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post #11 of 21 Old 10-16-2008
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A really simple way to label your wiring is to use 3M white vinyl electrical tape and a ultra-fine point Sharpie marker. You cut the tape about 1/2" long or so, write what the wiring is on one end, and then wrap it around the wire in question... leaves the writing on the visible end.

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post #12 of 21 Old 10-16-2008
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My new-to-me 79 Catalina 30 is getting a complete re-wire. Original wiring diagrams are available from Catalina, then add your updates from there.
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post #13 of 21 Old 10-16-2008
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From my own experience rewiring a boat:

Do the AC wiring first because:

(1) You generally want to keep the AC wires away from the DC wires to avoid introducing 60 Hertz hum in DC devices. That means you can often replace AC wiring without disturbing the DC wiring.

(2) When the AC is done, you'll have convenient power that you'll need for the DC rewire: namely good lighting and a heat gun.

(3) Bad AC wiring can be far more dangerous that bad DC wiring. A corroded wire nut can easily create a fire. (Wire nuts should never be used on a boat.) And AC voltages can easily kill a person.

(4) AC wiring is generally simpler than DC wiring. There's less of it and the wires are smaller and more manageable. You'll have an opportunity to test your abilities before the much larger DC rewire project.

All that having been said, be sure to think through your AC needs before you get started. And read up on marine wiring standards. Marine AC is very different from home AC.
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post #14 of 21 Old 10-16-2008
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BTW, do try and avoid using BLACK for AC hot and DC ground...use YELLOW for the DC Ground... makes your life a lot easier and may save it.

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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
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #15 of 21 Old 10-16-2008 Thread Starter
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thanks a lot for all the advise. i guess i am planning on re-doing the wiring then. will i need to replace a lot of appliances? or just the wires going to them?

i'm pretty good with labeling and all. i've done a top end rebuild on my 1990 300zx and got PLENTY of practice lol.
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post #16 of 21 Old 10-16-2008
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If the appliances are in good shape, no real need to replace them IMHO. I'd highly recommend getting new circuit breakers and panels though, since the old ones may or may not be marinized and may or may not be about to fail. It'd be a shame to have a new wiring project burned up by an old panel.

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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
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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yeah. are those panels expensive?
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post #18 of 21 Old 10-17-2008
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Depends

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Originally Posted by KasbeKZ View Post
yeah. are those panels expensive?
It depends what you want to do. The panel I got was from Hamilton Marine, built in circuit breakers and 6 switches. My electric needs are minor, no windlass or fridge or anything like that. Just lighting and other small gear so did not need a big one. I have no AC either. You can spend a lot more if you like. I agree on getting a new panel though. Kind of silly to spend hundreds on new wire and spend all that time to salvage a 30 year old panel.

SWITCH PANEL 6 GANG ALUM AC/DC BREAKERS 12V 40A 142770

You will regret the things you did not do, more than the things you did.

Get out there!

Saco Bay, Maine
2001 Beneteau Oceanis 361
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post #19 of 21 Old 10-17-2008
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All good avice!

You've received good advice thus far. Here are a few more things to consider.

A great wire gauge calculator: Wire Gauge Calc (LINK)

Marine Wire Termination/Crimping (LINK)


Use tinned marine wire! There are MORE than one manufacturer. I use Berkshire wire but Cobra and Ancor also make good tinned wire.

Use heat shrink crimp connectors. They are more expensive up front but well worth it. The best prices I have seen on small quantities can be found at Sailors Solutions. I worked with Nick to get him using & selling this very high quality crimp for MUCH less than Ancor!!:

Sailors Solutions Crimp Terminals (LINK)

Sailors Solutions also has the BEST price on the proper tool for crimping heat shring connectors!!

Single Ratchet Heat Shrink Crimper $39.95 (LINK)


I have NO vested interest in Sailors Solutions and am a CUSTOMER, who pays full price, just like you guys. I only worked with Nick because no other company / vendor was willing to listen and they all want to sell the "GRAB YOUR ANKLES" stuff made by Ancor which is very pricey & inconsistent especially with their crimp connector sources!!!

I have a distributor up here who sells the same crimps as Sailors Solutions but the smallest quantity is bags of 100..

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post #20 of 21 Old 10-17-2008
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Thanks for the two links MS.

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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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