Originally Posted by dailytrek
Although I've wired several entire homes and many boat trailers myself, I have no experience wiring
boats and am seeking your wisdom. I bought a nice swing arm mount and installed so I can read the screen
from the cockpit
. My questions:
1. Is it necessary to wire to the main switch block or OK to go directly to the battery
using an intermediate fuse and possibly a switch? All the switches are in use. There is already a switch/fuse for the existing instruments (depth and speed) and I want to keep the existing instruments available to use.
2. Is there a particular type of marine
wire connector I should use? (To many varieties/unneeded quantities at WestMarine) Can I get them only at marine
stores or is automotive OK?
3. How do I best attach the transducer to the interior
of my hull
4. I need to run two groups of wires from the unit through my fiberglass interior
next to where I mounted the unit and need rubber protection grommets....where do I buy?
Thanks for your help!
This post begs for my standard response...
This kinda feels like the time I had kids
pull up alongside in a run-about and ask for directions to a destination
out in Georgian Bay.
After considering that I could be sending them to their peril if they didn't get my instructions right, I told them how to get to the nearest marina to buy charts
So, the best advice I can give is to read ABYC E11 (Electrical Standards) cover to cover, and if there is anything you're not sure about, ask. If you have to ask more than 3 things, you need to read it again.
While Calder's and Casey's books
are pretty good about certain systems, they really don't cover good general wiring
practices well enough. (It's also a, "Just because you saw it on the internet
(or read it in a book), doesn't mean you can do it", kind of a thing.
Next, my best advise is don't go cheap
on the products. Use Ancor wiring and connectors, Marinco shore power cables
and connectors, and Blue Sea panels
Equipped with this, please don't burn your boat to the waterline (which is all too easy, even if you think you have it all figured out.)
There are things one just can't learn from an evening of reading or an hour of YouTube video viewing.
Just because 12Vdc won't electrocute you, doesn't mean it doesn't deserve your full respect and attention.
Before I knew what I know now, I was guilty of all kinds of electrical safety
issues, and I was an Electronic Engineering Technician with 30 years experience.
As part of my current
seminar for boating
groups, I start out asking...
"Who does their own electrical repairs
(About 50% of hands go up.)
Then I ask, "Of those, who believes it was done properly?"
(All the hands stay up.)
Then I ask, "Who is so sure of that, they will invite me aboard to perform an electrical inspection
, free if it's safe, $200 if I find one electrical safety
(All the hands go down.)
After the seminar, when I've shown several images
of tragic boat fires, and gone through many of the electrical safety issues I encounter, 2 or 3 come up and ask me to do a $200 inspection
. They know (now) that they have (and I am going to find) electrical safety issues.
The reason I can do this, and stay in business, is because in my experience to date, about 90% of all boats on the water
today have unsafe electrical issues, and about 50% of owner DIY work, is absolutely atrocious. If asked, nobody will say, "The wiring I performed is all wrong". They simply don't know just how unsafe it is.
I'm not saying, "Don't do your own electrical work." I'm just saying, "If you are going to do it, for everyone's sake (yourself, your crew, the next owner, and the boat), ensure you do it right, 100% right."
When you need it, a bilge pump
must work, to the best of its potential performance, or a maritime tragedy could occur. When you need it, a VHF
must work, to the best of its potential performance, or a maritime tragedy could occur. When you need it, the engine
starter must turn, to the best of its potential performance, or a maritime tragedy could occur. You get my drift.
There are few electrical / electronic devices aboard that could not become a critical piece of safety equipment
some day. Even a Marguerite blender with a botched plug
replacement. (A line/neutral short, with a secondary boat wiring or current
limiting fault, could result in a catastrophic fire.)
Some time ago on a large forum, I read a thread of a bunch of people (about a dozen) telling the OP that it is OK to use 16 gauge wire when adding LED fixtures to existing cabin lighting
wiring. Not one of them said (or probably even knew) that in doing so, one must address current limiting in the new branch circuit, or an electrical fire could ensue before the original fuse or breaker ever trips.
Sailing gives one all kinds of freedom, to move without the sound of infernal combustion engines, to move without roads or guard rails dictating where, to move without adherence to strict schedule, and so on.
It also gives one the freedom to mess up electrical stuff if they don't know what they are doing, and the results could be tragic.
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