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-   -   Recommended sources for new wiring on boat (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f14/recommended-sources-for-new-wiring-on-boat-187437.html)

glhotka 08-07-2017 10:58

Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
I am going to be rewiring the AC and DC on my boat. I am convinced that much of it needs modernizing (and in some cases correcting). It has been expanded a few times with additional break banks and I want to wire it fresh with new components wired the best way possible.

I have 2 questions for those guru's here.
1) What is the best book you have seen and recommend for this kind of thing (and I am looking for ideas on how to wire in the shore power, generator, shore, inverter power and all.
2) I have 2 30amp cords that come into the boat, but essentially only 1 panel. I am curious if there are recommendations here between a single 50 amp cord or 2 30amps for providing dock to boat service? (And curious why you have that suggestion).

The boat is a 51' sailboat so it is going to need more than a single 30amp service I presume.

Olly75 08-07-2017 11:16

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
I can only answer the first part, but highly recommend Nigel Calder's mechanical and electrical maintenance book.

David M 08-07-2017 12:39

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Whichever books you get, make sure your electrical system is done to ABYC standards.

skipmac 08-07-2017 13:04

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
I think a single 30 amp service will be sufficient unless you will be running air conditioning.

Second the recommendation on Nigel Calder's book.

hellosailor 08-07-2017 14:06

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Amazon, enter "boat electrical book" and you'll see all the classics. Some you can peek at, others you may find that your reference librarian can obtain on free loan for you.

Two 30A circuits allow for you to blow one breaker and still have power to half the boat, i.e. half of your lights. Or to tie up at marina's that only have 30A service, even if that means using two dock poles. One 50A circuit is simpler, but of course resist the tempation to kludge one 50A inlet to two 30A breakers, as those would allow a 60A overlead back to the marina, which they might get upset about. (Among other issues.) Kludging one 50A back to, say, one 30A circuit for the heavy loads and one 20A circuit for perhaps just lighting and other smaller loads, would be the way to go if you're kludging.

lesterbutch 09-07-2017 08:45

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by glhotka (Post 2429275)
I am going to be rewiring the AC and DC on my boat. I am convinced that much of it needs modernizing (and in some cases correcting). It has been expanded a few times with additional break banks and I want to wire it fresh with new components wired the best way possible.

I have 2 questions for those guru's here.
1) What is the best book you have seen and recommend for this kind of thing (and I am looking for ideas on how to wire in the shore power, generator, shore, inverter power and all.
2) I have 2 30amp cords that come into the boat, but essentially only 1 panel. I am curious if there are recommendations here between a single 50 amp cord or 2 30amps for providing dock to boat service? (And curious why you have that suggestion).

The boat is a 51' sailboat so it is going to need more than a single 30amp service I presume.

I have been there and done that! I have also
hired a marine electrician. In the long run, it
was far cheaper to hire the electrician! It is
also good for your peace of mind, and more
importantly the peace of mind of your "First
Mate". Unless you are a qualified " marine
electrician "! You ain't (stronger than aren't),
Qualified!!!�� Backyard "electricians" and even
"residential electricians" aren't qualified.

boeing1 09-07-2017 08:58

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
yes Calder,s book very good, be sure to use all marine wiring and connectors /splices. might want to invest in some good wire crimpers as well. might want to get someone more familiar with electrical to go over your work before you do the smoke test
good luck with your project

hellosailor 09-07-2017 09:46

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
There are a surprising number of subtle ways that AC wiring can kill you. And DC wiring can not only sink the boat, it can also literally blow off fingers. But without knowing the OP's skills or experience...an alleged marine electrician doesn't necessarily make things safer or better. Best to get the books, see what's involved, sketch out what you think is a good working plan, and THEN, if you feel uncomfortable with the job or uncertain of it, only then to call in an alleged professional.

There are always 'code compliance' issues, whether that's ABYC or otherwise. Knowing why those codes call for specifics, and what other options might be, is also pretty important. Sometimes they can be quirky. A fully license electrician once told me to always wrap the electrical tape clockwise, never counterclockwise. Why? Oh, it would work just as well either way, but if the inspector saw it was counterclockwise, he'd fail the entire job on the spot, knowing it hasn't been done by a union electrician. Go figure.

DeepFrz 09-07-2017 10:23

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hellosailor (Post 2429836)
There are a surprising number of subtle ways that AC wiring can kill you. And DC wiring can not only sink the boat, it can also literally blow off fingers. But without knowing the OP's skills or experience...an alleged marine electrician doesn't necessarily make things safer or better. Best to get the books, see what's involved, sketch out what you think is a good working plan, and THEN, if you feel uncomfortable with the job or uncertain of it, only then to call in an alleged professional.

There are always 'code compliance' issues, whether that's ABYC or otherwise. Knowing why those codes call for specifics, and what other options might be, is also pretty important. Sometimes they can be quirky. A fully license electrician once told me to always wrap the electrical tape clockwise, never counterclockwise. Why? Oh, it would work just as well either way, but if the inspector saw it was counterclockwise, he'd fail the entire job on the spot, knowing it hasn't been done by a union electrician. Go figure.

