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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Is this pro wiring?
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Thread: Is this pro wiring? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-18-2014 11:46 AM
MarkSF
Re: Is this pro wiring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
I found this online supply Marine Wiring, Boat Cable and Electrical Genuinedealz.com on this forum and like to spread the word.
.
I just bought some custom battery cables from them, the quality is great and so was the price.
02-18-2014 07:51 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Is this pro wiring?

Since I see my post resurrected from last year, I thought I would add a follow up. I cut away the entire old wiring harness and ran all new color coded wire from the tank sensor to the level gauge. I forgot that the reused harness wasn't even the proper wire size recommended for the new gauge. Naturally it was smaller.

Once I did the job right, all worked properly.

I didn't have time to do it right the first time, so I had to find time to do it over!!
02-18-2014 04:22 AM
L124C
Re: Is this pro wiring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Every time I try to cheat on an electrical project, it bites me in the butt. For example, I had a professionally installed tank level gauge that wasn't working. It had 12v power for lights and the monitor leads. I replaced the gauge and the sensor at the tank, but decided at the last minute to reuse the wiring (I had actually purchased all new colored wiring for the job). It's never worked properly! Going to be fully redone this spring and I deserve the waste of time. It should have been done right in the first place. Always start electrical projects from the source and know its right. Safer too.
While I'm not cheap, and believe in doing things correctly, I found myself taking shortcuts when it came to marine electrical work, like not using marine grade wire and connectors. This was due to not wanting to get fleeced at a marine supply. While my work was better than anything that had been done on my boat (and was certainly better than the work in the OP!), I never felt good about it.

I found this online supply Marine Wiring, Boat Cable and Electrical Genuinedealz.com on this forum and like to spread the word.

It's funny...I now find doing the job correctly enjoyable, now that I'm not getting screwed. Highly recommended.
02-17-2014 07:39 PM
OPossumTX
Re: Is this pro wiring?

Having everything nicely tied with wire ties and the harness neatly bundled can make heating problems and cross talk issues real bears to sort out. I have fought these problems in marine and industrial installations. That does not mean the wiring has to look like a backlash on a casting reel. It does mean that things often work better and are easier to figure out if the different circuits can be kept separate as much as possible.

Have FUN! (This is supposed to be fun isn't it?)
O'
p.s. How'd I get to be a "Senior Member"? The only qualification I have is that I am an old fart. Is that all it takes?
01-14-2013 01:26 PM
hellosailor
Re: Is this pro wiring?

L-
It wasn't done by a licensed electrician, that's for sure. I see a red butt splice hanging in space, no harness wrap, no wires secured to the hull, everything hanging in space. No drip loops on the wires, some quite the contrary, and open daylight on the left which means water ingress as well.
Looks more like something the average car audio/alarm installer would have done, good for 3-5 years and then problematic. If the crimps are adhesive filled and heat shrink, ok, maybe. If they're just dime-store crimps...Just get the warranty in writing and figure it will take you a half day to really clean it up right. It probably really is an "average" job, sad to say. But letting the wrenches do wiring, or requiring them to do it, is sadly the norm and one skill set does not necessarily mean the guy will have the other.
01-13-2013 09:13 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Is this pro wiring?

Every time I try to cheat on an electrical project, it bites me in the butt. For example, I had a professionally installed tank level gauge that wasn't working. It had 12v power for lights and the monitor leads. I replaced the gauge and the sensor at the tank, but decided at the last minute to reuse the wiring (I had actually purchased all new colored wiring for the job). It's never worked properly! Going to be fully redone this spring and I deserve the waste of time. It should have been done right in the first place.

Always start electrical projects from the source and know its right. Safer too.
01-13-2013 08:10 AM
smurphny
Re: Is this pro wiring?

That is dangerous. It should be fused within 7" of the battery to meet USCG specs. If it's 18ga wire, it can only take around 10 amps which could be exceeded by something like big a hand-held spotlight. Even small inverters need substantial sized wiring. If I recall correctly, the little 600w. unit I installed called for #6. I mounted a small fuse block within legal distance to battery bank to handle things like radios and inverter that are better run directly to battery. If you have radios, make sure you get a pure sine wave inverter because inverters put out a lot of Rf interference. Use of ferrite chokes can cut down on it but interference is a problem even with pure sine wave inverters.
01-13-2013 03:23 AM
MarkSF
Re: Is this pro wiring?

I just found that the "cigarette lighter"-type power outlet in the cabin is powered straight off the batteries. It has a 20ft run of what looks like 18 gauge wire, unfused. I was going to run an inverter off it, now I'm too scared.

What's the best way to wire a small inverter in? I was thinking of connecting it to a spare breaker, it's a 10A one so I'll be limited to 120W from the inverter but that's OK for me. The inverter is to power a 19" LCD TV and DVD player, maybe charge the odd battery too (like the handheld VHF)
01-07-2013 11:19 PM
Jgbrown
Re: Is this pro wiring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
A lot of really great points
I'm actually going to save your post on my computer to re-read, a lot of very valuable advice, thanks!

+1 about the harness, Your point about standards is exactly what I was trying to say, but more articulate :-) Changing a stock harness to make it neater and better than factory, takes time and money. Many of the boats are wired without using tinned wire, without labeling, with big loops and bunches of wire that aren't secured nicely etc. It would be nice to be allowed to change it, but it is the customer's choice, we can recommend, suggest and explain their options but it isn't fair to them to force those decisions when it doesn't impact safety or regulations IMO. The same goes for finishing work, a customer who wants to DIY things that aren't directly related to our work is welcome to do so, though it might later seem to reflect on our standards when someone else sees it. It might be worth checking with the shop to see what parts they did, we have detailed work logs for example, and have had buyers in the past ask us about jobs that were done to the boats.





Re: the insurance, it was not very nice, we weren't going to have a choice. As soon as their boats were damaged(one leaking rainwater, and one fire) they decided our work was the cause, and barred us from accessing the boats, instead of simply asking us to look at it. They hired expensive restoration companies to do an assesment, and called us to tell us that our insurance had better be up to date because they were coming after us for the expenses of the restoration as it was our fault, and they were looking forward to all new carpet etc. No way we could have afforded it without insurance.

Thankfully, since both issues were with things we'd never touched and the issue was obvious in each case. Right away they called us and tried to get discounts on the repairs for their long term loyalty as customers.


I've actually generally had much more pleasant experiences with smaller sailboats like mine, while finances are often a concern, we can always work around costs with creative solutions, and it's much nicer to work with them.
The big powerboats tend to have much more stressful owners. I sometimes suspect that it's the nature of the personality you need to succeed in many of their chosen careers. Not all of course, but the ratio of stressful:sensible customers is much different.
It can be managed but it always takes time and a lot of energy.
One burnt 3 other shops in a row once we'd caught on and kept ahead of his game and were getting paid for the work.
01-07-2013 09:35 PM
smurphny
Re: Is this pro wiring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
I've seen some really OCD wiring that had tie wraps every 6" or even less - they would be an absolute nightmare if you had to try to remove a single wire. Better to put them in looms of some sort like that corrugated split conduit used in cars. It even comes in colours now so you can separate circuits for when they approach the panel.
I try to get wires into conduit wherever I can. That cheap flexible blue stuff works pretty well, although it's not split so wires have to be disconnected to get 'em in. I threaded my battery cables through the stuff (1/2")which worked out really well. Big cable like that running any distance with just the wire insulation always scares me. I've had interference problems with my depth finder wires being wrapped in with other wires.
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