Wiring of a 1980 Catalina 27 - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 32 Old 01-02-2012
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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I have the upgraded Leece Neville 90 amp alternator, which also has a semi-smart regulator. If there is no load, it shuts off before the diodes pop.
Who told you that...? The whole idea of sudden load disconnects is that regulators, no matter how smart, simply can't react fast enough, we're talking microseconds for the damage to be done. In an ideal world a voltage regulator could react fast enough but they very often don't. The Leece-Neville reg on the 8MR's is no different. Even Balmar, Ample, Xantrex or Sterling regs will not protect you if you suddenly disconnect the load while charging..

For the OP I would advise getting Charlie Wings book Boatowners Illustrated Electrical Handbook Volume 2. This falls between Casey and Calder and has had the best reviews from customers and friends I've suggested it to. It also follows current safety guidelines.
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post #12 of 32 Old 01-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arf145 View Post
I'll be happy for you if someone follows up my reply with a link to exactly what you want, but...I don't expect there is such a thing for you. And of course with a 30-yr-old boat most have diverged from the original. I found Nigel Calder's Electrical/Mechanical book to be a big help. Best you know the reason for the wire size needed for a particular run length and demand anyway.
If I understand the implication of your 30 year old comment right I'm not looking to reproduce the original wiring plan. I was looking for something more up-to-date. And I'm not looking for something special just for me. What I have are just the very most common of circuits. What I liked about the referenced link was that it was clearer than most of the diagrams I see, written for a layman, so to speak. Most of the discussions about wiring seem confusing to me. But maybe I think it's more complicated than it really is.
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post #13 of 32 Old 01-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
The diagram by Maccauley123 (shown below) would not be a great one to follow. It is confusing, the bilge pump is after the main switch when it should have power when the switch is off, the negatives are not clearly defined, and I don't think his second switch is necessary.

As posted by arf above, I very much doubt your wiring is close to original after several decades. I virtually never ask for or look at an original schematic when working on a boat - they are seldom accurate.
First, I don't know how you guys are getting the idea I'm trying to reproduce the original wiring plan. I'm looking for something UP TO DATE. What I liked about the maccauley plan was that it made more sense to me. He may be wrong on some of the things but I liked the way he laid out the distribution panel and the buss bars., etc. And isn't his bilge pump wired so that it goes directly from the battery to the pump (through a fuse) so that it is always on and not on only when the battery switch is on.
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Originally Posted by n8kraft View Post
If you have the original manual that came with the boat it has a simple drawing describing the original electrical layout. You can get more original manuals on the Catalina 27 website here: C27 Manuals
Not looking for the original electrical layout.
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I think the best plan is to draw your own schematic. I'm guessing you will have a start battery and a house bank. Decide how they will be charged from the engine. Catalina and most other builders charged through the main (1/2/both/off) switch but that isn't a great plan for several reasons. The better way is to routs all charging, from any source, to the house bank and charge the start battery with an Echo Charge or ACR. The main switch becomes a control for use, not charging - easier to use and simpler. From the main switch output's common post there are feeds to the starter and to the fuse/breaker panel. The panel feed wire should be able to handle the entire panel's load with 3% voltage drop or less. From the panel the circuits - lights, electronics, etc - are branched off to each.

On a 27' boat 14 awg is probably a good choice for many circuits. For deciding on wire gauge this link AWG by wire length/amps calculator
will let you determine the gauge required. The distance is from the source to each load and back. I try for 3% drop or less for everything but lights can tolerate more. The wiring for nav lights and feed to the mast should be 12 awg but it is easy to figure out with the link above. Bilge pump wiring shouls be direct from the battery and not through the main switch. Fuse at the battery for this and fuse the main battery feeds as close to the batteries as possible - ABYC calls for 7" but that isn't always possible.
Sounds good. Got a wiring plan that shows the various panels and buss bars labeled like the maccauley layout?
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post #16 of 32 Old 01-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Here's one that should answer the basic engine/alternator wiring issues. The PP (previous post) shows the downstream DC wiring quite well. This link includes options as well as a very good wiring diagram from this message board.

Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

The detailed wiring diagram came from this topic, in the Electrical section of this message board:

Updating DC System

If you want sources for more boat electrical systems, try this:

Electrical Systems 101
Thanks Stu. Appreciate it.
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post #17 of 32 Old 01-02-2012
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In the Maccauley diagram I reposted the bilge pump is powered by the lowest fuse in the panel. After a closer look it probably is powered by the 14awg wire direct from the battery, but it isn't that clear. He shows 2 wires crossing, one from a switch that could be going to the voltmeter and then he lists the wire gauge where the wires cross.

He is also feeding the first panel on the left with a 10awg wire and it then powers the panel on the right with 14awg wire for all loads except the bilge pump. In other words the 10awg is handling everything except the bilge pump. While 10awg can handle 60 amps outside of an engine compartment and 14awg can handle 35 amps outside engine compartments neither are suitable for panel feeds as they are shown in my opinion. This is one of the faults of following someone else's wiring diagram. - you are better off to draw your own and use a wire sizing calc to figure the sizes out. Wire sizing as well as proper fusing (for the wire not the load) is very important.

Individual circuits are not hard to understand. The book by Charlie Wing suggested earlier is a good choice to help understand and plan your system.

The suggestions by Bill, Stu, and myself for the charging wiring (Echo Charge et all) may be the hardest to plan but the link that Stu posted should help with that.

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post #18 of 32 Old 01-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajay73 View Post
Sounds good. Got a wiring plan that shows the various panels and buss bars labeled like the maccauley layout?
Not one that would apply to your specific boat. You shouldn't copy another boat's system wire by wire - for one it may very well not apply to your boat and for another you will understand your system a lot more if you create a plan for yourself. I think it would be a good idea if after a bit of reading you drew what you think you should and post it here for a critique.

Here is a good example and it does show an Echo Charge wired between the #1 and #2 posts on the main switch. Wire sizes may not apply in your case.
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post #19 of 32 Old 01-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Who told you that...? The whole idea of sudden load disconnects is that regulators, no matter how smart, simply can't react fast enough, we're talking microseconds for the damage to be done. In an ideal world a voltage regulator could react fast enough but they very often don't. The Leece-Neville reg on the 8MR's is no different. Even Balmar, Ample, Xantrex or Sterling regs will not protect you if you suddenly disconnect the load while charging..
You're right... I have not tested this, and don't intend to with a $200 alternator.

I should have said that I believed (past tense) this to be the case. (not now)

I read Nigel Calder's and Don Casey's book on electrical systems. The problem is, I don't recall it all that clearly.

Regardless, when I want DC power, I turn the selector switch to position 2, and all is good. If there is a problem, I can turn the switch to position 1, and all should be good. NO ONE touches the battery selector switch while the engine is running. Also, there is a clear instruction on the switch NOT to turn the switch to OFF while the engine is running.


I am still considering removing the wire from the alternator to the starter solenoid (it's about 8" long) and adding a wire from the alternator to the #2 post on the battery selector switch, or the battery itself (either way, a run of about 4').

What I can say with absolute certainty - and I hope that the OP will forgive the thread drift - is this;
  • the Leece Neville 12v 90A Alternator (at least the one that I received) does NOT require an exciter wire to be run to the key switch. The original alternator did.
  • When upgrading the Alternator Mounting Bracket on a Universal M25, the Pivot bolt SHOULD BE a Metric M10 fastener, and the tension bolt (connects the tension arm and the alternator) SHOULD BE a Metric M8 coarse thread. The kit that I received from Torrensen, and the kit available from SailboatOwners.Com, include SAE Fasteners.
Both of these factoids would have been very helpful, but were not mentioned anywhere in my research in many online forums and websites (including the Prestolite and Torrensen websites).
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post #20 of 32 Old 01-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Not one that would apply to your specific boat. You shouldn't copy another boat's system wire by wire - for one it may very well not apply to your boat and for another you will understand your system a lot more if you create a plan for yourself. I think it would be a good idea if after a bit of reading you drew what you think you should and post it here for a critique.

Here is a good example and it does show an Echo Charge wired between the #1 and #2 posts on the main switch. Wire sizes may not apply in your case.
Brian, that diagram has since been updated and has removed the EC from the switch to the banks: Catalina 34 Electrical System Upgrade - C34

Stu Jackson, C34, 1986, M25 engine, Rocna 10 (22#)
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