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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wiring "Crawl Space"

I use "crawl space" for lack of a better term. It is certainly too small for any normal size person to crawl into.
Space under side deck and above cabinet storage.
I am referring to the space under the side decks through which electrical and electronic wiring will be routed. This might include, but not limited to:

  • 24v DC wiring
  • 12v DC wiring
  • 120VAC wiring
  • NMEA 2000 cable
  • CAT5 Ethernet (perhaps a couple runs)
  • control cabling for bow thruster, windlass, etc.
Bottom to top: settees, bookcase space (future), wire crawl space, side deck.
A small space has been partitioned off, between the mid section cabinet space and under the side decks, with half inch plywood. This space for the wiring, routed through up to 1 1/2 inch split loom conduit. There are three runs of conduit on both sides of the boat. The plywood panels have access doors and holes for ventilation and/or wire drops.
Looking up, trap door open,  the split loom conduit.
The idea is that, if I ever need to access the wiring, say run new wire or pull a bad one, I can simply empty the contents of the cabinets and open the trap doors to get at the conduit. This idea came to me from the experience of having to run wires on our small boat. There, if a new wire needed to be run, you had to  drill new holes in the bulkheads. And, getting a drill inside a small cramped place is not always possible.
Trap door closed. Ventilation/wire drop holes.
A number of the spaces and trap doors are large enough such that small electrical devices may be placed up in there, attached to the trap door face for easy access. Device examples would be ...

Control modules for digital switched distributed power such as these from Mastervolt:
Mastervolt single switch module

Mastervolt multiple switch module (this unit can switch ten devices).

NMEA 2000 cabling and multi-port boxes:
Maretron NMEA2000 multiport box

The plywood panels are not structural. They are held in with a few tapping screws for later removal if neccessary (example, the panels in the forward would need to be removed to access the chainplate nuts for chainplate removal).

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