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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-09-2007
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Windlass wiring

I'm sure this bring out many differing opinions.
Windlass installation - APPROX AMP DRAW = 90-130(12V)
Trying to decide - 10% or 3% loss
According to the books:
@3% 100 feet of cable = 4/0 cable
@10% 100 feet of cable = 2/0 cable

Marine Battery cable for these sizes are in the 7 - 10. dollars a foot range... YIKES

If use welding cable - 4/0 is about 3.14/ft delivered.
So I can use the 3% loss figures for more power to the motor but I risk the corrosion issue of having welding cable.
Although I could use welding cable where it would be protected - bilge etc... and use the tinned wire for the connections where exposed..
Where to put the money - bigger cable vs better wire??
Whats a sailor to do.
alan
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Old 01-09-2007
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Why not put a battery up close to the windlass? Then your cable run is only what you need for charging. I know that puts more weight forward, and for the price of a battery, you can buy a lot of cable, but still... Just asking.
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that is exactly what I did, and actually I did it because the way the cables would have to travel inside the boat would require a lot of cable, and it turns out, that the battery is actually lighter than all the cable I needed!
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Old 01-09-2007
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If you can't place the battery forward, you're better off to go oversized than not. And use marine grade cable, it's worth it in the long run.
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Definitely use marine grade cable, especially on a cable that heavy. Do you have any idea of how much of a fire hazard the welding cable would be after it starts to corrode??? A small battery up forward, with more modest cabling is probably a better way to go, both weight wise and logistically. Also, the bilge is not really protected for wiring on most sailboats, having water in most... and the real problem with corrosion is the humid salt-laden air...which is pretty much unavoidable on a sailboat. If you want to know how bad it is...take a penny and tape it out on the nav console and see how long it takes to start turning green.
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As for buying cable, try this place. Prices are tough to beat for marine grade cable:
http://shop.genuinedealz.com/
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Old 01-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer
If you can't place the battery forward, you're better off to go oversized than not. And use marine grade cable, it's worth it in the long run.
I'm facing this very decision, and I have decided that a dedicated flooded battery up forward with a separate charger (a recycled 20 amp West Marine) and very short cables is the way to go. I will top it up with solar panels or a Honda genset underway. This seems elaborate, I know, but my main house banks will be six AGMs low and in the middle of the boat (22 foot run forward to the forepeak "workshop", and my charger/inverter system would need resetting and then rerouting just to charge a flooded cel forward, plus the fact that I want to keep my collision bulkhead as intact as possible.

This way, I will use maybe 20 feet of 2/0 AWG for ALL my batteries and to/from the inverter. Seems the best plan rather than snaking heavy cable forward.

Also, if the windlass battery goes kaput, I can always snatch a topped-up AGM and it's a "drop in".
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Valiente-

Why not put a dedicated AGM up forward, that is of the same type/size as the ones in your house bank. That would certainly make dropping one in for the other easier, and AGM batteries are better at holding their charge over long periods of time, which is often the case with a windlass... you drop the hook, stay a few days, raise the hook, make a long passage... etc.
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Old 01-11-2007
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Can some one explain what the diffrence is between say 4awg and 4/0awg wire. and which is need for a windlass?
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Old 01-11-2007
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AWG wire sizes

This info is easily available on the internet--just Google *AWG wire sizes*

AWG 0000 (4/0) is .46-inch diameter and can carry about 300 amps

AWG 4 is .2043 in diameter and can carry about 60 amps

Remember, the higher the AWG wire size number, the smaller the wire.
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