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Old 09-07-2019, 20:15   #1
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Yacht Instrument wiring

I am about to install instrumentation for the yacht I am building:
  • Water temp
  • Oil Pressure
  • Ammeter
  • Rudder angle
  • Tachometer.
I planned to use light cable that I happen to have (say 20AWG?) to each instrument and use a common earth.

Have I overlooked anything? Anything to watch out for?
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:51   #2
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

I'd use slightly larger wires (#18 or #16AWG) for mechanical robustness, and ease of termination (red/pink crimps).


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Old 10-07-2019, 04:02   #3
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

Thanks Gord. That makes sense.

I'd love to follow the Standard Boat Wiring Colors for boats but I've found it impossible to get all the color cables. I have thought of using 7 core trailer cabling which would make it very easy to follow. (I will be taking a very close look at that wiring diagram. Thanks)

https://www.cpperformance.com/t-boat_wiring_colors.aspx
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:31   #4
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
... I'd love to follow the Standard Boat Wiring Colors for boats but I've found it impossible to get all the color cables...
You can use "phasing" (colour coding) tape, with clear heat shrink over. Exact colours don't really matter, as long as you remain consistent, and keep a record. I also number both ends of every cable.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:10   #5
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

You could also use instrument wiring which is multiple color coded wires of very small gauge in a single sheath.

It is available in a variety of configurations.

https://www.westmarine.com/specialty-wire

Same idea as trailer wiring.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:38   #6
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

[QUOTE=GordMay;2927699]You can use "phasing" (colour coding) tape, with clear heat shrink over. Exact colours don't really matter, as long as you remain consistent, and keep a record. I also number both ends of every cable QUOTE.


Gee you're methodical!


One day I'll find time to do something similar and identify each wire using these little number tags.
https://i.ebayimg.com/thumbs/images/...8Zh/s-l225.jpg
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:49   #7
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
You could also use instrument wiring which is multiple color coded wires of very small gauge in a single sheath.

It is available in a variety of configurations.

https://www.westmarine.com/specialty-wire

Same idea as trailer wiring.

I have a whole lot of tiny lights in my instrument binnacle which will indicate the reason the alarm went off and I intended to wire them up using this sort of thing.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GA226200...frcectupt=true
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:57   #8
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

I often used commercial number tags; but I also used standard printing labels, to make custom wire identifiers. As always, protected by clear heat shrink.
It can't hurt to provide identification on each side of bulkhead penetrations, etc. Makes wire tracing much easier. Always try to make things easier for the next guy - you may BE the next guy.

Eg:
“D8-2 - Garmin GPS III" would indicate 12VDC Circuit #8, (position #2 on Navigation Equipment terminal strip) supplying a Garmin GPS unit.
"A4 - Port Nav' Recept" would indicate 120VAC Circuit #4, supplying Receptacle @ Navigation Station.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:28   #9
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

All of my wiring and cables are labeled at both ends for function.

The marine color code is used throughout.

A back light dimmer is very handy every time the gauge lighting is used.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:03   #10
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

Gord

This is on my list of projects as well. But I've been unsure of what wiring options to use. West marine has 8 connector # 20, but the next option is # 14 5 connector. The 5 connector isn't enough for the full instruments, but #20 seems a bit small.

Any suggestions?
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:03   #11
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

Bite the bullet and get proper marine wire. This is a boat and will be around water. Eventually, your trailer wire is going to corrode and you will end up wiring it again. Especially if youre anywhere near salt water.

“Never enough money to do it right, but always enough money to do it over.”

Get your marine wire here:

https://www.pacergroup.net/

They have every size/color you could want and sell it by the foot.

Been there, done that with wiring. Not any more!

Mark
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:15   #12
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geek_Guy View Post
Gord

This is on my list of projects as well. But I've been unsure of what wiring options to use. West marine has 8 connector # 20, but the next option is # 14 5 connector. The 5 connector isn't enough for the full instruments, but #20 seems a bit small.

Any suggestions?
How long is the run? #20 may be fine for most instruments. Probably is fine. I wonder how much the ammeter draws though
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:30   #13
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

Hopefully the ammeter is really a voltmeter w/ a specified local shunt.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:36   #14
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

US supplier for a guy in OZ probably a no go
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:29   #15
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Re: Yacht Instrument wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
I have a whole lot of tiny lights in my instrument binnacle which will indicate the reason the alarm went off and I intended to wire them up using this sort of thing.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GA226200...frcectupt=true
Wow, 40 pins?!

Ribbon cable would concern me.
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