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Tequiza Terri 06-15-2004 04:48 PM

Electrical refit
Any thoughts on DIY electrical refitting of a 1976 Morgan 28OI ?
I think my boat has the original wiring!
If I do use a professional.... how much can I expect to spend?

Silmaril 06-17-2004 04:06 AM

Electrical refit
Being the ulitimate DIY''r, I always recommend doing it yourself. If you are not familiar with wiring techniques, get a copy of one of Nigel Calders books that covers marine electrical practices.

I have always been amazed at what people pass off as "Professional" grade marine wiring. My personal standards are pretty high, as I am an engineer, and spent a number of years working for defense electronics contractors and NASA suppliers, so I have a good idea of true "Mil Spec" wiring techniques.

Hiring sombody else is a waist of money, and would never be as good a job as a careful owner working on his pride and joy.

Older boats were strung with little more than household grade wires. The better ones used a product called THHN wire. But even though a "Mil Spec" wire, THHN was not tinned. Today''s best wiring is done using marine grade tinned wire. It costs more, is larger and may be a problem running wires in the same location as the skinny older wire, but it lasts much longer and is much better resisting corrosion.

When I re-wired Silmaril, I removed 25 years of previous wires. It was remarkable how many dead wires were lurking in the strangest of places!

Take your time to lay out how you want your panels to look, I prefer keeping AC and DC panels well separated and clearly marked.

Invest in quality hand tools, not the junk at the mass retailers. Look at a W.W. Graingers catalog or at Jensen Tool. Get top of the line crimpers, strippers, cutters, use quality lugs like T&B. Take your time. It''s really not that hard. The good tools and not trying to take short cuts makes all the difference in the world.

splitmind 06-17-2004 07:00 AM

Electrical refit
Depending on the replacement materials and labour rates, as well as how much old material can be re-used will determine the cost.

Don Casey has a good book on small boat electrics worth reading prior to making a decision. Don''t be surprised if a contractor quoted up to 5000 or more.

Spend your money on the materials, and learn to do it yourself, or at least do the grunt work yourself and bring in a pro at the end to do the final test and hookups.

williamjchampion 06-17-2004 07:54 AM

Electrical refit
I agree. Get Casey''s book and dyi. I rewired my 1970 Mogan 35 last year. All anchor tinned wire and Blue Seas panels. I ran all the wire in conduit and increased the gauge of wire on just about everything. Cheap insurance. About the only wires I didn''t touch were for the overhead lights. The wires run between the fiberglass headliner and the coachhouse roof. No clean way to run new. 34 years of spaghetti was removed. I was amazed. Dead ends; wires that change both color and gauge halfway through a run, etc. There is nothing particularly difficult, but you''ll get plenty sore contorting your body into some of the spaces!

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