancor 16-14, shrink, adhesive
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Old 12-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarity36 View Post
Crew
I will totally rewire my 36 foot sailboat, and would appreciate recommendations re a manual/primer on boat wiring. I have Calder's manual, but that assumes the boat is wired already, and an old Brotherton manual pre-AGMs, and 3 stage charging. A tome that is up to the minute, and understandable for a literate, enthusiastic but electrically challenged boatie. Cheers. Bill
Bill, in addition to the good info already provided, the BASICS of your system will be the system design: how do you plan tyo hook everything up and operate the electrical system.

One of the better discussions about that is right here on this board in a discussion held parallel to your question.

Battery bank design recommendations
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I would suggest you get several books and read what ever you can. Authors can explain it in several ways and one will be better than the other. Every book I have read I will find some tidbit that was explained better than another. I like Don Casey, and used genuinedealz for wire alot when I did mine.
Think it out, draw up a plan and Label every wire, when you take several months to do this job you will forget where you are.
Also read about charging and batteries. One thing will lead to another. It will cost more than you think and you don't want to have to redo any of it. There are places that offer boat wiring classes. The best several weekends I ever took. Best of luck
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Old 12-05-2010
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The book I recommend most these days..

Charlie Wing - Boatowners Illustrated Electrical Hand Book Second Edition
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Old 12-06-2010
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One thing I've noticed, that I question, is that from what I've seen it's convention to run individual wires from the central switch box to every load.

My initial thought would be to try to reduce wire count. For example in my boat It could make sense to make a forward distribution point in the head. I could run 1 large yellow and as many switched hots as I have loads (about 4) forward then redistribute to individual loads from there (fusing if necessary).

Is this a viable option or is there a good reason to do all distribution centrally?
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