Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Tampa, Fl
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Adding a 2nd dc breaker panel?
I have a 6-switch breaker panel, and two of these switches are doing double-duty. One goes to both the cabin lights (rarely used) and the stereo system, and another switches on all the instruments (e7D chartplotter as well as speedo and depth). I'm adding a tiller pilot (Raymarine ST-2000) and would prefer to have it on it's own dedicated switch. There doesn't seem to be too many options for a panel with more than 6 switches, unless I buy something from BlueSea, which gets expensive quickly. West Marine sells a cheap (plastic) 6-switch panel that looks like it would be perfect, but how do you add a second panel? Can I just take the connections from the battery going to the first panel and add a cable bridging to the new panel? I can't easily locate a diagram of what I'm thinking online anywhere, and I'm not finding anything that describes what I'm trying to do... but I would bet it's not all that difficult. I have a simple system- nav lights, one cabin light, vhf radio, stereo, and I'm adding the autopilot. Currently, I have one 75 ah battery, and a 95 ah spare that I alternate after trickle charging every other time we go out for a sail. Both batteries are on opposite sides of the boat as they are relatively massive compared to the displacement of my boat (Olson 30), so it's critical they remain where they are- I could put one panel on either side of the boat, but as a last option if I can't wire these two panels together in the nav station area where the original is located.
Any help/tips would be greatly appreciated!
Last edited by Irunbird; 09-16-2012 at 06:21 PM.