Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
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Re: Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....
I kinda agree with that, Hello Sailor, but in this case it might well be that there's a time crunch, as the OP mentioned that he wanted to head south this year. That gives him about two months. If he had nothing else to do in that time he might be able to get up to speed on boat electrics by reading and asking questions and poking around, but if he's really heading south in a new-to-him boat I'd guess there are a ton of things to be done.
Replacing existing cables and switches is a pretty easy job for a professional with the right tools. And, if that were the only job to do IMHO that's what should be done. As you say, a good crimper costs a bunch of $$$ (like $300 plus), and other necessary tools aren't cheap. Nor is the wiring itself cheap and while I agree that genuinedealz.com is the place to buy it, you can't always use already made up cables because the lugs might not fit thru tight places, etc.
An advantage of having a professional do this is you'll have a much better idea of how your electrical system is set up, what to do and what not to do, what needs replacing/upgrading now, what can wait til later, etc., etc. A boat's electrical system is nothing to fool around with unless you are reasonably competent and understand AC and DC systems on boats. There are just too many ways to get into trouble, many of them potentially lethal to you, your boat, and your crew.
Problem is, as I see it (as a professional who does this kind of work all the time), we don't know how the boat is wired now and until we do it will be damned difficult to estimate what it will take to "fix it". It might be as simple as replacing cables and switches, but it might involve significantly more work, particularly if the goal were to come up with a simple, truly reliable system.
Last edited by btrayfors; 09-04-2012 at 08:40 PM.