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Does anybody out there have any good recommendations for literature on wiring a boat from scratch that could be understood by someone with almost no electrical background (im talking i barely know the difference between ac and dc)? Books would be great and websites would be great in the meantime while i get the book mailed to me. Thanks!
 

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The Marine Electrical and Electronics Bible
John Payne

Sailboat Electrics Simplified
By Don Casey

Sailboat Electrics Simplified, Casey


12 volt bible

Any thing from John Payne

Read, study, mark everything!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Marine Electrical and Electronics Bible
John Payne

Sailboat Electrics Simplified
By Don Casey

Sailboat Electrics Simplified, Casey


12 volt bible

Thanks for the reply. Are these things i can find at your average borders book store, or will i just want to order online?
 

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Another good book is Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical & Electrical Manual.

It's pretty readable and fairly easy to understand. Covers both electrical and mechanical systems on boats.

If you have a local vocational school, you might want to take a course on basic electrical systems, where you'll learn to use a volt-ohm meter and other such useful things. Be aware that what works on land, doesn't always apply on a boat.

For instance, a house is often wired with Romex solid wire. A boat really needs to be wired with tinned marine-grade stranded wire. Solid wire fatigues readily under vibration, and will break shortly thereafter. Untinned wire can corrode badly in a marine environment. Household wiring uses wire nuts... which aren't a good idea on a boat. They're a corrosion point as well as something that may come loose due to vibration. ABYC standards say crimped connections are the way to go. Using crimp terminals with adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing is probably the best way to go.
 

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Making Ready
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Here is some of what I've come to be familiar with in re-wiring our boat. It's not so much a reading list as a topic list:
Voltage drop chart (3% or if you must, 10% - Casey or Blue Sea or Genuinedealz or many others); wire protection (circuit breakers, fuses); ampacity of wires and devices; terminations - uninsulated terminals matched to screw/stud diameter); heat shrink tubing (adhesive lined, color coded; labeling topics both ends of the wire (Dymo Rhino shrink tubing); tools (racheting crimper, long handled crimper, hammer or vise anvil for larger wire sizes, propane torch/soldering iron for soldering terminations); vendors (genuinedealz.com, sherco.com); mechanical supports - clamps, expandable tubing, spiral organizer stuff, stainless steel, phillips, pan head sheet metal screws by the box, plastic wire ducts; and thoughtful layout of circuits, including similar functions, ergonomics, neatness and attractiveness , and short path routing. That's some for D.C. A.C. is another topic.
Doug
 

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Boatowners Illustrated Electrical Handbook

by Charlie Wing, IMHO, is better than Calder's book for just electrical. You can probably get a peek inside both at Amazon
 

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best terminations?

On one end of things are two wires stripped and twisted together with fingers and maybe (delux) some tape wrapped around it.

On the other end, imho, are simple uninsulated, tinned, copper terminals that are crimped with a simple, professional grade crimping plier (Klein). Then soldered, then covered with adhesive lined shrink tubing. Works from 16g to 4/0 (anvil crimper for #8 and up)

The down side of my prefered method is that it is relatively labor intensive. I've tried nylon insulated terminals (don't seal), ready to go crimp terminals with heat shrink tubing attached (can't solder) and very fancy crimp terminals with a band of solder inside an attached heat shrink insulation (expensive and not always a good result).

Doug
 

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BTW, I'd highly recommend reading Maine Sail's page on crimp termination of marine wiring and such... fascinating read with pretty pictures to drive the points home. LOCATED HERE.

Does anybody out there have any good recommendations for literature on wiring a boat from scratch that could be understood by someone with almost no electrical background (im talking i barely know the difference between ac and dc)? Books would be great and websites would be great in the meantime while i get the book mailed to me. Thanks!
 

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crimped....Then soldered...
No offense Doug, but I'd say no to soldering the crimp terminals. The OP said that he's new to this and, I don't know if you've had to refit any soldered electronics but it takes a light touch with the heat to do it properly. I assume it's earnesty, but most everyone overheats the wire, causing the solder to draw too far up. This creates a hard spot that will break under vibration. For someone who's good with an iron, sure...but definitely not for someone who's learning as he goes.

Catfish, about the only other thing I might add to the great info here is that you have a chance to develop good habits because you're starting new. The thing that I would suggest is to start thinking of yellow as the color for DC negative wires, not black. The industry is slowly changing over because one of the three colors universally used in AC wiring is black. With inverters becoming so cheap, AC is becoming far more common alongside DC wiring because you can have a few more of the creature comforts. The ABYC is slow to change, but they're recommending it now, so it won't be long before the manufacturers who wish to comply will change as well.

Oh yeah, and definitely check out the 'Resources' section of the Blue Sea website...

Cheers and good luck!
 

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Deadeye's point about soldering and about using YELLOW for the DC ground wires are both excellent ones. Also, don't use a Klein crimper, since you can get much better results using the ratcheting crimper sold HERE. It is basically the same as the Ancor beastie, but costs a good deal less. However, it is designed for use with heat shrink covered single crimp terminals, not the more common nylon/PVC insulated terminals that require a double crimp tool. You can get the heat-shrink terminal fittings at that same website at a relatively reasonable price.
 
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