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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, this is really basic electrical, but since I'm new to boat electrical stuff, please bear with me.

Our 1984 Sabre 34 has no 12v outlets--none whatsoever. As a temporary solution, we have a portable outlet connected to a battery, but we need to install permanent outlets.

For now, I'm planning on interior-only near our nav station (no cockpit plug at this time).

So to my question(s): First, how are 12v outlets typically wired into the DC system--by this I mean, do they go through the DC breaker panel? If so, on what circuit would they typically go? On their own "Outlets" circuit, along with "Cabin Lights", other?

I realize this might be personal preference, but I'd like to know what typical is before I do something different--at least I have a frame of reference.

Below is my current breaker panel, so I'm open to suggestions as to how best to incorporate. Note there are two "Cabin Lights" breakers (one forward half of boat, other aft half)--I could combine those maybe and free up something new?

Anyway, please let me know what's typical with 12v outlets, if there is such a "typical" treatment.
Thanks!
-J
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks night0wl and arf145 for the the info.

SD, I can probably use that spot for a 12v outlet breaker, but I'm also going to be adding refrigeration, so that'll need its own breaker too. While I may eventually replace the panels, like night0wl was talking about, I'm probably not doing that for a while.

However, sounds like most people either have the 12v outlets on a cabin lights circuit or on its own. Ideally, I'd have them on their own, but it might be cabin lights "aft" for now.

-J
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
you could also combine the compass light with the running lights, thats how it is on my boat, not saying my boat is right thou.
That's not a bad idea, actually. Every time I've used my running lights, I've used my compass light too. Good idea scottyt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I use a single 15 Amp breaker for my navigation lights (bow bicolor, stern light, steaming light, anchor light, tricolor light and foredeck light,) and the compass light. Since all of the fixtures are 25 watt or smaller, the total they could draw is less than 15 amps combined. I have a single wire coming off the panel to a six-switch fused panel, which gives the individual fixtures protection as required.

This would allow you to combine five of your existing breakers into a single breaker-compass light, running lights, masthead light, anchor light, and foredeck light-freeing up four breakers for you.

The switch panel I use is a Blue Sea WeatherDeck panel, which uses the mini-blade fuses.
Hey now I kind of like that idea. I could use some free "slots", and at least having all those lights on a separate panel would have some logic to it. Thanks for the food for thought!

Opening up would mean a slot for 12v outlets, refrigerations, and I could break out my stereo from the radar, gps, and VHF, which bugs me.

Thanks again!
-J
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey sailingdog, now that I think about it, although I see how the Bluesea fuse panel is sufficient for the job, why would I not just add a regular circuit breaker panel instead? I mean, my panels are not above decks, so I don't need the waterproofing. It would be only a little bit more $ for a Microlog panel, no?

Just thinking out loud...
-J
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think for me it will come down to whether or not I feel like I need additional circuit breakers for other uses, or a different configuration. If I simply add on to what I have, I think that SD's recommendation is a good one. If I start replacing what I have (which I was originally eliminating as a possibility), then I might use circuit breakers.

My set up currently has a separate panel, mounter lower down than the one in my original post that has just a volt meter on it and switch to view voltage on each bank.

However, that panel is large enough for a microlog DC panel with digital volt/ammeter plus 6 breakers. Might be worth replacing that panel so I'd have a better meter, plus 6 new breakers. Of course, that's not the cheaper way to go.

Thanks for the input everyone--I gained some valuable info, as usual.
-J
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
...My suggestion to youjoz is to look into the future when adding your panel. If in the next few years you will rewire and get things on seperate circuits which I recommend, buy an extra panel now and start. Each year you can add something similar to improve your whole system, like next year a similar brand panel with the battery meters and over a couple years upgrade the whole panel to new and have it uniform. Doing things piecemeal as opposed to a plan will make you wish you had later on....
I agree chef2sail. I'm definitely trying to plan ahead now for what I'll be doing over the next few years.
Thanks
-J
 
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