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Old 24-10-2010, 17:53   #1
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Simple Wiring Diagrams

Hi

I have a requirement for a simple wiring diagram.

I are rewiring my yacht from top to bottom and need to know where I could find some simple answers and a diagram to suit my needs.

Essentially I have a glass yacht with no engine (therefore no anodes)
1 400w Wind Genny (12 or 24v)
Two 12v batteries running parallel
ten LED lights in total (interior & nav etc)
1 12v water pump
1 x GPS
1 x Autopilot
4 x cigarette plugs for laptops etc
1 x switchboard

My question is, do I need a controller for the wind genny (and what do controllers do).

I have never done a rewire before (i've done basic nav lights in small fishing boats, changed engines in cars and subsequently changed plugs in wiring harnesses to suit the new alternators etc). I need to know things such as the wires from the battery, do they go directly to a bus bar and then to fuses or the other way around. is their any tricks people have learnt along the way that they would incorporate if doing a rewire on their boat.

Thanks in advance

Damien
S/V Sea Witch
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Old 24-10-2010, 18:12   #2
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Damien,

Hopefully some smart people will reply, but in the meantime I will chime in. You will likely need a controller for your wind gen if yours does not have one already built in. Mine is an Aero4gen and it does need an external controller. Mine diverts energy to a "dump resistor" when the batteries are charged. I am told the Air-x has an internal regulator but couldn't say for sure. Best to let us know what you have and someone will know.

I recently designed an electrical system for my boat using Nigel Calder's "Boatowner's Electrical and Mechanical Guide", "Sailboat Electrics Simplified" by Don Casey and Charles Wing's "Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook". These books are all worth a read even if you are not doing a rewire. They should give you all the info you need.

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Old 24-10-2010, 18:42   #3
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Hire a pro. I hate to say it but if you have this little knowledge you should find someone who knows what they are doing. See if they will let you work with them on your boat so you can learn. Sorry but this is not something you learn from reading a couple of books. I have been doing it for 35 years and I am still learning.

Fair winds
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Old 24-10-2010, 19:20   #4
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Try this link Alden Trull Yacht Electrical Design Click on Schematics. They have schematics of various yachts, one might meet your needs. If not i would get someone with elctrical experience on boats to help you design the system. Without it you can end up at best with a mess, at worst something that can kill you.

On my links page are a lot of links to marine electrical sites. see New Boatbuilders Home Page - Links -Ike's List Scroll about half way down on the right side to Electrical Systems and Batteries
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Old 24-10-2010, 19:35   #5
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Oh and the need for anodes has nothing to do with having an engine, you really need to understand this stuff before tearing everything out and starting over, like Ike said you could end up dead or on fire or...... you get the point
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Old 24-10-2010, 19:59   #6
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I also have a course in Basic electricy for boats. http://newboatbuilders.com/pages/electricity1.html (it's Free)
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Old 24-10-2010, 22:20   #7
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Before my project boat abducted me my electrical experience was limited to changing light bulbs. I learned pretty quick to not let anybody work on my boat but me, and when it was time to do something about the electrifying system I started asking questions and got one answer: "If you don't know then you shouldn't be doing this yourself - get professional help." Below I posted two pictures of work done by professionals - I have hundreds more just like them of every system on my boat.

The wiring was done so impressively badly that there was nothing to do but rip it out and start over. I took two classes, read four books, read posts on forums, did LOTS of other research, and kept asking questions. For the DC system I installed solar panels and a wind generator, you can see how I wired them to the charge controller in this thread Solar Panel Circuit Breaker Wiring.

I like Ike - I'll tell you how you CAN. For the books start with Don Casey's "Sailboat Electrics Simplified". Then read Nigel Calder's "Boatower's Mechanical and Electrical Manual", John C. Payne's "Marine Electrical and Electronics Bible", and Charlie Wing's "Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook". Take classes, browse forums and manufacturers web sites ...

Rewiring a boat is easy, but it does take some effort to learn how to do it right. Here are two pictures of work done by professionals and two pictures of my work.

The boat used to have copper fuel lines and almost all the wiring around the engine was hanging on those fuel lines.

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The first picture here is what the right half of the after picture used to be. This mess is wiring for the charge controller, starting battery, water lines, fuel lines and who knows what else. That is the engine on the left - amazing none of this ever got caught in the belt.

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Old 24-10-2010, 23:36   #8
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SHipShape is right that wiring needs to be done correctly. I have seen boats come out of the factory brand new with wiring that looked like spaghetti and wasn't up to standards.

But Times they are a changin'. If you want to do it yourself read all of those books. On my links page is a list of books on the subject. There are lots of resources on line. I just added another to my web page called BoatWiring.Org It is an excellent resource. I learned many years ago when I was taking Basic Electricity in the Coast Guard that everything has to planned out before hand and done neatly. Everything needs to be labeled (label wires on both ends) and according to the wiring color codes. Draw schematics of all the wiring and put them in a book that you keep on the boat.

