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post #1 of 35 Old 03-10-2012 Thread Starter
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Electrical system install

Hi all,
I just bought a 1968 Westerly Cirrus 22 from a guy for 600 bucks. Honestly, the hull, rigging is in great shape. Even has a running outboard. Well, the hull needs cosmetic work and bottom paint, probably has blisters, but it is sound. The boom and mast are original and the boom is even still shiny. I honestly think it spent most of its life as a livaboard. I do know it has been lived in for at least the past 15 years and rarely sailed. Guy needed to leave town in a hurry and needed to get rid of the boat fast.
Anyway, the boat does not have a marine electrical system. It has cabin and exterior lights, a place for the battery, etc but the wiring was demoed years and years ago. I am a good mechanic, woodworker, and good at working on hulls, but despise messing with electrical.
Any clue at all what a marine electrician might charge to basically install an electrical system on a 22 foot boat? Not talking about some 2012 35 foot fancy yacht with a lot of bells and whistles, but just a breaker panel, wire the lights, battery, shore power, charger, etc. just a real basic install job on a small boat?
I'm not one to hire contractors to do things, but electrical is a different story to me, and I don't have an idea if I would be looking at 500 dollars or 5000.
Thanks

Last edited by benajah; 03-11-2012 at 12:37 AM.
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post #2 of 35 Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Electrical system install

First Question, how do you plan on using this Fine 22' sailboat you now have?

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post #3 of 35 Old 03-11-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical system install

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Originally Posted by MobiusALilBitTwisted View Post
First Question, how do you plan on using this Fine 22' sailboat you now have?
For the time being, day sailing and minor SF Bay cruising. It's a pretty tough little boat. I was familiar with them years ago in Europe. They were a first attempt at something like a Flicka, although this does have a fin keel and spade rudder. The keel is iron, so for all I know it may fall off and the boat sink first time I sail and put stress on it but for 600 bucks, it's a good gamble.
I just sold my Cal 2-27 and this has about the same interior space as my Cal. First business is to haul it out and give it a good painting and inspection. If its a disaster I will part out the mast and outboard scrap the rest and have my money back.
In time, I may rig it for coastal cruising, but for now, I just want running lights anchor lights interior lighting, etc.

Last edited by benajah; 03-11-2012 at 12:35 AM.
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post #4 of 35 Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Electrical system install

I'll preface this post by saying I don't actually answer your specified question. That being said, small boat electrical is a very straightforward job and simple wiring diagrams can be had using google. In essence, you run a main supply from the battery to the fuse/distribution panel, and from there you run short runs to your different elements. For a simple diagram, the only thing that should change are the lengths of run. It's somewhat likely that your mast already has wires in place. If those are decayed the process entails clipping them, tieing on new lengths, and pulling the old ones out while simultaneously pulling the new ones in. Solder things up, replace bulbs and you're good up top. You can get pretty creative inside the cabin but as with everything else on a boat, I strongly believe simple is better. Besides...if you saved yourself $500 think of the other things you could buy or upgrade.

-Matt

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Last edited by mxracer19; 03-11-2012 at 12:47 AM.
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post #5 of 35 Old 03-11-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical system install

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Originally Posted by mxracer19 View Post
I'll preface this post by saying I don't actually answer your specified question. That being said, small boat electrical is a very straightforward job and simple wiring diagrams can be had using google. In essence, you run a main supply from the battery to the fuse/distribution panel, and from there you run short runs to your different elements. For a simple diagram, the only thing that should change are the lengths of run. It's somewhat likely that your mast already has wires in place. If those are decayed the process entails clipping them, tieing on new lengths, and pulling the old ones out while simultaneously pulling the new ones in. Solder things up, replace bulbs and you're good up top. You can get pretty creative inside the cabin but as with everything else on a boat, I strongly believe simple is better. Besides...if you saved yourself $500 think of the other things you could buy or upgrade.

-Matt
Yeah I'm actually surprised how good of shape this boat is. I'm sure the hull needs a lot of blister work but above the waterline she is in tip top shape.
What I fine surprising is that most of the hardware is original, 44 years old, and still in pretty decent condition. Blocks, wenches, they still work. Chainplates look fine and also look like they have never been repaired.
Thanks for the advice. I'm a little gun shy as electrical is my weakest thing. Got shocked as a little kid and just never learned as much about it as I should.
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post #6 of 35 Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Electrical system install

Like mxracer said the DC part of the system is quite simple and doesn't need to be expensive. A small 6 or 8 circuit fuse panel like this will work fine.
WeatherDeck™ Water Resistant Fuse Panel 6 Position - Gray - PN 4306 - Blue Sea Systems

The AC will cost a bit more to do properly. You will need a 30 amp shore power inlet to match the majority of dock supplies as shown below and a matching shore power cord. Then you will need a panel - also shown - with a double pole main breaker and a circuit breaker for the charger, as well as any additional circuits you want.

Probably the best way to save money is to find exactly what you need, but it and attach where appropriate, and hire someone to do the wiring. When locating these keep in mind ease of wire runs and access.
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Re: Electrical system install

Westerly boats were well made and they pack more in than many their size. I owned a Westerly 25 about 40 years ago and loved it. For Westerly specific information join their Yahoo group here: Westerly-Owners : Westerly Owners Group

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post #8 of 35 Old 03-11-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical system install

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Westerly boats were well made and they pack more in than many their size. I owned a Westerly 25 about 40 years ago and loved it. For Westerly specific information join their Yahoo group here: Westerly-Owners : Westerly Owners Group
Thanks. Yeah I am quite pleased at how the little details make the difference. I cannot imagine a Catalina or Hunter built today still being afloat in 44 years.
It may take a couple years of getting her back into cruising shape, but I can daysail her today.
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Re: Electrical system install

I want to expand on Brian's comments. The electrician must of course charge by the hour, whether he is doing carpentry, or electrical work. Someplace out there is an electrician who likes being an electrician, but hates pulling wires, fastening up fixtures, etc. Hire that guy to come look at your project, tell you what to buy and where, and give you some guidance. Pay him for his time. Then go and buy the fixtures, put them where you want, fasten them in place nicely, pull the wires, leaving extra at both ends, and then call the electrician back to have him hook everything up.
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post #10 of 35 Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Electrical system install

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxracer19 View Post
I'll preface this post by saying I don't actually answer your specified question. That being said, small boat electrical is a very straightforward job and simple wiring diagrams can be had using google. In essence, you run a main supply from the battery to the fuse/distribution panel, and from there you run short runs to your different elements. For a simple diagram, the only thing that should change are the lengths of run. It's somewhat likely that your mast already has wires in place. If those are decayed the process entails clipping them, tieing on new lengths, and pulling the old ones out while simultaneously pulling the new ones in. Solder things up, replace bulbs and you're good up top. You can get pretty creative inside the cabin but as with everything else on a boat, I strongly believe simple is better. Besides...if you saved yourself $500 think of the other things you could buy or upgrade.

-Matt
There are several (probably dozens) of threads on electrical wiring, and what would be necessary for a small sailboat. In all of these threads the topic of Crimping vs Soldering inevitably comes up. I'll save you some of the fun and let you know that CRIMPING with the proper tools, and heat shrink, adhesive lined Crimps wins.

Total cost (as a guesstimate) would be anywhere from $500 ~ $1500. Although, depending on what you want done, it could range from $50 to $5000...

BTW - Matt - I like the name of your boat!


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Last edited by eherlihy; 03-11-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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