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Old 22-12-2009, 16:43   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
FWIW: After over 40 years in the electrical construction & engineering industry, including 10 years as a full-time boatwright (and a lifetime of personal experience), I AM (sold on Marine Grade wiring).
That's fine, but I've worked in electronics for 20 years & I've seen a lot of what I can only describe as "snake oil". As a result, I don't believe too many manufacturers claims (or anecdotal evidence) without checking it for myself. Hmm, maybe I'll buy a few chunks of wire over the holidays to test.
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Old 24-12-2009, 14:13   #32
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You can save a little by running your wire from a large spool and just tagging them. You will of course need to color code AC, DC, and ground but using three colors instead of the recomended 13 will save you a little money just mark the wires along the route with colored electrical tape or tags. But the good thing is once you rewire your boat you will one know it is done right, and know excately where to look when you have a problem.
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Old 24-12-2009, 16:02   #33
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When we purchased our current boat the wiring was shall we say inventive. It certainly had to go..extension cords were wiring for some things. I dont mean plugged in cords, I mean cords with ends cut off and wired in. We had rewired a previous boat ( due to aging not poor installation). Drew up our plans and purchased stuff in largish lots, making certain we had extra spaces for future additions.
I have a friend who purchased a vessel, paid no attention to the wiring until everything started failing, some stuff got ruined and oh one night the smell of electrical smoke. She is now rewiring with a little assistance from friends. Better now than part way through the trip. Yikes I know, but there it is.
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Old 24-12-2009, 17:16   #34
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OMG, that photo looks pretty much like the wiring I have behind my panel on Espina. I made the mistake of opening it up one day and its scary. All the hardware is original 1958-9 vintage, and all the original wiring is mostly lamp cord. Nothing is labled, the ground bus has numerous piggybacks on it and while removing interior trim Ive actually pulled out that old type of wire that was insulated with shellaced paper.

Anyway its all coming out. When I do it I'll be crimping on my connectors, soldering them and then using heat shrink to seal them. As to the wire, If I can get marine grade without spending a fortune I'll use it. I much prefer the tinned wire for corrosion resistance. Right now I'm contemplating how to install conduit runs down both sides of the hull and across the bridge deck to make it easier to run wiring.

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Old 24-12-2009, 18:33   #35
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Might have a tidbit or two to add. I located my ground bus in different compartment separated by bulkhead to lessen chance of shorts. Check out mpja.com for great low prices on some stuff you'll need. I found abyc wiring code to be invaluable in locating wires that run into bundles to ? I found it easier and less expensive to run heavy leads from breakers to strategically placed fuse panels around the boat instead of running all wires to one huge panel.IE one pedastal breaker with heavy wire that runs to fuse panel in pedastal housing fuses for electronics spotlight accessory plugs, bilge blower etc...
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Old 24-12-2009, 22:19   #36
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One excellent "retail" source for marine wire is Genuinedealz on Ebay. I've used him (her?) for years. Besides good pricing on wire he will do beautiful custom battery cable crimps for $1 an end. Based on the picture of your panel, I'd assume the battery cables need attention too.

eBay Store - marine electrical: marine wire, boat cable, marine grade

Carl
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Old 08-01-2010, 19:38   #37
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hey all -

so i'm about half way through the project, and wanted to share a few things i've found:

first, marine wire = absolute must, in my opinion.

the marine grade stuff i've pulled is all in great shape (i'm reusing a lot of it) and much of the non-marine grade wire is absolutely shot, including:
1. the wiring to the bilge pump (yikes)
2. wiring to the running lights
3. wiring from the batteries to the breaker panel

if nothing else, replacing these wires has already made the whole project worthwhile.

i also discovered a few other things that i was happy to find BEFORE leaving the dock:
1. some genius decided that they could save a few bucks by using spade terminals rather than the proper plugs to connect all my nav instruments, including the autopilot - a gentle brush disabled the GPS, autopilot, wind instruments, depth sounder and chartplotter.
2. the grounding plate for the SSB is torn in a few places and needs replacement (or at least patching). probably isn't worth much.
3. there's a ton of wiring that's backwards (at least in my uninformed opinion) - black to hot, white to ground. coulda been pretty confusing had i not known and just assumed that black = gnd (reasonable assumption to me)

there's tons of other findings as well, but these were the ones i was most happy to run across.

