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Old 30-11-2017, 18:50   #1
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Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

We have a new Leopard 45 on order to be delivered next year, but will need to have our final options selected by sometime in December. I have been cruising the net, Googling, and reading these forums and believe that I have a reasonable idea of the electrical equipment I want to add to the boat. Realizing my limitations and the great expense to do this correctly the first time I have been searching for, unsuccessfully, an electrical engineer to help design the system, verify the ideas I already have, and potentially supply parts and installation. Preferably this person/organization will be in Ft Lauderdale, where the boat will be delivered and commissioned. I have had a dilly of a time finding one and the one I have found offering these services for a very reasonably $150 is basically non-responsive. Really. I have spent a solid month and probably 20 phone calls trying to get hold of the person who does this for them.

Anyway, I am looking for a vendor referral to provide the initial engineering and potentially the install. Have you any suggestions?
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Old 30-11-2017, 20:44   #2
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

Pretty sure he would not do the install but may do a design/consult. Unfortunately he is in Jacksonville.

Dave Rifkin, Retired Nuc sub commander, AMS, Marine Corrosion Analyst. Teaches Marine corrosion analysis and surveying marine electrical systems to marine surveyors. I've taken his courses and of the dozens I've taken over the years, Dave's are by far the best.
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Old 30-11-2017, 20:45   #3
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Pretty sure he would not do the install but may do a design/consult. Unfortunately he is in Jacksonville.

Dave Rifkin, Retired Nuc sub commander, AMS, Marine Corrosion Analyst. Teaches Marine corrosion analysis and surveying marine electrical systems to marine surveyors. I've taken his courses and of the dozens I've taken over the years, Dave's are by far the best.
Thank you. I will see who else comes up and look into contacting Dave soon. Perhaps he knows someone who could do an install.
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Old 30-11-2017, 20:52   #4
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

ooops , forgot about these people. I don't know them personally but they are in Lauderdale and appear to cover everything you are after. Wards Marine
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Old 30-11-2017, 21:08   #5
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

8 ) You don't want an electrical engineer. You want a good electrician.
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:25   #6
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
ooops , forgot about these people. I don't know them personally but they are in Lauderdale and appear to cover everything you are after. Wards Marine
EXPENSIVE, but EXCELLENT!
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Old 01-12-2017, 14:47   #7
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

I have to agree that Ward would be my choice too. Many years ago they did some work for me to solve an electrical load problem and they got it right first time. Excellent.
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Old 01-12-2017, 15:08   #8
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

Not in Tampa, but maybe worth giving a call for consultation. He's a CF member.

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Old 01-12-2017, 16:36   #9
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

Karl,

We have hooked up with Bruce Schwab from OceanPlant Energy. www.BruceSchwab.com He's a total rock star when it comes to design and knowledge. He's also very responsive.

He can design and program your systems. You would need to find an ABYC certified electrician for install. In our case the electrician is being supplied by the marina we are working in.

Dannalie
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:44   #10
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dannalie.
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:52   #11
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

Salt Service in Marathon, FL Keys has done complete rewires of all sorts of Catamarans, and can do anything you might want, from engineering, to supply and installation of any system that has a wire attached to it. I am not sure if they still have a certified Engineer on staff.

However, you should understand that this type of work, especially in S Florida is quite expensive. The labor rate when I was the Service Manager there 15 years ago was $100 per hour. The Electrical Engineer's labor rate was $150 per hour, minimum 4 hours (which was never enough on most jobs that required an EE.)

If you are simply adding systems, then you do not need an EE. You need a service and sales outfit that can do the work. Just Catamarans in Ft. Lauderdale can get you hooked up, and there are many other outfits in the area that can do the work without the services of an EE.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:08   #12
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Re: Referral for Electrical Engineering/Vendor

Thank you, everyone! I must apologize for my inattention to this thread after starting it as I did not get any notifications that it had responses and didn't look until I got a PM with some suggestions.

FWIW, I was able to contact the person referenced in the original post at the St Pete boat show this weekend and it looks like they know what they are doing. The whole industry has exploded in business recently and they were slow to respond as so many others have been because they can't keep up. I would say it is a good problem to have.

I have also been in contact with Ward's (and was previously as well) though I tried them two months ago, even making a visit to the shop, and after a couple of initial quotes that were incomplete I haven't heard from them again. As a note, I am not looking for cheap in any way, but as someone said, they are EXPENSIVE!!! Their quote on lithium batteries worked out to be about 5 times the quote from Just Catamarans.

To address a couple other comments, I have also been working with Just Catamarans and they are certainly going to do a lot of our work for us, maybe even the electrical install, but I really want to understand what I am doing and also maximize the efficiency of the system. JC has their way of doing things, but I tend to buck the trend as I am looking for every little tweak and if I am told "no" I need to know why. That just isn't how they work, hence the search for an EE.

I intend to post details about my system after it is put on paper because I think it is something that other new boat owners might like to consider and will do so in a new thread once it is done. Would anyone like a sneak peak?
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