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Old 19-04-2021, 07:16   #1
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Redo electrical?

1978 Crealock 37 with orig wiring. Its a simple boat without alot of electrical. Wiring was placed well. It all works.
I would like to redo it but not sure that makes sense. If I do the project then the following questions come up:
1. Is redo wiring an all or none affair, in spite of the system working?
2. How to start, en bloc, area/system 1, then area/system 2, etc or largest/smallest wire first?
3. Similar to 1 and 2, make sense to just concentrate on areas that have seen the most advancement since early 80’s?

For me, I want to keep everything essentially simple and mech>elec if you know what I mean. Minimal feels right for this coastal cruising PNW cutter that sails simply and easily.

Opinions appreciated.

BTW, see a few pics below for a visual. (Sorry rotated ccw 90 deg)
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Old 19-04-2021, 07:39   #2
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Re: Redo electrical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmzngGrace View Post
1978 Crealock 37 with orig wiring. Its a simple boat without alot of electrical. Wiring was placed well. It all works.
I would like to redo it but not sure that makes sense. If I do the project then the following questions come up:

What would you hope to achieve by replacing the wiring? What problem or limitation of the existing system are you trying to solve?



Quote:

1. Is redo wiring an all or none affair, in spite of the system working?
2. How to start, en bloc, area/system 1, then area/system 2, etc or largest/smallest wire first?
3. Similar to 1 and 2, make sense to just concentrate on areas that have seen the most advancement since early 80ís?
[...]
BTW, see a few pics below for a visual.

I've "redone," partially redone, and not redone the wiring on many houses, boats, RVs, etc.


I offer this sage advice:
  1. Do not pull out all the wiring and start over unless you are replacing the entire interior of the boat or undertaking a refit of equivalent magnitude.
  2. Do not try to solve problems that you do not actually have. Wiring does not fail due to age alone. Limit your rework to changes that make sense and that will make a useful improvement in function or safety.
  3. If the wiring is hopelessly damaged by corrosion, rodents, etc., replace one circuit at a time.
  4. Tracing, organizing and marking the existing circuits is far less work than running new circuits.
  5. Butt splices performed with proper materials and tools are reliable and can be placed as needed in 12v and 24v wiring. Consider splicing a few inches or feet or new wire to deal with existing ends that are too short to allow organization, or that are damaged.
For marking wires either use one of those labelmakers to make "flag" style labels around the wire, or buy commercial wire markers available in many styles.


As to how to start, no one right answer. For a large project, plan your work in stages so that you can stop and still have a usable boat at various points.


I'll post photos of what I did on my (smaller) boat as an example.
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Old 19-04-2021, 07:46   #3
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Re: Redo electrical?

If the existing stuff is working and meets your needs, you can always re-do the battery systems, etc. and change where the feed to the panel comes from. That won't force you to re-do the panel and smaller circuits.



I've basically done that on my boat. Split off a separate house bank, added an inverter, changed the charging systems, etc. But I haven't re-done the main 12v panel and wiring, only changed where the panel gets power from.
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Old 19-04-2021, 07:49   #4
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Re: Redo electrical?

Key points:
* original panel on left (bilge pump fuse is out because I'm on the hard and in the middle of replacing the bilge pump)
* new panel on right replacing prior owner's several inline fuses for new stuff
* clear label tape below and to left of new panel showing fuse sizes
* black-on-white label tape identifying circuits
* note the label flagging on the two battery leads coming in. There is similar flagging behind the panels for each circuit
* Anderson powerpole connector at lower right takes the place of cigarette lighter type outlets
* Incoming wires from battery are unchanged after confirming they are large enough. Original panel is powered from first circuit on new panel


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Old 19-04-2021, 07:58   #5
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Re: Redo electrical?




Key points:

* Grey SB50 connectors added to battery box to simplify battery maintenance and to provide a means of disconnect (other battery in parallel not visible but similar)
* MRBF fuse block, upper right in photo, provides separate fusing for outboard motor and for the smaller line to the house panel, replacing the existing fuse block that was damaged by corrosion and that only had room for one fuse.
* Wiring from fuse block to the house panel (upthread) used existing cable terminated with new terminals
* New negative bus and terminals barely visible in upper right corner of photo. Original was crowded with four connections to a single post

* Wiring to outboard motor reused with addition of new terminals (hard to see)
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Old 19-04-2021, 08:03   #6
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Re: Redo electrical?

Here is the switch panel before I started work on it. It looks ratty but there's nothing seriously wrong with it. The wiring leading to the cabin lights, the nav lights, and the mast would have been especially time consuming to replace with no meaningful benefit, so I kept it.





Here is the original battery fuseholder and neutral "bus":


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Old 19-04-2021, 08:15   #7
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Re: Redo electrical?

Great work I’d say
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