Today, marine electricians are getting ABYC certified because frankly few people want someone working on their boat who isn't a certified technician. Certification is not easy, and you have to spend some time taking the course and lay out some serious bucks to take it, and then pass the test. So if you do decide to hire someone make sure they are a certified marine electrician, or else you will end up with a mess.

And wiring on board and wiring ashore are two different worlds, especially when you get into 120V AC. There are very significant differences that can make the differrence between a safe installation that won't kill you and eat up all your metal fittings, and one that will.
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Old 25-10-2010, 00:25   #9
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ShipShape: Awesome Job! Looks more professional than that mess you started with.

Thanks for sharing your book resources. The only one I didn't hear of before was that John Payne book which is now added on my wish list on Amazon.
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Old 25-10-2010, 00:27   #10
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If you have enough books, you can teach yourself how. It will take a lot of time to learn it and you will make mistakes.
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Old 25-10-2010, 17:14   #11
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Australian Tradespeople

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
Hire a pro. I hate to say it but if you have this little knowledge you should find someone who knows what they are doing. See if they will let you work with them on your boat so you can learn. Sorry but this is not something you learn from reading a couple of books. I have been doing it for 35 years and I am still learning.

Fair winds

I would love to be able to hire a professional to do this work, but I refuse to for two reasons

We have spent thousands of dollars with Australian Tradespeople only to have the work be seriously substandard and needing to be redone by myself. (the last shipwright we used caused major structural damage to our yacht after removing the main support under the mast and not looseing the rig or providing additional support. Result = twisted structural bulkhead and a court case.

I also want to learn, Im a smart guy and have no doubt I will be able to do it. I may not know all the tricks of a seasoned pro. But in Australia that is an advantage...

Some of this posts are fantastic. In particular the photos of before and after wiring. I have many that fit into that catergory myself and are now well of the opinion that nobody but My wife and I get to work on our yacht (unless im standing over them watching EVERYTHING they do.
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Old 25-10-2010, 17:27   #12
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Hi Dame N Jess! - You have the boat and you are taking the steps towards independence - Good job. You have to learn someday.

I think no one wants to discourage you but we have a lot of cautious members who want you to be safe and to have a higher chance of success.

I've been watching this thread for a few days and have been contemplating whipping up a wiring diagram for your circuits. Actually it's no that hard.

Maybe you could access some of the recommended texts and post your planned schematic for review. You'll get some good responses and not so good responses but you can then decide what to keep and what to throw.

The schematic for the circuits you are suggesting is not that difficult and actually DC circuits are pretty simple to work with.
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Old 26-10-2010, 10:25   #13
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John Payne's book is Dry, but he is good at explaining things by clearly going through the ABYC standards. ABYC standards are not law, and that I know of not used extensively outside of the USA, but if you meet ABYC standards you are guaranteed to have installed things safely and correctly - and insurance companies like that. As you learn more you will find some of the ABYC standards to be rather minimal and will want to exceed those standards, but they are a great starting point.

Of the four books I mentioned, the only one that will be read cover-to-cover is Don Casey's little book. The others you just read the pertinent sections - no need to learn about AC if your boat doesn't have it! Nigel Calder is great because of his photographs. Charlie Wing's book is not only a delight to read, in the back he has fun DIY projects like a Low-Battery Voltage Alarm, Bilge High-Water Alarm, and Water Tank Monitor. Hopefully this week I will have time to peruse Ike's web site and see his suggestions.

The beauty of taking the time to LEARN rather than just following a wiring diagram is that the world of "I didn't know that ____!" and, "What if ..." is opened up to you. You also learn the differences between a bonding system, DC ground, RF ground and lightning ground, and different ways of installing each system. Electrical and electronic parts and equipment purchases are greatly simplified because you already know what you need before you go shopping for it, and you often find something even better than you expected because you Understand the product and how it will satisfy your current and future needs. Fun stuff!

Being a self-sufficient cruiser requires having the parts, tools and know-how to maintain and repair your boat's systems while underway. For example, I moved my boat's three electric pumps to places where they are easily and safely accessible in rough seas, which also made their screens easy to inspect and remove for cleaning. I put fully insulated disconnects on each pump so they can be unplugged for maintenance rather than cutting the wires, and reversed the male and female plugs on the pos and neg wires so there is no possibility of connecting them backwards should I have to do it in the dark. And a little dab of electrical conductive paste on the disconnects to reduce resistance and corrosion. This isn't stuff you learn from a wiring diagram.

No question, there is LOT to learn, and Wayne is to be believed about still learning after 35 years in the business. But you don't need to know Everything to correctly rewire such a simple boat as Woden the first time, and you can easily upgrade as you learn more.
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Old 26-10-2010, 14:41   #14
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Damien; actually you caught me in the middle of preparing a page for my web site on planning an electrical system. I have hesitated to put it up here because it is by no means finished, there's a lot left out, and it's pretty basic, but what the heck. This is a question that comes up very frequently on boating forums so if it helps, here goes.

