Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Boot Key Harbor, Marathon Fl
Thanked 27 Times in 25 Posts
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Re: Electrical Panels, DC/AC combo or Seperate DC, AC panels.
As usual I gotta go against the grain.... Shore power is shore power, and ships power is ships power and never the twain shall meet.
Simple 2 or 3 circuit AC panel is cheap, stand alone, and you never know when you might want to add something. (Tired of warm beer) . Easier to add an extra breaker or two at the begining than try to stuff em in in the future. If possible it is nice to have the AC and DC wiring physically seperated. 12 or 24 volt DC might melt a half moon out your screw driver, but 30A 120/240 Volt AC will bite you. If you need to trouble shoot, the panels are usually going to be "hot" so nice to know where you stand.
As far as DC, being old school I prefer fuses to breakers for DC circuits. New "blade" fuses are much more reliable than the old Buss glass tubes, available most everywhere in the world, and a lot easier to come by in Pago-Pago than a DC breaker. If you are tripping breakers or blowing fuses, find the fault. Again, plan for the unknown future... if 8 circuits are adequate, install 12. Leaves you spares for that equipment you find you just can't do without in the future. I use a BlueSea 5034 fuse block (surface mounted where it is EASY to get to in the middle of the night in 10' seas) 12 circuits with a nice cover and cheap.
One additional suggestion... before you buy or install anything, take the time to make up a schematic including all of your current and future circuits. Then after you build and install your new system, make an "as built" schematic and stick a copy in a zip lock inside your wiring space. It is a boat after all, and eventually something will go south. Several years later (no matter how logical and neat you are with your wiring) it is sure nice to have a reminder of what goes where.
Several shots of the DC panel and rewire on the Solitaire
"If the wind will not serve, lay to the oars"
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