my point, i guess, is that every time i get frustrated, or feel like i'm replacing stuff that's not technically broken, i imagine myself 1000 miles offshore in a blow, trying to figure out why the autopilot just died, my running lights won't go on, i can't pick up the weather forcast, etc. as the boat rolls and waves splash across the deck.

i'd recommend bitting the bullet to anyone in my shoes. and spend the few extra bucks on marine grade wiring. as an added bonus, you'll know your boat inside and out.

back to stripping wires...
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Old 08-01-2010, 20:30   #38
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Hey, KB --

Sounds like you're doing great. It is the things you find that you didn't think you'd find that really make you glad you're doing it. And, you are right, you are getting to know just about every square inch of your boat in a way you never would had you not done this. You'll have confidence in her that you never would, otherwise; and, in the event of a later problem, you've probably at least halved the amount of time it will take you to fix it.

Bilge Pumps! I hear you. I replace mine every year, whether they seem fine or not. They aren't that expensive and it forces me to closely inspect that crucial system.

Instruments! I seem to remember you thinking that they looked pretty good before you started. Yikes, but spades. I think you probably did save yourself a major pucker experience in this discovery alone.

Good job! Of course, you'll be finding little bits of wire insulation for the next couple of years.

ID
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Old 08-01-2010, 20:40   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
hey all -

so i'm about half way through the project, and wanted to share a few things i've found:
3. there's a ton of wiring that's backwards (at least in my uninformed opinion) - black to hot, white to ground. coulda been pretty confusing had i not known and just assumed that black = gnd (reasonable assumption to me)
If it's AC wiring, Black IS hot and White IS neutral.

IMHO, those colors shouldn't be used together on DC, but I could be wrong.
My deck light uses those...
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Old 08-01-2010, 20:40   #40
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The great thing about standards is there's so many of them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
...
3. there's a ton of wiring that's backwards (at least in my uninformed opinion) - black to hot, white to ground. coulda been pretty confusing had i not known and just assumed that black = gnd (reasonable assumption to me)
...
The 120V AC standard in the US (in houses and in boats as far as I know) is black hot - white neutral.

The 12V DC standard is red hot - black neutral. I believe they're moving to red hot - yellow neutral, to avoid confusion, but that's relatively new.

That might be the source of your confustification.

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Old 08-01-2010, 23:33   #41
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It IS pretty confusing.
In my current rewire, which I am about 25% done, I have tried to use Red for DC positive, Yellow for DC negative, and of course black, and red for AC positive (have a 120/240v ac in) and White for neutral/ Green is ac ground, EXCEPT for the bonding system, which is green as well.
I have a Rhino 5200 label maker and label mostly everything. Today I fished 10/3 wire for the forward and aft air conditioners. Fishing wire is always a pleasant thing to do(NOT)
Its a knuckle breaker. Trying to get it to go where I want it to is always a challenge, but satisfying once done. And I always leave some wire there for future pulls. The PO used light gauge line, and it rotted, so that is a no-no. I just use the old DC wire I pulled out of the boat as fish for the future.
Also installing a Blue sea systems Vehicle management system. It monitors the batteries, the tanks, the bilge pump cycles, and the ac side. as with most things the manual could be written better...
Always fun.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:55   #42
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There is another thread where someone used the black AC wire to ground the DC system and he got weird stuff happening every time he plugged in. Use yellow from the start on your project and you will like it later, I bet. I have a mix now and wish it were all done in yellow. Fortunately all my AC is in two-wire cable so it is easier to identify.

Jim
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Old 09-01-2010, 13:23   #43
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Who was it that wrote the book about Learning everything you need to know in Kindergarten? What an understatement when talking bout boats. I have not even begun to rewire but I need to!
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Old 09-01-2010, 15:53   #44
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On my first boat the PO wired the alternator to the battery switch.

Red wire on one side, black wire on the other. He wondered why it wouldn't charge and had put in a new battery JUST before the sale.
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Old 09-01-2010, 17:45   #45
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Who was it that wrote the book about Learning everything you need to know in Kindergarten? What an understatement when talking bout boats. I have not even begun to rewire but I need to!
Robert Fulghum
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
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