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Old 19-04-2014, 10:50   #16
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Re: Electrical guestimates

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Personally I would pay a qualified marine electrician a days pay to go over this boats electrical system and report on it. What you have described is only what you have discovered. Dollars to doughnuts this is just the surface. Forget the "Qualified surveyor" mumbo jumbo and let those that know what they are doing do it.


"Why should you suffer the grief of handling this ? Tell the broker/owner that you want it fixed by a qualified marine electrician as a condition of closing the deal. "

Or if all else gets sorted out, simply tell them: "or take $5000 less and i'll take care of it..." depending on your confidence...
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Old 19-04-2014, 11:25   #17
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Re: Electrical guestimates

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Personally I would pay a qualified marine electrician a days pay to go over this boats electrical system and report on it...
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
...engage a qualified marine electrician (not an EE, not a house electrician) to go over the boat's wiring and give you a list of needed work, with estimates...
A big NEGATIVE on this.

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Why should you suffer the grief of handling this ? Tell the broker/owner that you want it fixed by a qualified marine electrician as a condition of closing the deal.
An even bigger NEGATIVE on this.

You've already seen what the PO is capable of "repairing". YOU hire your own pro.

You already have paid for a survey. Hire a pro to FIX the known electrical problems. While he is doing productive work he will develop a feel for the condition of the boat and no doubt spot other electrical issues for which he will be happy to provide a FREE estimate.
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Old 19-04-2014, 12:18   #18
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Re: Electrical guestimates

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
A big NEGATIVE on this.



An even bigger NEGATIVE on this.

You've already seen what the PO is capable of "repairing". YOU hire your own pro.

You already have paid for a survey. Hire a pro to FIX the known electrical problems. While he is doing productive work he will develop a feel for the condition of the boat and no doubt spot other electrical issues for which he will be happy to provide a FREE estimate.

Not quite sure I get this. I may be reading it wrong while scratching my head, but you think it's cheaper to get a qualified marine electrician to rewire a windlass, add a breaker, rewire a battery charger, diagnose a bilge pump, and terminate the A/C wires. All the while looking for other potential electrical issues on the other side of the boat? Really? When he finds 10k worth of other deal breaking repair issues and the OP walks away I'm sure the seller will be thrilled to have the $2,000+ repair work done for free. Another couple of potential buyers like that and the seller can easily raise his price.
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Old 19-04-2014, 12:31   #19
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

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You already have paid for a survey. Hire a pro to FIX the known electrical problems. While he is doing productive work he will develop a feel for the condition of the boat and no doubt spot other electrical issues for which he will be happy to provide a FREE estimate.
Like Tellie I am totally confused by your post.

Perhaps you said this tongue in cheek? If you meant a little sarcasm here you could be a little more obvious about it. Or, maybe you are the owner?
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Old 19-04-2014, 12:52   #20
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

Well, let me try to make it more clear. The buyer should not put another $0.01 in the boat until he and seller have come to an agreement on final selling price.

He already paid to have the boat surveyed by a professional surveyor who found a couple relatively minor problems. Instead of paying for MORE surveys/reports/opinions he should put his $, instead, towards fixing the problems that have been pointed out by his surveyor.

As far as negotiating a discount from the seller, he doesn't need to incur any additional expense.
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Old 19-04-2014, 13:02   #21
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

I know Stu has more experience than I do, way more, but unless there's something very large of complex about this boat (like a Sabre, with all cabinetry done to an exceptional grade and no way to access anyplace) I'd hope a really professional electrician would have it all done in well less than one day, once they had taken a look and made up their prep lists.

I wouldn't want to trust the current owner to hire help, he'd want to cheap out. Instead of asking him to lower the price, ask that a suitable amount be held in escrow to pay for the electric repairs (and anything else that's up in the air). Taking half of Stu's estimate range, that could be twelve hours at $100? $125? an hour, a fast $1500 plus the heavy cable and other parts...Call it two grand in escrow?

But first try to find someone who is highly recommended, and if you can't get a recommendation, try Angie's List or another source for one.

You might also think about having two bilge pumps installed at the same time, since a lot of the labor (running wires, etc.) is duplicated, and bilge pumps are a high failure rate item, no matter how good they are. Two pumps, two float switches.

A lot of this is not hard work, and wouldn't appear to be critical work (other than a working bilge pump) so it might be feasible to simply disconnect and terminate the AC and windlass wiring at the panel, leave them be for now, and DIY after you have the boat. Labor, running wires neatly, etc. isn't rocket science on this one but will be a major cost when it is done right by someone else.
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Old 19-04-2014, 17:44   #22
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

Three days isn't a bad estimate but likely low.

