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Old 30-10-2008, 22:24   #1
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New rewire contimplated this winter and...

I need some advice.
I want to rewire the entire boat, 12v as well as 110v with a new 50amp shore power connector, new distribution panels, new batteries, and all new tinned wiring.
I had this in mind in the distant future, but replacing my propane solonoid control with new one, brought to light the fact that the 25 year old wiring is old, tired and in many places corroded. And since I am adding a bunch of high demand electrical devices to this boat like additional a/c, convection microwave, 2 electric macerating toilets and 2 purasan units, I figured it made sense to do it now. Plus, I don't care for the current setup where the a/c side and d/c side are bunched together in the engine room and there are no ways to add on.

But the question is...

it will take me a while to complete this task, and really I don't want to have a boat that has no bilge pump capacity during that time, so what is the best way to hook up essential systems during this. The boat will be in water, except when the large grounding plate is installed, so what is the best way. I have 100 amp solar panels, should I just wire them to the battery bank and the bilge pump to the batteries for now?
I expect this project to take, oh about 10 times longer than I plan so being able to pump out the boat is mighty important.


any other suggestions is appreciated.
Bob
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:49   #2
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Not trying to be cute or mean. But I did mine and you will need several 12volt books and lots of paper. Sit down and figure out what you want and do it on paper first. I would follow ABYC as much as you can. Every book I read added on the last I did not find one book that gave a good explanation on everything. Some were better than others, but each was better at some point than another. Suggest Payne and calder. I bought a lot off e-bay and at half the price of WM including shipping. I spent $$$ on things that I did not need or needed bigger or better. Figure out what you need. See whats out there and compare prices and good luck my friend it can be a huge job. But you will know where everything is. I could not believe the in-line fuses I found buried in the wiring the PO had installed that I would never have found.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:37   #3
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First, wire the bilge pumps to the existing battery bank with in-line fuses. Now that part of your worries is over.

Second, get familiar with a spreadsheet program such as Excel.

Next, jot down a list of all the AC and DC circuits you think you'll need now and add some spares for the future.

Make a list of all the AC and DC things that will be hooked up, put them in their associated circuit columns, determine the maximum currents they will need, and the likeliest amount of use they will get in 24 hours.

Estimate how far the wire run TO AND FROM the unit to the breaker panel. Put that in a column on the spreadsheet.

Use the West Marine wire calculator, or other source, to figure how big the wires will have to be to have no more than 3% voltage drop.

Now, you know if you need to add some more circuits to handle the amounts of current you envision. You'll also have a better idea of the battery bank, alternator size, etc., for your dream circuit, or else you'll have to compromise.

Create a wire identification code that works for you, then label each and every wire you string with the code, at each end. By the time you are finished with your project, you will have forgotten what those wires in that mystery bundle really were meant to service.

Don't try to save money on cheap wire, or smaller wire. The advantage of the current economic downturn is that copper is going to be a little cheaper for awhile. Think of your purchases as putting gold bars away in the bilge.

I started doing my electrical rewire several years ago, using this process. It saved me lots of money, time and frustration. I completely replaced every wire in the boat, went from six DC circuits to sixteen, doubled the battery bank capacity, and now have an early 21st century system, including Link 2000 monitor to keep track of what's going on.
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Old 02-11-2008, 23:28   #4
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Thanks. Great suggestions.
I have read pretty much everything there is out there on marine wiring. But no one book really gives me the step by step info I need. The PO's have wired this boat plus factory so that I can't figure out whats going on. So yeah its got to be done for my piece of mind.
The excel spreadsheet is a great idea.
I am going with pacer wire from best boat wire, and blue sea systems distribution panels and fuses. Trojan t105's or 145's, depending on price. And I'll keep my freedom 15 inverter, and the galvanic isolator. But most of the wire on board is old, corroded, and not safe.
Thanks for the input.
Bob
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:09   #5
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Wiring Diagram

When I rewired my boat I first made a wiring diagram. I literally followed every wire then used Microsoft VSIO to create a wiring diagram. I updated it as I added or replaced wires and components. After, I printed the diagarm and sealed it in a large ziploc. Many times I've had to come back to check how something is wired. The attachment is my wiring diagram.
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:29   #6
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Very nice diagram phiggins.
Not a criticism; but I would have added wire numbers, at each end of each run.
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:43   #7
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I remember going down this road awhile back. Have a look at this thread...

Starting from Scratch

Lotta guys chimed in and helped out as I worked on the electrical design for our boat (still a work in progress but it might give you a few ideas)...
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfnbw View Post
. I have 100 amp solar panels,
Bob
You must have a floating greenhouse

Richard
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:10   #9
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I also rewired the 12-volt systems on a couple pocket cruisers. With some basic reading and planning as mentioned in above posts, it wasn't that hard. Once I had the materials it only took a few days. The time suck was mostly in figuring out old wiring and access, not the actual wiring itself.

One thing that I'm really glad I did was to make the wires behind the panel long enough I could pull the whole thing out and lie it down back side up so everything was viewable and accessable.

A few ways to go on the bilge pump to have it operational when everything else is off: 1. Wire it to it's own breaker, but with a separate manual switch. 2. Wire it so it's on automatic when ever the batter switch is on, but circuit board is off. You can use an inline fuse to protect it.

Be careful with 110. A mistake there may kill you instead of being a learning experience. The worst thing I ever saw in my life was a guy electrocute himself on a boat at my local marina.
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Old 20-11-2008, 20:39   #10
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Thanks for the responses. I am getting closer to my system, and intend to start wiring in January.

More questions.
I have decieded to go with one 50 amp shore power inlet. Yes I know that it will be substantaly more expensive, but its what I have at my dock, and more and more marina's are going to it.

So the question is, how do I best wire this. I intend at some point in the future to add a genset, So I figure a AC source panel would be good, but I need 50 amps.
So do I go with a system like this with a blue sea ac source panel then to 2 blue sea 8059's ? one for high loads like ac (2) and water heater, and outlets on the other side of it, wired to the inverter.
The issue I see with this is it has one 50 amp breaker and 2 30 amp breakers, and I would want them to be all 50 amp. Since my shore power is 120240 50 amp, I would use one hot wire for one panel, and the other for the other panel.
am I missing something here?













The other option I was thinking about is using a single main 50 amp breaker and then splitting the load using a blue sea 9077 switch and then 2 distribution panels. Cost is higher with this though.
Any thoughts on this... pics are large sorry, couldn't resize them.
Thanks.
bob
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Old 20-11-2008, 21:51   #11
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Use both. One is the big gun to select the source of power. The other to select which circuits to shut down when you haven't the juice to supply it.
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Old 21-11-2008, 03:29   #12
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Here's my simple AC wiring diagram:
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Old 21-11-2008, 16:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
Here's my simple AC wiring diagram:
Thanks.
I wasn't contemplating using the new blue sea 360 system, mostly because I thought it was a dealer supplied system only.
But I found at least one source for it. Seems to be a little easier to wire up for my situation.

Roy the rotary switch and the main select are the same thing only implemented in different ways. My main question is wiring the hot wires across the different setups. On a 120/240v shorepower, there are 2 hots, a ground and a neutral.
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Old 21-11-2008, 16:45   #14
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check out e-bay Great prices on wire. many blue sea stuff also.
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Old 21-11-2008, 17:27   #15
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Don't know if you are interested, but these are the folks who I purchased panels from BASS | Electrical Control Panels and Power Distribution Panels for the Marine and Specialty Vehicle Industries they were very helpful with design and install.
Oh yeah, good luck
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