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Old 15-02-2017, 15:17   #1
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Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

My electrician from my restaurant said that UF grade cable is a fine substitute for marine grade (just a fraction of the price)

I think I bought this wire:
Southwire 100 ft. 10-3 Gray Solid UF-B Wire-13059123 - The Home Depot

Just wanted to double check here to make sure I'm not going to run into any problems with this. The wire is primarily for the interior of the boat. Some will be used to run outlets to the Engine room in the storage space below the cockpit. I am running 2 outlets there for battery chargers and plugging in power tools while working on the boat while shrink wrapped.

I will also likely be re-running this wire to my exterior lights.

I should be fine right?
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Old 15-02-2017, 15:32   #2
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

This wire would Not be considered " marine" in any sense. It's solid (should be multistrand) and also not tinned. Could you get away with it? probably- the
multistrand is most critical IMO.--
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Old 15-02-2017, 16:33   #3
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

Yeah, no worries. Get his advice on the rigging while you'r at it.
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Old 15-02-2017, 17:12   #4
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

Yeah.....ummmmm.....no.
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Old 15-02-2017, 18:29   #5
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

Is there something you recommend? And where to get it. Or should I just suck it up and go to west marine and get a spool of red and a spool of black?

Also what gauge should I be using?

Most of the wiring in running is from a paneltronics panel:

http://www.hodgesmarine.com/Paneltro...jqeniramsegdoh

To power outlets and my stereo tomorrow.

Installing a new sanitation and fresh water system down the road.

Don't have much in the way of any other electronics yet.

Why is braided wire so imperative? I'm trying to understand, not just be told no without any suggestions or reasoning.
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Old 15-02-2017, 18:35   #6
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

Braided withstands the vibration / movement on a boat MUCH better than solid. In a house, the wire isn't being jostled around like it is on a boat.
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Old 15-02-2017, 18:35   #7
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

No UF.. Agree with everyone, It should be stranded and ideally tinned. though tinning is not the end all, as I have a tiny bit of untinned also in good shape. Plus all yanmar wiring that I've seen is un-tinned.

With that said, some of my 110V wiring is solid UF romex from the 70's and the wire is still clean and at least not corroded. It's also well supported and like the rest of the rose built like a tank.

I really need to replace that real soon now, too. Mind you, I'm not condoning romex, but there is a tiny bit (less then 10 feet ish total) on the Rose that still works after 40+ years. I'm an engineer so at least am aware of the issues. All my 12V wiring is the good stuff.
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Old 15-02-2017, 18:37   #8
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

Please review the following articles regarding wire size and DC wiring. Defender is a little bit less expensive than Westmarine, but if you have an outlet near you, you can save on shipping:

Marine Wire Size and Ampacity
Marine DC Wiring Basics
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Old 15-02-2017, 18:39   #9
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

Tinned is for corrosion resistance. Tinned wire will hold up much longer than straight copper. Copper will corrode to some black, flaky stuff eventually.

As for source, I'm a huge fan of genuinedealz.com. Great quality, price and free shipping. Just ordered 60' of 0/2 cable from them.
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Old 15-02-2017, 18:44   #10
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

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Originally Posted by fallingeggs View Post
Tinned is for corrosion resistance. Tinned wire will hold up much longer than straight copper. Copper will corrode to some black, flaky stuff eventually.

As for source, I'm a huge fan of genuinedealz.com. Great quality, price and free shipping. Just ordered 60' of 0/2 cable from them.
Also recommend Marine Wiring, Boat Cable and Electrical Genuinedealz.com. Best prices and free shipping.
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Old 15-02-2017, 20:29   #11
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

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Originally Posted by FutureStories View Post
get a spool of red and a spool of black?

Also what gauge should I be using?

To power outlets and my stereo tomorrow.

Installing a new sanitation and fresh water system down the road.
Are you going to wire the outlets in Red and black? Were you planning to run the 3 conductor Home Depot wire to your dc stuff? You are clueless and scary. Don't touch your stuff or your electrician
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Old 15-02-2017, 21:05   #12
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

Thanks for all the links guys. Gonna re-up my gear and pick the guys brain @ west marine. Should be able to make sure I've got something safe at the end. Tomorrow is mostly layout anyway. Definitely gonna check out a few of those books.

Would like to become self sufficient so I can start cruising in a few years for weeks at a time instead of overnights. Electric is definitely my weak point.
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Old 15-02-2017, 22:56   #13
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

Electric is pretty simple, really. But you have to follow the rules. If not, you or someone else down the road will pay, and payment can be small, like ruining electronics or other devices, or bigger, including losing the boat due to fire and explosion, and the ultimate- death by electrocution. Get a really good book and read the whole thing. Once you get the rules and installation concepts down, and understand the way things work, it will become easy and fun. Until then, don't mess with it. Even one oversight can lead to the nasties I mentioned. Good luck with your learning!
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Old 16-02-2017, 03:22   #14
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureStories View Post
Thanks for all the links guys. Gonna re-up my gear and pick the guys brain @ west marine. Should be able to make sure I've got something safe at the end. Tomorrow is mostly layout anyway. Definitely gonna check out a few of those books.

Would like to become self sufficient so I can start cruising in a few years for weeks at a time instead of overnights. Electric is definitely my weak point.
Unless you happen to get lucky West Marine is probably not where you need to learn electric. This is an area where a mistake can be costly, in terms of damage to boat or in the case of 110 V AC, deadly.

Wire things wrong and you could cause stray current corrosion that can destroy your prop shaft or through hulls, burn up electronics, burn up the boat or electrocute someone.

From your questions I think you need to do some serious study before taking off in major electrical projects.

For one thing, one size fits all isn't appropriate for wiring. Devices that draw more power need bigger wires but it's expensive and difficult to use big wires for everything. Wire needs to be sized for the load and also how long the wire run is from the battery to the load.

I agree with learning to do your own boat work and being self sufficient but get a couple of books and read up before you jump into the deep end of the pool.
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Old 16-02-2017, 03:28   #15
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Re: Wiring Question (is UF cable fine for marine grade)

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
No UF.. Agree with everyone, It should be stranded and ideally tinned. though tinning is not the end all, as I have a tiny bit of untinned also in good shape. Plus all yanmar wiring that I've seen is un-tinned.

With that said, some of my 110V wiring is solid UF romex from the 70's and the wire is still clean and at least not corroded. It's also well supported and like the rest of the rose built like a tank.

I really need to replace that real soon now, too. Mind you, I'm not condoning romex, but there is a tiny bit (less then 10 feet ish total) on the Rose that still works after 40+ years. I'm an engineer so at least am aware of the issues. All my 12V wiring is the good stuff.
My 1984 boat was wired with plain vanilla stranded copper wire (AC and DC) and the majority of it is still in perfect condition. I am using tinned "marine" grade wire for all the stuff I replace but don't see any need to rip out anything that's still good because it isn't tinned.

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned (that I'm sure you know), marine wire is very fine stranded compared to regular commercial stranded wire; more flexible and more resistant to vibration.
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