For the rest of you if you have any suggestions for additions or corrections feel free. I haven't posted it on my web site yet and probably won't for a while so have at it. Be Merciful! My ego bruises easily (LOL)

Damien you can ignore the first paragraph:


Planning the Electrical System:
If you are building boats for the purpose of sale, you should have a professional design and install the electrical system. This will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. It will work better, longer and with fewer problems. But should you want to do this yourself then it is extremely important that you have a good understanding of what you are doing. The basics of electricity and electrical systems are not hard to understand. But if the system you are installing goes beyond simple DC then you should go to a professional. Keep in mind, most fires on boats are electrical fires. Do it right or not at all.

You should start by reading and studying Basic Electricity There are many books available and on-line resources. There are also courses available. (IKE'S LIST)
Basic Electricity
Once you have an understanding of the basics and the terminology then you can begin planning the electrical system on your boat. I am going to discuss only DC in this paper. Please keep in mind, this is not a detailed tutorial of the process. This is only a general overview of the process.

1. Determine your needs. What electrical equipment will you be using? There are some basic things:
The engine
bilge Pump
blower
Cabin Lights
Navigation lights
Instruments panel.
What else? If this is a small boat for fishing, maybe you have a trolling motor and a depth sounder.
Depth Sounder
AM/FM/Weather Radio
VHF Marine Radio
If it is a much larger boat or a cruising sailboat or powerboat you may have even more equipment.
Anchor windlass
TV
Microwave oven.
GPS
Chart plotter
Computer
Regfrigerator/Freezer
Anyway, the list goes on. List all of the equipment. This list helps you determine the loads (how much power each item uses) and how much power you will need to run it. This determines how big your battery bank will be. It also determines the size of the fuses or circuit breakers for each branch of the electrical system. (Glacier Bay Battery Bank Load Analysis) Also, do you need a starting battery and a separate bank of house batteries? Also how are you going to charge the batteries? (Batteries and Chargers). Determine where the equipment will be on the boat. Draw a Diagram showing the general arrangement and where everything will be.
This determines how long each wire has to be and helps in determining the wire size. It also helps to determine the route of the wire through the boat. Remember, wire cannot go through solid objects like pipes and vent ducts, and other equipment. It has to go around such things. It should not just be strung through the boat and it should not be in the bilge. It should be fastened down at 18 inch intervals or less. And donít forget the return run. There are two wires; positive and negative.
2. Where will your battery bank be? Put this on the diagram. It needs to be in a dry warm place. It should not be in the bilge, or anywhere exposed to water, but because batteries are very heavy they need to be low in the boat. They need to be in a space that is ventilated. Most boats have them near or in the engine space, this is good but there are rules about the placement of the batteries (Electrical Regulations) near fuel lines and other equipment.
3. Where will the fuse or circuit breaker panel be? Put this on the diagram. Again, there are rules about placement of fuses and circuit breakers in relation to the source of power. (Electrical Regulations)
4. On/OFF Switches? Where will they be? Some are on the instrument panel. Others are near the piece of equipment. Some are built into the equipment. Show on the diagram where they will be. Also, will you have more than one on/off switch ? Example: Cabin lights, do you want a switch at both ends of the cabin, or will each individual light have its own switch? Where this really gets complex is navigation lights especially if you have combination anchor/running lights with more than one bulb in the fitting, or more than one filament in the bulb.
5. Where will the battery shutoff switch be? This needs to be very close to the battery bank but easily accessible. It especially needs to be where you can shut it off in the case of an engine room fire or flooding.
6. What items need to be directly wired to the battery and not through the switch? There are some things on a boat that you do not want to shut off when you turn off the battery switch, such as the automatic bilge pump, or an automatic fire fighting system.
7. Determine wire sizes for each wiring run. This is determined by a combination of the amperage (the load) and how many items are on the circuit. (Wire Size) This also determines the size of the fuse or circuit breaker. If you have a very long run you may have to go up a size in the wire to prevent voltage drop. Don't forget to follow the wiring color codes.
8. Use your diagram and other information to begin drawing a schematic of the system. Show the ground. On most boats the ground is the engine block. Also determine if you are going to have a grounding buss for the DC system. This is a green wire that runs through the length of the boat that connects all of the metal cases of the electrical equipment to the main ground. This is not the same as a bonding system.
9. On the schematic show where busses and fuse blocks go. A bus is a solid metal conductor that has many posts on it for circuits coming off the buss, but only one connection to the source of power. In a DC system if you use busses, you need both positive and negative busses. A typical buss.
10. After you get the schematic laid out show the schematic to someone with a marine electrical background, and ask them to look for any problems.
11. The schematic is just a representation of the electrical system. It does not, and should not look anything like the boat. That is what the diagram of the general arrangement is for.
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Old 27-10-2010, 19:10   #15
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WOW!

Fantastic info. Really enjoying the positive responses to my OP. Thanks Ike and to everyone else that has contributed. I will draw up a diagram and post for comments. I will also get load info for my equipment.

Damien
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