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Old 20-02-2011, 18:54   #1
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Electrical Problem

Okay here goes. I have just bought and paid for a 1962 so they say Contest 33. I for the life of me cannot get the electrical to work. I am a novice but everything on this boat is original.The panel has pull switches and the main power from the dock has two fuses in a electrical box. There is also a main light at the switch panel.A 15 and a 25 screw in. Yup! Just like your grand dad and grand mom had in the basement.
I noticed the boat has two round Black switches that say on and off on the front. I turned them but nothing happened I checked the breaker at the dock and it was on.
Is there anything I am missing?
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Old 20-02-2011, 19:09   #2
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Kind of difficult to diagnose from a distance. So, do you have a volt meter and very basic how to use it skills?

If so, set it on AC volts and start checking voltage from the dock plug, the end of your cable, at the switch box, etc. Basically start at the dock box and check every step going from there to the boat and see if you get voltage. Where the voltage stops you've found the problem.
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Old 20-02-2011, 19:09   #3
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Considering the age of the boat, and ALL original equipment, I would suggest that IF you plan cruising on it, and not just an occasional daysail, that you need to basically... replace all that! The switch panel, sockets, fuses, lights, wiring, nav lights, everything... It's a death trap!

Sorry, you asked for opinions... Mark
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Old 20-02-2011, 19:10   #4
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By the way, you did check the fuses to see if they are good?
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Old 20-02-2011, 19:36   #5
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Re: Electrical problem

I agree with Mark Johnson, replace your AC electrical with a new and updated system, from the shorepower receptical forward. You can hire a Marine Electritian to come and survey your electrical system for you. Doesnt mean he has to do the work but at least you know what you are looking at replacing. While your doing this you probably want to change out your DC electrical as well. There are many good books out there to help you along your way, Nigel Calders books are a great start. As well as Charlie Wings Boatowners Illustrated electrical handbook.
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Old 20-02-2011, 19:58   #6
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Re: Electrical problem

It would appear from your post that you have no experience with electrical wiring so I would suggest you hire a professional marine electrician before you kill yourself.
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Old 20-02-2011, 20:12   #7
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Re: Electrical problem

Replacement seems like a really, really good idea.
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Old 20-02-2011, 20:18   #8
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Re: Electrical problem

I have a 1971 with original wiring as well, I am currently building the new mast harness and interior wiring harness.
Take some advice and get a " Marine Electrician" to help survey and map out your new system. It cost 150.00 for the survey and map. It included a complete spell out of what to put install, where, wire size and why, allowed for future upgrades that we had discussed. It is going to give me exactly what I need for the boat today and will take into account the solar panels next year hopefully along with a larger battery bank, new leds throughout inside and outside. I added spreader lights, and inwater light off the stern with new panels and meters to monitor voltages, also pre wired for solar monitor and regulator, charger inverter.
whole install 1850.00 and I am doing the work mostly and he is looking the refit over on the weekends as I progress.
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Old 20-02-2011, 20:26   #9
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Re: Electrical problem

Great post Knottygurl, I like how your thinking ahead for the future.
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Old 21-02-2011, 08:52   #10
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Re: Electrical Problem

Thanks people. I have a volt meter and the next step was going to be trace everything down from the box up front back.
I checked the fuses and they looked good. One looked new.
I am assuming that there has to be some kind of inverter on the boat so I was going to try to find that also.
Everything is packed up under the cockpit sole and you have to climb down in there to really see everything. I was hoping I was just missing something from the past only old timers know about but I guess not.
I just have to bite the bullet and climb on in there.
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Old 22-02-2011, 15:34   #11
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Re: Electrical Problem

w1651
consider taking a bump cap or a ball cap and headband flashlight as well, keeps your hands free, always puts light in front of you and can keep your scalp from a nasty cut on a screw or fiberglass hanger.
all the best and give a ring here when you resurface
Bill
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Old 22-02-2011, 16:43   #12
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Re: Electrical problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
It would appear from your post that you have no experience with electrical wiring so I would suggest you hire a professional marine electrician before you kill yourself.

This is very good advice. I installed a 120V AC system on my first Grampian and couldn't for the life of me figure out why it wouldn't work. Seemed simple enough, cord from dock to plug on coaming, then to a two circuit fuze panel and from there to 4 AC outlets.

Called my buddy to come and have a look see, he freaked and disconnected the cord from the dock. Then he yelled at me for about 15 minutes. Then he rewired the entire system from end to end. Said I was luck to be alive still, futzing around with live AC the way I had it all botched together.

It ain't worth your life.

Get a professional to do a hands on look see, instead of a remote guess via internet.

Sabre
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Old 22-02-2011, 17:00   #13
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Re: Electrical Problem

It might seem obvious, but make sure you unplug it from shore power before you do anything.
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Old 22-02-2011, 17:43   #14
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Re: Electrical Problem

It is certainly worth having someone who knows what they are doing look at this wiring, draw a schematic and proceed from there. Boat fires are all too often caused by faulty wiring.
My friend bought a boat, and the wiring was astonishingly bad. She learned how to pull wire, and with the help of an marine electrical designer got things in shape. She is now safe on her boat.
This is not an area to disregard.
Fair winds
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Old 22-02-2011, 19:59   #15
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Re: Electrical Problem

I agree with everyhting that has been said above. This old system does not in any way, meet current marine electrical system standards. If you read the books suggested you will see the truth of this in the first chapters.

Here's a suggested reading list.
Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, by Nigel Calder
The 12 Volt Bible, by Miner K Brotherton and Ed Sherman

Boating Magazine's Powerboater's Guide to Electrical Systems by Ed Sherman
Sailboat Electrical Systems, Don Casey,
1999 International Marine
Boatowner's Illustrated Handbook of Wiring, by Charlie Wing
Your Boat's Electrical System, by Conrad Miller and E. S. Maloney
Managing 12 Volts, Harold Barre 1997 Summer Breeze Publishing


Or go on line to
New Boatbuilders Home Page - Everything Boat Building - Basic Electricity DC Page 1

However, as has been said, hire a certified marine electrician. by certified I mean ABYC certified. As them if they are ABYC certified. If they don't know what that means walk the other way.
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