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  #1  
Old 06-10-2009
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Adding 12v outlet properly

OK, this is really basic electrical, but since I'm new to boat electrical stuff, please bear with me.

Our 1984 Sabre 34 has no 12v outlets--none whatsoever. As a temporary solution, we have a portable outlet connected to a battery, but we need to install permanent outlets.

For now, I'm planning on interior-only near our nav station (no cockpit plug at this time).

So to my question(s): First, how are 12v outlets typically wired into the DC system--by this I mean, do they go through the DC breaker panel? If so, on what circuit would they typically go? On their own "Outlets" circuit, along with "Cabin Lights", other?

I realize this might be personal preference, but I'd like to know what typical is before I do something different--at least I have a frame of reference.

Below is my current breaker panel, so I'm open to suggestions as to how best to incorporate. Note there are two "Cabin Lights" breakers (one forward half of boat, other aft half)--I could combine those maybe and free up something new?

Anyway, please let me know what's typical with 12v outlets, if there is such a "typical" treatment.
Thanks!
-J
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Old 06-10-2009
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We have only one 12v outlet--one of those round cigarette lighter types--it has its own breaker on the 12v panel.
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I installed three 12v outlets. They are wired into the "cabin lights" breaker. We have a rule...nothing more powerful than a laptop on those outlets. So no TV, coffe makers etc via inverter. Just the laptop, cell phone chargers and other lower draw devices.

I've ordered a new Paneltronics panels (both AC & DC) since the ones from the Benetau factory are a bit weak. Once those panels are installed, I'll run the 12 v on their own circuit, putting one on a stronger circuit with heavier duty wiring for high draw items.

Last edited by night0wl; 06-10-2009 at 03:16 PM.
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Joz—

Looks like you can add a breaker at the bottom of the panel to dedicate to the 12 VDC outlets.
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Thanks night0wl and arf145 for the the info.

SD, I can probably use that spot for a 12v outlet breaker, but I'm also going to be adding refrigeration, so that'll need its own breaker too. While I may eventually replace the panels, like night0wl was talking about, I'm probably not doing that for a while.

However, sounds like most people either have the 12v outlets on a cabin lights circuit or on its own. Ideally, I'd have them on their own, but it might be cabin lights "aft" for now.

-J
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you could also combine the compass light with the running lights, thats how it is on my boat, not saying my boat is right thou.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
you could also combine the compass light with the running lights, thats how it is on my boat, not saying my boat is right thou.
That's not a bad idea, actually. Every time I've used my running lights, I've used my compass light too. Good idea scottyt!
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I use a single 15 Amp breaker for my navigation lights (bow bicolor, stern light, steaming light, anchor light, tricolor light and foredeck light,) and the compass light. Since all of the fixtures are 25 watt or smaller, the total they could draw is less than 15 amps combined. I have a single wire coming off the panel to a six-switch fused panel, which gives the individual fixtures protection as required.

This would allow you to combine five of your existing breakers into a single breaker—compass light, running lights, masthead light, anchor light, and foredeck light—freeing up four breakers for you.

The switch panel I use is a Blue Sea WeatherDeck panel, which uses the mini-blade fuses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by josrulz View Post
Thanks night0wl and arf145 for the the info.

SD, I can probably use that spot for a 12v outlet breaker, but I'm also going to be adding refrigeration, so that'll need its own breaker too. While I may eventually replace the panels, like night0wl was talking about, I'm probably not doing that for a while.

However, sounds like most people either have the 12v outlets on a cabin lights circuit or on its own. Ideally, I'd have them on their own, but it might be cabin lights "aft" for now.

-J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I use a single 15 Amp breaker for my navigation lights (bow bicolor, stern light, steaming light, anchor light, tricolor light and foredeck light,) and the compass light. Since all of the fixtures are 25 watt or smaller, the total they could draw is less than 15 amps combined. I have a single wire coming off the panel to a six-switch fused panel, which gives the individual fixtures protection as required.

This would allow you to combine five of your existing breakers into a single breaker—compass light, running lights, masthead light, anchor light, and foredeck light—freeing up four breakers for you.

The switch panel I use is a Blue Sea WeatherDeck panel, which uses the mini-blade fuses.
Hey now I kind of like that idea. I could use some free "slots", and at least having all those lights on a separate panel would have some logic to it. Thanks for the food for thought!

Opening up would mean a slot for 12v outlets, refrigerations, and I could break out my stereo from the radar, gps, and VHF, which bugs me.

Thanks again!
-J
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Hey sailingdog, now that I think about it, although I see how the Bluesea fuse panel is sufficient for the job, why would I not just add a regular circuit breaker panel instead? I mean, my panels are not above decks, so I don't need the waterproofing. It would be only a little bit more $ for a Microlog panel, no?

Just thinking out loud...
-J
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