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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Rewiring my sailboat
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-28-2013 07:01 PM
SVTatia
Re: Rewiring my sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letrappes View Post
Get your wire from genuinedealz.com. I saw someone post about it a year out so ago and bought from them. Much cheaper than Anchor for the same spec marine grade wire made in Massachusetts if I remember right.
Well, you should shop around: Sailnet, Genuinedealz and Gregs Marine. I'll bet Greg's will have better prices. I am not connected, just a customer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams This is a very good basic primer for boat system wiring: Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

This is another very good basic primer for boat system wiring: The 1-2-B Switch by Maine Sail (brings together a lot of what this subject is all about)
1/BOTH/2/OFF Switches Thoughts & Musings - SailboatOwners.com

Only difference for you with an outboard is that the negative for your boat is the battery (-) not the engine.

Good luck.
++1 on that

I am half way thru my rewiring project using the learnings I got here and from electrical handbooks from Charlie Wing (highly recommended) and Don Casey.
The trick? plan, plan, plan, do.

1) Draft a diagram based on Stu's links above.
2) Measure all the wire distances taking the wire runs up and downs around furniture into account.
2) Make a list of wire sizes (depends on the distances X 2) and colors
3) Shop around:
  • For wires
  • For connectors and heat-shrink
  • For a crimping tool (Pro's kit was the most cost effective for my project)
  • A good stripper and wire cutter
  • Bus bars
4) Buy
5) Get moving.

Best of luck
06-24-2013 03:57 PM
bobsaxet
Re: Rewiring my sailboat

I've only rewired one boat and the project was small.
The only thing I can add to what's been said so far is that you should consider the restrictions surrounding your depth transducer cable. The Raymarine unit I installed had very specific instructions about how closely other wires could be located (especially those associated with the VHF).
Hope this helps, Bob
06-24-2013 02:42 PM
Stu Jackson
Re: Rewiring my sailboat

Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams This is a very good basic primer for boat system wiring: Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

This is another very good basic primer for boat system wiring: The 1-2-B Switch by Maine Sail (brings together a lot of what this subject is all about)
1/BOTH/2/OFF Switches Thoughts & Musings - SailboatOwners.com

Only difference for you with an outboard is that the negative for your boat is the battery (-) not the engine.

Good luck.
06-19-2013 10:24 PM
ashmun
Re: Rewiring my sailboat

Hi Dauntless Brent,
Boat wire has some similarities to house and car wiring but also difference that are important. Unlike a car, where the negative wire can be grounded to a chassis, most wire in boats is 'round trip' (positive wire length and negative wire length running to a device, with a few exception like alternators or starters that are bolted and grounded on the engine). Unlike a house, boats wiring is subject to the marine environment (e.g. vibration, heat, moisture/water, and more). Corrosion is a big factor, so using quality marine wire, connectors and shrink tubing is import as is using the right tools. Good crimpers (as MikeOReilly pointed out) for battery cables are expensive, there is a small crimper that you can hit with a hammer or I'd suggest seeing if you could borrow or rent a big battery cable crimper. We've re-wired almost all of our previous boats, so we own a large crimper and love having it. Voltage meter and a clamp-on AC/DC amp meter is also useful. Remember to use both an ABYC E-11 compliant voltage drop and an ampacity table when figuring out the wire sizing. There tables are generally listed in marine electrical book, some marine cables sites, and there are app both on the web and for mobile devices but make sure they are ABYC E-11 and not housing 310.15 table. If batteries or the cables from the batteries to the switches, circuit protect, etc run through the engine room, remember to take this into account when using the table or an app. Engine space is warmer and the wire might need to be thicker.

There are plenty of good posts before this one, so the only three items I'd add is seconding the "check out Mainsail's site or tech tips" [not sure if this is Ed Sherman's Tech Tips that he's referring to, which is also a great site]; consider purchasing a few good marine electrical book (aka Nigel Calder, Charlie Wing, Ed Sherman, etc.), and even though good wire, connectors, circuit breakers, fuses and switches might seem expensive - get them because the consequences of not having good wires and circuit protection is more expensive.
06-19-2013 10:00 PM
Dauntless Brent
Re: Rewiring my sailboat

Good news is that after some messing around with the wiring, the important wires are working. I will still replace them but its good to know that the switch panel works fine. You're right MikeOReilly. I'm not going to do this half *ss. Knowing that most of the wiring works just helps with the route that I will run the new wire.
06-19-2013 10:42 AM
Letrappes Get your wire from genuinedealz.com. I saw someone post about it a year out so ago and bought from them. Much cheaper than Anchor for the same spec marine grade wire made in Massachusetts if I remember right.
06-19-2013 09:13 AM
MikeOReilly
Re: Rewiring my sailboat

Hi Brent, I'd bet you're going to find a lot of poor wiring on your boat Brent. Wire runs tend to get installed on a half-aa$, ad-hoc basis. Over time (decades in your case) you can end up with a very confusing, and ill-designed, electrical system. It may not be wise to simply replace what is there.

But I'm sure you'll figure it out. Just go slow, and be systematic.
06-18-2013 11:21 PM
Dauntless Brent
Re: Rewiring my sailboat

Thanks! The tinned wire was one of the things that I wasn't sure about. A lot of what I will do will be nothing more than following, removing and replacing the wire that is already there. One thing at a time. I'm on shore power and that works fine, so I won't be messing around with it. I'm focusing strictly on the 12 volt wiring.
06-18-2013 11:07 PM
MikeOReilly
Re: Rewiring my sailboat

Hi Brent, I've been in your shoes, having rewired a 1974 34-footer. I started with the idea of doing a small project, but ended up ripping out every wire and re-doing the whole thing. It's a large project, but if you approach it systematically, it's very doable for just about anyone with enough time.

- Ensure you have enough knowledge of electrical systems and components to do this project. You've got to understand the basics of current, voltage and resistance. You've got to understand wire sizing for different runs (voltage drops), series vs parallel, etc...

- Get good tools. A good multi-meter, good ratcheting crimpers, good stripers and cutters will make the job a lot more doable.

- Before beginning, I strongly suggest you create a detailed electrical diagram of your intended new system. A CAD is great, but a well drawn out schematic will also work. Follow it as you're installing the new cables, wires and loads. It's easy to get lost in the wires.

- To your specific question, tinned copper strand wire is what you want. Ancor is the big name, although there are probably others.

Go slow. Be systematic. Have fun .
06-18-2013 10:56 PM
Dauntless Brent
Re: Rewiring my sailboat

Thanks for you help! There is a switch panel that I will run everything from. There is also a red "thing a ma jig" that connects to the batteries to use battery 1, battery 2, all or off. I would like to use that also (it's not hooked up). Also there's a meter that I will hook up. Let me add, I do not have an inboard motor. It was removed and I use an outboard.
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