Electric circuit modifications - SailNet Community
 6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 01-02-2019 Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 65
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 10
 
Electric circuit modifications

OK, next question regarding the new to me 1982 Catalina 30:

Current arrangement:
VHF on same circuit as cabin lights (not sure why. . . probably been that way for many years).
Knotmeter on its own circuit**
Depth sounder on its own circuit**
**Binnacle compass light on same circuit as either knotmeter or depth sounder. . . I need to check next time at boat)

I've read various things about VHF--that it belongs on its own circuit, that it should be direct to battery, etc. Similarly, I read somewhere that depth sounder should be on its own circuit. I don't know why this is the case, perhaps the VHF can cause (or is susceptible to) interference.

At any rate, here's what I'd like to do. I don't think I'd be overloading any circuit.
Combine knotmeter and depthsounder (and compass light) into ONE circuit.
Move VHF to the newly freed-up circuit (now on its own).
Bonus: the compass light wires are tantalizing and right at the helm. I'd love to tap into these with waterproof crimp/adhesive heat shrink (nice Ancor brand stuff) and add 12V outlet to power iPad at helm.

Comments?
jnorten is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 01-02-2019
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 19,207
Thanks: 82
Thanked 538 Times in 515 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
Re: Electric circuit modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorten View Post
.....Comments?
Standard comment. 12v electrical fires are the number one cause of fires aboard boats, by far.

Be sure you are certain about codes and proper installations. Not sure there is enough data in your post on amp draws, distances, wire sizes and breaker sizes to answer your question. I'm not a pro, I have to look all this stuff up every time.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Minnewaska is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 01-02-2019
Master Mariner
 
capta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
Posts: 6,939
Thanks: 135
Thanked 365 Times in 353 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: Electric circuit modifications

Absolutely the only thing, IMO, that one could possibly want wired directly to the batteries (with a fuse in the line) would be your electric bilge pump. Please notice that I said could possibly want because that is the case, and I prefer not to do this. However, we do not ever turn off our main 12 volt electrics when we leave the boat, as some do.
Your VHF is a fairly high draw item for a small boat and should be appropriately wired (appropriate wire size for the wire length) to its own circuit breaker.
chef2sail likes this.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

facebook.com/svskippingstone
capta is online now  
 
post #4 of 20 Old 01-02-2019
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Bahamas
Posts: 3,209
Thanks: 3
Thanked 122 Times in 120 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Re: Electric circuit modifications

Learn if the compass light wiring will safely carry enough juice for ipad.
RegisteredUser is online now  
post #5 of 20 Old 01-02-2019
Senior Member
 
BarryL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,241
Thanks: 4
Thanked 113 Times in 108 Posts
Rep Power: 16
 
Re: Electric circuit modifications

Hey,

You current set up seems strange to me. Why would you want to turn on the cabin lights just to turn on the VHF?

I *PREFER* to have similar items on a single breaker. For example. I have a switch labeled 'instruments' and it turns on my plotter, depth, wind, and knot / log. I have a separate breaker switch for 'VHF'.

My compass light is turned on when I turn on the 'running lights'. Why would you want the compass light on during the day?

My last point, I don't think the compass light wiring would be sufficient to power a cigarette lighter. Those can typically power 10 amp or higher devices. The compass light wires I have seen are tiny, and probably could not supply more than 1amp without overheating.

If you want to make modifications to your boat please do some more research and be careful to do things the right way. I would suggest that if you want 12V power at the helm that you run new wires from the panel to the pedestal. It won't be that difficult and you will learn a lot more about your boat.

Good luck,
Barry
chef2sail likes this.

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
BarryL is online now  
post #6 of 20 Old 01-02-2019
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 18
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Electric circuit modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
My last point, I don't think the compass light wiring would be sufficient to power a cigarette lighter. Those can typically power 10 amp or higher devices. The compass light wires I have seen are tiny, and probably could not supply more than 1 amp without overheating.
Easy solution: don't install a cigarette lighter. Install a USB port. That only draws about 1A (at 12V to produce 2.1A at 5 V). Or if it is a dual USB outlet: 2A maximum. Even 16 gauge wire is sufficient for this.

Like the Blue Sea Systems dual USB outlet. That is what I installed in one of my NavPods.

But like Barry said, you are still better off running it as a separate (fuse protected) wire.
BarryL and RegisteredUser like this.
TimMarks is online now  
post #7 of 20 Old 01-02-2019
Senior Member
 
contrarian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 342
Thanks: 6
Thanked 21 Times in 20 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: Electric circuit modifications

Vhf should be on an isolated circuit.
You could most likely combine the instruments and compass binnacle light on another circuit.
12 volt receptacles are nice but you need to make sure the feed wire is properly sized for amperage as well as voltage drop.
contrarian is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 01-03-2019
Master Mariner
 
capta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
Posts: 6,939
Thanks: 135
Thanked 365 Times in 353 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: Electric circuit modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimMarks View Post
Like the Blue Sea Systems dual USB outlet. That is what I installed in one of my NavPods..
How the devil do you keep the USB port from corroding away? I never take my computer topside and the USB ports corrode like mad. I'm down to 1 from 4 on this computer.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

facebook.com/svskippingstone
capta is online now  
post #9 of 20 Old 01-03-2019
Senior Member
 
SanderO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northport, NY
Posts: 2,909
Thanks: 2
Thanked 77 Times in 77 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Electric circuit modifications

You got a mess to sort out. I would begin with a new circuit panel. Decide on how many circuits you. The switches on the panel could be breakers or have separate breakers. Order a panel with several spares as you may get new equipment that you want to isolate.

This is a place to start:

https://panelwizard.bluesea.com/

an example:

https://www.bluesea.com/products/837...s_White_Toggle

This is high quality reliable gear and their systems are adaptable/flexible. I personally would not mix AC and DC though they offer these panels too. My AC panel have only a few items and is separate.
You may be able to re use your old panel, but it's probably a good idea to upgrade that.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
SanderO is online now  
post #10 of 20 Old 01-03-2019
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 1,639
Thanks: 19
Thanked 106 Times in 103 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Electric circuit modifications

Lots of good advice. Likely, but not guaranteed, most of these changes would work. I'd be most concerned about adding to the binnacle circuit, as this is probably a fairly low amperage lamp in the compass, and maybe fed by a pretty thin wire that could be overloaded with a cig. lighter plug where 10 amp devices might be powered.

It sounds like some hay wiring was done to this boat. Very common when a boat's been thru many owners over many years. I'd run through everything, figure out what the amp ratings of the circuit breakers are, look at the gauge of the wires to each device, and look at the amp ratings of the loads, and make sure everything is within spec. Electrical fires can ruin your whole day.

Good luck.
capecodda is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mast Modifications Sue & Larry Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 03-15-2002 07:00 PM
Modern Modifications Dan Dickison Racing Articles 0 07-11-2001 08:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome