Re: Electrical system install
Don't over-think this project. For a small boat like that all you need is one cabin light circuit (with one or two light fixtures per "cabin"), a nav light circuit, a circuit for a masthead tricolor nav light (if you have one), a steaming light circuit, a spreader light circuit (if you have them), an electronics circuit, and a circuit with one or two "cigar-lighter" outlets. A total of seven circuits, MAX. You don't really need spreader lights (I've always found them to be kind of a PITA anyway), or a masthead tricolor (they're nice, but not essential), and if you're cleaver you can use cigar-lighter outlets to power some cabin lights (I rigged up a cheap IKEA hanging fixture
with an adapter
and a 12V LED array
and plug it into a cigar-lighter for my boat's main cabin light). If you use a handheld VHF, and a little boombox for music (a very common combination on little boats), you can eliminate the electronics circuit. Your anchor light can be a stand alone LED lantern, or just get one with a long cord that plugs into a cigar-lighter outlet
. So, you can probably get away with three or four circuits.
Running boat cable and crimping terminals and connectors is easy. You don't need a bunch of fancy tools, and the crimps don't have to be perfect (no matter what some others on SN will insist); a $20 crimper, some shrink-wrap connectors and terminals, a small panel, a 100 feet or so of boat cable (less, if you only have the minimum number of circuits), two batteries, a master switch, a grounding bus, some battery cables and a weekend will get you a basic system. The parts and tools shouldn't total up to more than $500. Do it all yourself so that when something fails (and something WILL eventually fail, no matter who initially wires the system) you'll have a much better chance of being able to effect a repair yourself.
Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel Davino, Olivia Josephine Gay, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Hochsprung, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli , Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison N. Wyatt
Last edited by SlowButSteady; 03-12-2012 at 04:00 AM.