Opinions on rewiring - SailNet Community

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View Poll Results: To what extent would you rewire:
Total rewire, high on my priority list 25 35.21%
Yes, rewire, but only as time allows 22 30.99%
Yes, rewire, but only as systems fail 16 22.54%
No, I would keep what I have and not rewire at all 8 11.27%
Voters: 71. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-14-2008
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Opinions on rewiring

If you have been following the 1990's era thread, you may know that many of the boats produced pre-1990's have copper wire. We all know that it should be tinned, per ABYC (corrosion issues).

However, I have to pose the question on whehter it is prudent, and how prudent, to rip out the wire and do a full wire, partial rewire, etc. As such, I would appreciate the opinions of others here because I really do not have a good answer for that.

My personal opinion, as I will vote, is to replace all of it over the next many months. Do it, and do it all, and do it right. Rip out all the old wire and CRIMP it and heat shrink. But ther eis a considerable expense and time involved in doing that.

I would appreciate the opinions of others on this board and what you would do and how critical you feel it is. I think this will be a VERY intuitive thread, since MANY people on this board have boats with copper and many more will buy boats with copper.

- CD

PS This applies to ANY boat that is not ABYC, or any boat with copper wiring. It is not mean specific to my TAYANA 42.
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Old 02-14-2008
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Use adhesive lined heat shrink tubing, not just heat-shrink...
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Old 02-14-2008
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Might want to change the poll so it applies to boats that are not already AYBC compliant and or new and not in any need of a re-wire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Might want to change the poll so it applies to boats that are not already AYBC compliant and or new and not in any need of a re-wire
Changed.

- CD
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I voted for changing the wiring only as systems failed. This is because I sail in protected waters and I would rather be sailing than fixing the boat. But something could stop working and if it does we carry enough wire and parts that I will take care of it when necessary. Right now the only thing not working is me.

But if I was heading on a long cruise, I would have to think a little longer about the poll, but might still choose the same answer.
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Unfortunately, the first sign of failure is often a nasty fire.
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New boats are still being made with bare copper wire.. not just an old boat problem. Bare copper wire properly terminated (i.e. never gets exposed) will last just as long as tinned.. and tinned wire is susceptible to corrosion when wet too.. IMO proper wiring involves more than just buying the expensive stuff at the marine store. It involves proper routing, chafe guards, proper termination, drip loops, strain relief, proper gage.. a whole list of things.

Last edited by sailboy21; 02-14-2008 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 02-14-2008
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When I was looking for a sail boat, being I'm in the auto industry I was looking at different things then most. Namely wiring, engines and plumbing. I was truely amazed at how much the sellers talked up there boats and how well they had sailed, but lack of their concern for what was hinding in her lockers, and hatches. One such fellow when he bought his boat found the propane system didn't work right, and to keep his first mate happy could I gerry rig it, just for the time being so they could go cruising for the weekend. I really didn't want to do this but being this was their first weekend out with this new vessel I agreed, with the promise he would address it the following week. It never got done. His wife came to see me three weeks later saying that the work I did was broken, which by the way I did for free. To the point, I told his wife the truth and said that if I were her I would get a new system installed. They did, but after that I wasn't to popular, with some of the old salts. And true to the form I was begining to learn that a lot sailors are cheap and afraid to spend money for things that work. If I'm speaking out of turn I'm sorry for it. I voted for a complete rewire, as have done a few by now, and surprising to me didn't cost too much in material, and yeah my labour I donated.
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Even properly terminated copper wiring will corrode far faster on a boat than proper marine-grade wiring. Most insulation isn't completely air/waterproof, regardless of what it says. Proper termination and installation, with intelligently routing, good chafe protection, drip loops, strain reliefs, and properly sized wiring is all going to help keep it functional longer, but it really should be marine-grade wiring.. Marine grade wire is made up of more, finer strands to help prevent fatigue and work hardening, and is pre-tinned to help reduce corrosion problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailboy21 View Post
New boats are still being made with bare copper wire.. not just an old boat problem. Bare copper wire properly terminated (i.e. never gets exposed) will last just as long as tinned.. and tinned wire is susceptible to corrosion when wet too.. IMO proper wiring involves more than just buying the expensive stuff at the marine store. It involves proper routing, chafe guards, proper termination, drip loops, strain relief, proper gage.. a whole list of things.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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I dunno SD.. I just had an ancient SSB radio given to me from a fishing boat.. probably been on there for at least 30 years. The leads were bare copper, but thick strands and no corrosion... Also, on my boat I am slowly replacing the old stuff (1977). The only problems are wires that go on deck, or through the bilge. A lot of the stuff is still bright. Of course I am replacing any bare copper I find! Just saying...
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