If there is cable run to the a/c but not connected there is almost certainly other issues with the air conditioning. Why else run the cable and not terminate it?

2/0 wire is capable of carrying 200 amps full time. No way you need or can supply that kind of current to your winch for any length of time.

Replacing a bilge pump is normally a simple task.

Your list of issues will grow quite a bit once you do more than kick the tires.
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Old 19-04-2014, 18:06   #23
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

"2/0 wire is capable of carrying 200 amps full time. No way you need or can supply that kind of current to your winch for any length of time. "
Odds are the ampacity of a cable run to a windlass is irrelevant, and the cable should be chosen for minimal voltage drop instead. That will usually result in a much heavier cable than what ampacity would spec.
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Old 19-04-2014, 18:16   #24
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

NEMA rating for motor circuit protection is %125 of motor load. Wire is sized to breaker or fuse. Voltage drop is calculated in thousand feet.

I have dealt with motor circuits from fractional to megawatt.

I have sent a few wannabees packing for trying to size circuits to locked rotor currents.

He likely has less than a 5hp motor pulling 40 full load. #6 or #4 tops.
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Old 19-04-2014, 20:00   #25
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

"He likely has less than a 5hp motor pulling 40 full load. #6 or #4 tops. "

Since we don't know the boat length or the wire run to the windlass (unless I missed a post) let's rashly assume a 35-40' boat with a 40' cable run as it ducks laterally and vertically and doesn't just run in a straight line.

That's 80' total run, and using your number of a possible 40A, the voltage drops are:
6AWG, 1.288 volts
4AWH, 0.808 volts
0AWG, 0.32 volts

So pretty rapidly, without looking at 0/2 cable (my chart stops), you can gain a full volt at the windlass simply by upsizing from #6 to #0 cable. You may feel that's pointless, but it is still a significant voltage gain. The change from #4 to #0 I still a half volt, and that's also equal to a 50% battery discharge state.

Specs? Yes, all well and good. Now ask the motor manufacturer how much a one-volt drop is going to affect the performance of the windlass. Perhaps it won't. Perhaps running the windlass on a 50% discharged battery won't affect performance either.

Or, the OP might just prefer not to install bottlenecks in his power system.
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Old 20-04-2014, 02:32   #26
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

Do a comparison on silver vs copper now.
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Old 20-04-2014, 08:40   #27
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

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Do a comparison on silver vs copper now.
If you are referring to the post by hellosailor may I suggest it would be more informative for those reading this thread to point out the mistakes in the information posted which do seem to follow recommendations by experienced and respected marine electricians.

Based on your experience in the field I would think you would have something more constructive to contribute.
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Old 20-04-2014, 09:45   #28
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

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If you are referring to the post by hellosailor may I suggest it would be more informative for those reading this thread to point out the mistakes in the information posted which do seem to follow recommendations by experienced and respected marine electricians.

Based on your experience in the field I would think you would have something more constructive to contribute.

My apologies for responding in a less than patient manner.

My youngest brother was talked into letting someone install 2/0 cable on his truck winch using the same reasoning. I was a might gruff with him also.

Radically over sizing cable, while not as bad as under sizing, is a ridiculous practice. I see recommendations of the use of locked rotor current as a basis for cable size a couple of times a year from individuals that a little knowledge and less experience. The size of the input terminals or termination cable installed on the equipment are an indication of what is required.

It is a bone of contention for me.

The NEMA standards in my previous post are valid. IEC requirements allow for smaller equipment but I prefer a more robust installation.

Anchor winches are hands down the most abused equipment in the marine industry in my opinion. They are either being overloaded or neglected.

I am partial to my manual winch.
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Old 20-04-2014, 10:24   #29
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
If you are referring to the post by hellosailor may I suggest it would be more informative for those reading this thread to point out the mistakes in the information posted which do seem to follow recommendations by experienced and respected marine electricians.

Based on your experience in the field I would think you would have something more constructive to contribute.

Once, after I had grilled the individual responsible for making us comfortable with a new PM program in my prosecutorial style, a co-worker and dear friend turned to me and asked if I had any idea how crass I had just been. (I paraphrase here. There were curse words in his description of my actions)

Thanks Skipmac.
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Old 20-04-2014, 10:26   #30
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Re: Electrical Guestimates

We dont know the length of run, so what size cable is nothing but a wild A** guess at this point. However, I share your opinion to not go huge on cable personally also.
The OP asked for an estimate on something which we know little detail about, go high on that kind of estimate!
As I mentioned in my earlier post, if he likes the boat and all else is "good enough", Tell the seller he can have it all fixed to ABYC standards or as an option, knock $5k off the price. Often sellers just want to "get it over with".
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