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Old 31-07-2014, 18:52   #31
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Re: Boat Rewire

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Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Terra,
Why does aluminum make a better panel.
My un-educated guess would assume using metal conducting panels a poor choice.
Isn't plastic the safer? Easier to work with? Will it become brittle over the years?
Thanks
Should I return and switch out for plastic?





Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Black Plexiglas is easier. But aluminum makes a better panel.

Interesting, I've never thought of that.


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Old 31-07-2014, 18:56   #32
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Re: Boat Rewire

Well guys, I've removed every bit of wire that used to be on the boat. The only wire remaining is for the gauges and in the mast. It was impressive how much wire went nowhere! And how much was wasted.

I've got new LED lights that are going throughout the cabin. other than that, the running lights and navigation lights are already LED.

I stripped everything within a few hours. I'm sure that was the easiest part. Haha

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Old 31-07-2014, 19:58   #33
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Re: Boat Rewire

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Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Thanks for the link. Is expresssch a program?
If so, does it require lengths of wire runs, anticipated amps required for devices etc? I'm very curious, I have very little electrical knowlege and have a growing passion to rewire my Westsail. I used to be very intimidated with this subject but over the past few years am very excited for the project.
The tool has the ability to define the parameters you describe but it is not necessary. I can also do a circuit continuity check to make sure everything is hooked up although I am not using either functionality.

I am using it as an "install" diagram to show here each wire in the system will run schematically.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SailerMatt View Post
Well guys, I've removed every bit of wire that used to be on the boat. The only wire remaining is for the gauges and in the mast. It was impressive how much wire went nowhere! And how much was wasted.

I've got new LED lights that are going throughout the cabin. other than that, the running lights and navigation lights are already LED.

I stripped everything within a few hours. I'm sure that was the easiest part. Haha

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Matt - Glad you are making progress. You can take a look at this thread to see the kind of junk I uncovered...

Pics of your work would be cool as we are doing very similar stuff.

BTW - I am installing conduit (don't have any pics of it yet) but it is the stuff that has a base channel with the cover that snaps on. Having all the wires in runs will make replacing/adding at a future data a lot easier.

Circuit, Wire, Fuse Size

From this thread you can see my interior mocking up - To me the interior build and wiring go hand in hand - gotta lay in the wire conduits considering where the cabinets are going to go.

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Old 01-08-2014, 02:31   #34
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Re: Boat Rewire

1/8" plex doesn't have much strength to resist cracking across the holes. I's OK for mounting 1 switch, for example. But look at what the pro's are using for distribution panels--aluminum--plenty strong, easy to work with, won't crack. And when you get to mounting battery switches, the forces from heavy cables and components would overwhelm most thin plastic.

Another thought...I like to have distribution panels hinge open for easy access to everything. A piece of heavy gauge piano hinge will usually do the job. Do this before wiring it, so you can allow a service loop.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:50   #35
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Re: Boat Rewire

Most CB's, switches etc., may not be able to be mounted in a thick panel without being flush or slightly depressed. Plastic has to be thick.
I do a lot of work with plexiglass with aircraft, and let me tell you it cracks easily especially when drilling it, and a panel requires a bunch of holes. If you go the plastic panel route, use a step drill, not a normal twist drill. You can buy special bits for plastic but I've had the most luck with a step drill bit.
Also oversize you screw holes that mount the panel, properly sized holes and it will crack at the mounting hole, and leave the mounting screws a little loose, snug them up good and you will crack the panel.
Go with Aluminum and avoid the issues
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Old 16-08-2014, 07:46   #36
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Re: Boat Rewire

I too have done a complete rewire. If you are not living on the boat do yourself a favor and just rip everything out and start over. Pay attention to the length of wire runs and use the right gauge of wire to avoid voltage loss. If you are new to this type of work you might want to buy Nigel Calder's BoatOwners electrical manual, it will cover every aspect of your install and help you to avoid some serious and potentially dangerous mistakes.
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