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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are people doing to add new, low draw things like led lamps and small fans that come with very small gauge wires?:confused: I've been adding pancake fans to move air through the dead air spaces on the boat and don't really want to rip the boat apart to run wires back to a central location. Usually I tie in to an existing circuit (12 or 14 ga) and I've been adding in-line fuses near the item but that's often difficult to hide and looks ugly.:( That tiny wire will overheat long before the existing breaker blows. Are you all adding sub panels and running new wiring all the way to them?
 

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Having supply wiring so large that it never gets hot is good in that there is less voltage
drop. However if the appliance goes flooey and goes up in flames --- flames are verry
bad on a sailboat. The individual fuses for the appliance is the first solution that comes
to mind. I like individual fuses better than long runs of small wire. However a small
wire will not make as big a fire even if it shorts out. Keep your supply lines well
protected no matter what the size. Solutions get more complex as they take into
account all the possible disasters that can occur. KISS.
 

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There isn't really an "easy" solution for this, only the "proper" solution.

Your method of piggy-backing onto other circuits with inline fuses may be a convenient installation method, but stuffing yourself into the voids to check for failed inline fuses and troubleshooting will be quite an inconvenience later.
It can also lead to an untidy spiderweb throughout the boat after a while.

Conversely, it's a big hassle to wire all of these devices up to a new, additional circuit(s) with their own breaker(s), but it'll pay dividends down the road when all you have to do is reset one or two breakers on your panel for testing and troubleshooting.

I don't have enough DC circuits on my switch panel, so I have a couple of piggy-backs. I'm going to upgrade the panel to a larger one and give these devices a home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The extra panels are the most elegant solution but a lot of work in a production boat.
Replacing in-line fuses is not a big deal with 1 fuse per fan or light wired very close to the item.
I think I'll use the in-line fuses until I finish adding stuff and then put in panels and a wiring harness.
 
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