You bastard, you are so right.
My 15 minute installation was 3 hours.
My new battery contacts/heads were a different gauge than my old. So none of the crimped connectors on the wires I pre-built fit. So I was sitting there with a battery powered drill grinding out the openings to fit over my battery contacts in moderate waves. It was also, of course, 100 degrees under my cockpit where all the work was taking place.
I was also one wire short so I started poking around. I traced each system in my boat and found a strange powered metal cylinder mounted under my sink. Any guesses? No idea what it did.
So curiosity got the better of me and I started disassembling it. Would you believe it was a 32 year old CIGARETTE LIGHTER, still powered, sitting under my sink mounted to old dry wood. TERRIFIC, just what I wanted on the boat... why didn't I think of mounting a 32 year old flame ignition device on dry wood???
The good news is that's been pulled and my boat is probably 40 times less likely to burst into flames randomly due to corrosion causing the "lighter" to short and catch fire. I also lost about 40 lbs of water weight sweating in the crawlspace.
Fun stuff, but now I have isolated dual batteries and I'm sure that's worth it.
Thanks for prompting me to go on this adventure!
Total project cost was about $300 including switch/charge controller package and about 10 feet of 4 gauge marine cable and terminators for them all.
BTW Jody I skipped the fusing as well. It would've added about $70-100 bucks to fuse the larger gauge wire and Blue Sea confirmed it's really mainly for protecting the wires themselves, since the charge controller is fused and all the instruments are fused as well. You guys agree or should I plan on putting in a fuse panel for the controller as a second step?