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  #1  
Old 11-24-2008
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Wiring help needed

Hello,

I purchased a '77 Catalina 27' over the weekend and my first priority is to fix the wiring. There are 3 brand new switch panels in the galley, but very little wiring for anything and what is hooked up is done so for temporary use (no fuses, wired directly to the battery, etc.). Can someone please post pictures of their wiring set ups and diagrams that can give me some ideas how to get started and what parts I will need to consider purchasing?

thanks,

Chris
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2008
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Hope this helps

Attached is the diagram I put together for the rewire project I am doing on my Ericson 29.
Attached Thumbnails
Wiring help needed-wiring.jpg  
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Old 11-24-2008
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Look at the wiring that this guy did for his Tanzer 22. Here is an image of his Wiring diagram.



He has done some very nice work in a very small space and shows everything required. Follow his lead and use the conduit instead of clamps on longer runs. It makes fishing wires a little easier and means you aren't punching in as many holes for clips and clamps. Also makes it easier for adding a wire later.

I bought my boat knowing it needed wiring redone. DIY will save you a small fortune. Shop around for things like distribution panels on Ebay and you can find some good deals. Good luck and have fun with it.
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Last edited by patrickrea; 11-24-2008 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 11-24-2008
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A lot of this is going to depend on how much electrical equipment and electronics you're putting in the boat. Also, you should probably say whether you are planning on adding a shorepower circuit and panel to the boat or not. Many smaller boats don't have a shorepower inlet or panel.

A good basic setup that includes an AC shorepower panel, and two battery banks would require:

AC Side

A Shorepower inlet 30A like this one from Sailnet's store



A Shorepower AC panel with dual breakers for the feed, single breakers for the other circuits. A good one is this one from SailorSolutions, and gives you three AC circuits for your boat.



A shorepower based battery charger—size it based on your battery bank size. Iota makes a very good unit, that is reasonably priced.

At least one GFCI outlet for every AC circuit you have aboard.

DC Side

Two battery banks, the house bank should be larger than the starting bank if you're planning on taking any longer cruises.

A main battery switch like the Dual Circuit Plus from Blue Sea, which I like because in normal use it isolates your house bank from your starting bank, and protects your electronics from the starting voltage drop/surge that can occur. It allows you to combine the banks in an emergency.



Fuses for the positive battery leads, like the Megafuse from BlueSea—again sized for the loads you'll be putting on it.



A battery combiner or echo charger to charge the starting battery bank whenever the house bank is being charged

Battery Combiner



Echo Charger



A DC distribution panel:



If you're planning on ganging multiple items on a single breaker, I suggest you run a single wire from the breaker panel to a fuse block or fused switch panel like this one and power each piece off of the panel, so you can size the fuses for the individual pieces of equipment.



Also, highly recommend you try and minimize the different types of fuses you have aboard. I've gotten my boat down to basically three types—ATO blade fuses, MaxiFuse blade fuses, and MegaFuses for the main battery leads.

You should use adhesive lined heat shrink crimp connectors, like the ones found here. The crimping tool looks like this:



And you should use good tinned marine-grade wire, like Berkshire cable, which you can get here.

A good primer on crimping marine electrical connections by our friend Maine Sail is here.

I'd highly recommend you use YELLOW for the DC ground wire insulation color. If you use black, it can be easily mistaken for an 120 VAC hot lead and vice versa... which could be really bad for you. At a minimum, you should have five colors of wiring on your boat.

Red—hot 12 VDC
Yellow—12 VDC ground

Black—hot 120 VAC
White—neutral 120 VAC
Green—Ground 120 VAC

Click on the photos to see where you can get the item pictured. I hope that helps a bit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedAgent View Post
Hello,

I purchased a '77 Catalina 27' over the weekend and my first priority is to fix the wiring. There are 3 brand new switch panels in the galley, but very little wiring for anything and what is hooked up is done so for temporary use (no fuses, wired directly to the battery, etc.). Can someone please post pictures of their wiring set ups and diagrams that can give me some ideas how to get started and what parts I will need to consider purchasing?

thanks,

Chris
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Last edited by sailingdog; 11-24-2008 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 11-24-2008
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Thanks for the advice and diagrams. I will be using a two battery setup. I currently have 3 switch panels installed. I plan to have a radio, running lights, interior lights, and possibly a vhf radio. nothing heavy duty, but I don't know what parts I need to buy to get this set up completed.

The current main battery switch needs to be replaced. Does anyone have any photos of their setup that can help me visually? I would like to see battery connections, main panel wiring, components for each part of the set up, etc.

Thanks,

Chris
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SpeedAgent-

I just wrote a post with photos of various components you'd need to use, with links to sources for each.
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Old 11-24-2008
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Missed it while I was typing.

thanks,

Chris
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Old 04-28-2009
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This is a great post SailingDog. I am cleaning up the wiring of a Morgan 28 we just purchased and was looking for this exact type of assistance. And thanks to David B for pointing me in this direction.
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Old 04-28-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedAgent View Post
The current main battery switch needs to be replaced. Does anyone have any photos of their setup that can help me visually? I would like to see battery connections, main panel wiring, components for each part of the set up, etc.
I hate having a battery selector switch. If you get one be sure its the make before break type. Otherwise switching with the engine running could damage your voltage regulator circuit.

One of my boat electrical books discusses a wiring scheme that actually eliminates the battery selector switch. I don't recall the details, but I'll pull it out tonight and post information for you. I recall thinking it seemed like a great idea, but electrical is next seasons project.
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Old 04-30-2009
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Sorry it took a bit longer than I promised, but here is the info on eliminating the battery selector switch.

The recommendation is to keep the starter battery and the house battery separate, with separate circuits. So one battery just for the engine, and the other for everything else. Let the alternator from the engine connect to the house battery only.

Place a battery combiner across the positive terminals of the two batteries. When this device senses charging voltage, it bridges the two positive terminals so that both batteries can be charged.

The advantage of this system are that you can't accidentally hurt your alternator by taking the load off the charging circuit when the engine is running. In fact, you never have to fool with a switch at all. For emergencies like a battery failure, you can add a switch across the positive terminals, so you can choose to use both batteries for starting when needed.

I just did a quick search and saw battery combiners from about $60.00 on up. I also ran across this device:

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|328|51495|606044&id=1212673

It seems to be a similar concept, except as I read it, a primary battery would be used for everything and a reserve battery would be brought in if the primary battery runs low. I am not sure I would like that but its a valid option.

I'll be eliminating my battery switch when I get to my rewiring project.

Good luck with your project!
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