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SpeedAgent 11-25-2008 10:31 AM

ECS Switch panel

In a previous thread I was requesting info on wiring help. I don't have the convenience of going to my boat often to check things before coming here to ask questions.

I have two of these panels:
Circuit / Switch Panels, 6 Way Fuse/switch Panel from EC Smith UK Marine Supplier

and also one of the 3 switch panels with the battery tester and cigarette lighter. I don't know anything about these and the info online is sparse. Can anyone tell me if I will need an additional circuit breaker installed along with these or is wiring direct to these ok?

sorry for the elementary question, but wiring is my least knowledgeable subject.



badsanta 11-25-2008 08:25 PM

They will work, But I would rather have a circuit breaker instead of a fuse. I would suggest getting a boat electrical book. Read a bit. Get some boat supply books and see what is out there. Draw it up first. and mark every wire. A boat is NOT like a car. Put some thought in this so you wont have to redo this. Make the basic system proper and it will be easy to add to it. I wasted $$$ before I figured it out. Best of luck.

sailingdog 11-25-2008 09:01 PM

Think you'd be better off with a circuit breaker panel. :) Like this one: LINK

Would recommend you use separate 12 VDC outlet and voltmeter instead of using a panel mounted one.

You really should get a good book on 12 VDC systems. I prefer Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical & Electrical Manual:

You'll also still need a main battery switch.

SpeedAgent 11-25-2008 09:18 PM

The boat already has a main switch, it isn't currently connected, but I also can't get the switch to turn. It looks rather new, but I'm guessing it is frozen and needs to be replaced.


badsanta 11-25-2008 11:47 PM

switch Sounds bad. You dont just want to just hook up stuff. Depending on how much power you will ultimately use you may have to replace your battery wires. You have to take in to account how many batteries you need and you may then have to upgrade you alternator and or shore charger. You need to think about grounds and stray current. It gets complicated and you need to think it through. It is not impossible, it's just a process. I met one guy that put this huge alternator on one small battery and I could not get him to understand how much money he wasted. You have to balance the system. Its in the book. Best money you will spend. The Annapolis school of seamanship has classes starting soon. Very good

patrickrea 11-26-2008 12:40 AM

I am a big fan of the Blue Sea panels. Easy to install, lots of premade "pretty" labels and backlighting. Go with breakers. I can gaurantee you won't be able to find a spare fuse when you need it. At least a breaker will reset... A few times... I have a breaker at work that turned into a solid lump after someone decided to remove a switch cover plate in order to wash a wall with wet steel wool... Don't ask...

sailingdog 11-26-2008 07:44 AM


The OP is in the UK, so getting the UK equivalent of BlueSea gear would make more sense, since BlueSea gear may not be readily available over there.

patrickrea 11-27-2008 12:28 AM


Originally Posted by sailingdog (Post 407876)

The OP is in the UK, so getting the UK equivalent of BlueSea gear would make more sense, since BlueSea gear may not be readily available over there.

Point taken. I didn`t notice that originally.

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