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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How Not To Do Boat Wiring

Lessons Learned from The Small Boat Here are some pictures from the latest project on our 28 footer ("the small boat"). On the last day of our three week cruise last summer the battery charge terminal on the high-output alternator burnt up. Cause: terminal nut worked its way loose causing the cable lug to burn up from the heat. We had no charge capability and our house bank was running low and we had no spare electrical parts to fix (dohb!). Since we were one day away home from we just decided to motor home one day earlier (of course, diesels don't need a battery once they are started). Well, the boat has sat in its slip in this condition ever since. Meaning we haven't taken the boat out since then, which is really sad. With both of us feeling the urge to take out the boat on the next "reasonable" weekend, my ABYC certified electrician wife got on the task last weekend. She took the alternator to the repair shop to be checked out (it was fine, just needed a new terminal), made some new charge cables, and installed a high current fuse (between alternator and battery) recommended in the last boat survey. Happy boat. As for the Westsail, we will not have any cluster@%#$ of wiring like that shown in the second picture to the right, behind the alternator (yes, we are partially responsible for that).
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The Incredible Hull said...

OK, Obi-Wan Kenobi, how do you and your ABYC certified electrician wife plan to avoid "any cluster@%#$ of wiring like that shown", on your "new" boat. I'm so depressed at the prospect that I'm even looking at the Capi2 system.

rj said...

I guess we are on the same wavelength. Capi2 is a strong contender in my book. I have mentioned distributed power systems here before and am a firm believer that is the way to go. Traditional star wiring schemes will go the way of the dinosaur is my prediction.

I also like E-plex, especially for the high programmable geek factor, but it may be more than is practically necessary (in complexity and cost).