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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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