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Old 09-06-2010, 10:10   #1
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Cost Estimate to Rewire

I am looking at replacing the eletrical system on my boat and am weighing some different options. I have plenty of experience and a good understanding of marine electrical but free time to work on the boat is at a premium. Im wondering roughly what it would cost to pay a decent electrician to rewire the boat. Im okay with reusing some of the existing wire where it is still good and makes sense like cabin lighting, but would want good tinned wired for most of the other systems. Im thinking all new primary battery wiring, swithes, inverter charger wiring, distribution panels etc. Im guessing at about 30 breakers on the DC panel.

I guess Im wondering is this a 5,000-10,000 job (not including materials) or a 30,000-40,000 job? Boat is 43 foot ketch being set up for extended offshore cruising.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:27   #2
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Stillrainning had his Irwin 42 rewired for about 10K IIRC. Nice job too.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:28   #3
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Interesting. I know a few guys in town (annapolis) who do this work and are pretty good I just thought the labor on this sort of thing might be a lot more. Thanks,.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:53   #4
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With a very willing, able and capable owner doing much of the scut work, we rewired his 47' sailboat. When we started, the boat had the engine starting circuit and the windlass wiring installed. There was no other wire on the boat. Said owner had done a remarkable job in de-wiring the vessel.

Design, material procurement, and actual on the job, sweat dripping labor on my part was about 300 man-hours. I'm guessing that the on the job, sweat dripping labor on the owner's part was about 250 hours.

Boat was wired to ABYC and ISO standards.

Supply your own $/m-hr rate for the cost.

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Old 09-06-2010, 11:06   #5
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Thanks Charlie. So pulling out as much of the old crap is the way to go then? Im not against doing the job myself and access is actually pretty good in the boat. My big concern now is just how to get started? Im thinking I may put this off until the fall when I haul for the winter as Im guessing this is not a project you can really take on and still be able to use the boat much. I had considered trying to identify all of the exisiting mess and just clean things up and get some proper bus bars and terminal strips going but its just such a mess that it may make more sense to tear it all out and start over. Good to know the 300hr figure plus the 250 of owner time. That at least gets me an idea of what I might expect.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
Stillrainning had his Irwin 42 rewired for about 10K IIRC. Nice job too.
It will be closer to 15 when completed...parts and labor

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Originally Posted by SV Escape Plan View Post
Thanks Charlie. So pulling out as much of the old crap is the way to go then? Im not against doing the job myself and access is actually pretty good in the boat. My big concern now is just how to get started? Im thinking I may put this off until the fall when I haul for the winter as Im guessing this is not a project you can really take on and still be able to use the boat much. I had considered trying to identify all of the exisiting mess and just clean things up and get some proper bus bars and terminal strips going but its just such a mess that it may make more sense to tear it all out and start over. Good to know the 300hr figure plus the 250 of owner time. That at least gets me an idea of what I might expect.
FWIW...My electrician did not want me to remove anything before he started..but wanted to do it all himself...he said it helped him know the boat better tracing original runs. They had it all striped in 2 days....We did not have to do any of the overhead though so keep that in mind...He did have me strip the boat of every cabinet door, access hatches/covers, drawers and everything else not screwed down so the boat was completely empty...cushions you name it all gone...That took us a whole day for all 5 of us...Its amazing what you can cram in a 40 footer..

Replaced and relocated the breaker panels and battery switches and all associated cable runs, Rewired shore power from single whole boat sideded to duel 30 amp fore and aft seporate circut setup, installed a bat monitor, ACR, new bilge switches, engine gauges, and sailing instrument wiring, along with new A/C system wiring and control panels, ( Not including A/C system itself ) replace complete engine and gen set wiring harness..we were able to the used original True Charge 40 battery charger....replaced water, bilge and electric head motors/pumps..and he installed 3 new 12volt power outlets throughout the boat, one to forward birth and one to cockpit.

I have nothing but praises for the guy and have already referred him to a member on another forum whom had him do some some work on his boat with equally high praises.

Id post his link but that's probably not allowed here...Anyone interested can PM me for his info.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:48   #7
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300 hours.....7.5 weeks? $24,000 at prevailing labor rates?

Hoo-baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:49   #8
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Thanks Stillraining thats more or less what I need to do although I dont need to change panel locations. Now my next question for you is how long did this project take? And how much of it did you do yourself?

yeah Chief thats the Math I was doing myself. Electrical guys around here are getting every bit of $80/hr. Will probably be doing this one myself with some consultation.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:32   #9
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Escape Plan-
I would suggest working with a good marine electrician and have him design the system and build your bill of material. After that it is just connecting the dots.

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Old 09-06-2010, 12:35   #10
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Thats exactly my plan. Meeting with a guy next week to take a look. I will probably just try and tackle the primary wiring side up to the panel this summer then save the big rewire for the fall.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:45   #11
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300 hours.....7.5 weeks? $24,000 at prevailing labor rates?

Hoo-baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

$80/hour? Jeez! Don't tell that to the guys in England. When I hire in labor (electrical, plumbing, mechanical) here it costs 33 pounds per hour all-in, including VAT. That's about $46 at current exchange rates. And absolutely the most professional, superbly high quality work I've ever seen in all the various trades.

No wonder new boats, other than some production boats, are not longer made in the US of A.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:49   #12
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There are probably some cheaper guys around but $80 is about average. Riggers are getting 90-95 and engine guys over $100. yeah welcome to Annapolis, "Sailing Capital of the World", my ass. It is better than New England though. Many of the yards up there wont even let owners work on their own boats...
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:59   #13
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Thanks Stillraining thats more or less what I need to do although I dont need to change panel locations. Now my next question for you is how long did this project take? And how much of it did you do yourself?
He still cant finish as the yard has dropped the ball so may times we have lost count but the 2 of them were done in a week with the majority of it.

I cut the hole and mounted the new BlueSea panel , that is all I have done..He said he would hire me to do it for him on other peoples boats....he said he hates doing it as it makes him nervous....Im not afraid of wood...

I will build a removable wood cover/divider in the locker now, so no arrant tools or objects can smack the back side....Pretty isnt it?
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Old 09-06-2010, 18:03   #14
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Nice Job....I have made protective backs from Starboard...that allow air to circulate
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Old 09-06-2010, 18:45   #15
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Stillraining that is a nice job. I plan on redoing my own electrical panel in the next year or so. It is really untidy and there are alot of lights that are missing. Before I do it I am going to map out all of the electrical circuits on the boat to see where they are run to how many amps they are using and how many they need. I may install a new pannel like yours rather than try and fix the old one on my boat. If I were in PNW I would think of hiring it out like you did.
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