I'm going to take issue with this post. Never use an "alleged" marine professional. Only use an ABYC certified marine electrician and I would ask for references.

lesterbutch 09-07-2017 10:35

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DeepFrz (Post 2429859)
I'm going to take issue with this post. Never use an "alleged" marine professional. Only use an ABYC certified marine electrician and I would ask for references.

I agree with this completly, I had my boat re-wired by an ABYC Certified marine electrician and it was beautifully done! I did however do my homework in advance by researching the ratings and soliciting information from several people who had his services in the past. Caution is the keyword, especially when poor work can leave you stranded miles at sea, or worse!

kudukuguam 09-07-2017 11:09

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
As for wiring, ABYC standards are MINIMUM requirements. I use nothing but aviation grade wire in the boats I work on. I had a disagreement with a USCG inspector over this several years ago and wound up having to submit the documents (online sourced) to prove this wire exceeds ABYC's by 50% in all aspects (insulation breakdown/etc). Costs about 25% more but I have peace of mind knowing I've used the best.

Stu Jackson 09-07-2017 11:24

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lesterbutch (Post 2429868)
I agree with this completly, I had my boat re-wired by an ABYC Certified marine electrician and it was beautifully done! I did however do my homework in advance by researching the ratings and soliciting information from several people who had his services in the past. Caution is the keyword, especially when poor work can leave you stranded miles at sea, or worse!

Very good advice.

As with anything in life, it is important for YOU to know what you want to do ahead of time, this is called developing a Design Criteria and is part of the system design.

If you are remodeling your kitchen at home, you would not leave the selection of the kitchen cabinets and countertop up to the contractor, would you?

You MUST be part of the process, so that you know what you want, and can assure yourself not only that you get what you want, but that you fully understand what it is you end up getting, both in terms of knowing it's right and understanding how it works.

As part of this it is ESSENTIAL that you receive, as part of the work, a COMPLETE wiring diagram.

Three parts to doing anything: design, installation, commissioning and use.

You NEED to be part of the first, can hire out or do the second, and you are the ONLY one who will have to live with it.

Good luck, you are not the first skipper to have done this, and none of was born an electrician. :wink::smile::biggrin:

Scott Berg 09-07-2017 11:44

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
1) plan the work
2) work the plan
3) use nothing but the best wire, terminals, and other components
4) this will cost twice your budget and take four times as long
5) 50amp fittings are MUCH more robust (and more expensive) than 30amp ones even if you're not pulling full rated current

I do this for a living
I'm not asking to do yours...

Recommendations:

For custom panels: Mobile Marine Electric in New Hampshire MMES Custom Panels - Custom Boat Electrical Panels
For wire and parts Genuine Dealz
https://www.genuinedealz.com/

Let me know where you are based and I can recommend some consulting electricians who can help even if you're a full DIY boat

hellosailor 09-07-2017 12:34

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Deepfrz-
Having seen the botched jobs done by ASE-certified car mechanics, and highly-trained long experienced "A" line car mechanics...and all sorts of other people with paper qualifications, I don't know offhand what the ABYC certification is worth but to me, even if someone has that they are still an "alleged" mechanic until they've proven otherwise.
Some folks have the knowledge and credentials--but are simply dishonest thieves, posing as mechanics. I've also known Microsoft MSCE certified network professionals, and Novell network certified professionals, who screwed systems up royally. And those credentials weren't quick and easy to get, either.
So, paper credentials? Here, let me show you a royal warrant appointment from Her Imperial Britannic Majesty, Elizabeth II. What color would you like me to print it on?(G)

Not to knock the organization, but paper is still just paper. Results are what count.

NevisDog 09-07-2017 13:42

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
I'm no electrician but I've already begun rewiring the least efficient parts of the ancient spaghetti wiring in my recently acquired old boat. The primary reason for DIY is that total familiarity will help when the next fault occurs, which will inevitably be in some remote location far from outside help. Motto is: if you can't fix it (or toss it) then it has no place on board, so, unless you carry that ABYC electrician or mechanic with you everywhere you go, you'd better DIY it.

Dave22q 09-07-2017 14:23

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
I'm no expert but I think you can easily set it up to accept 30 amp OR 50 amp service but never both. Use 30 when 50 is not available and turn stuff off if you start tripping breakers e.g. microwave, coffee pot and AC. You can run a lot of stuff on 30 amps. Attempting to create 60 amp service by plugging two 30's sounds dangerous to me.

Mike Banks 09-07-2017 23:03

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
The only advice I would give is to run all of your wiring in ducts. I use the sort with the removable lid.

Oh--and I use copper conductor tinned. and any fuses are encapsulated and if heavy duty, gas proof.

For some circuits such as anchor windlass, I use welding cable and also augment it with a separate remote battery in parallel with the house batteries. This also serves to keep the volts up on the marine electric head.

I also find that the heavy cables stops the windlass draw damaging the conductors not only from the extra battery to the windlass, but also from the house bank. I tried using a blocking diode so that charging current only would reach the auxiliary windlass/ macerator head battery--but it took half a volt of charge voltage to switch it on--so I replaced all of the charging circuit with welding cable (will carry 200 amps) on all of the battery leads and connections.

When using the windlass I also run the diesel engine--which gives a bit of extra power. The heavy leads means this saves a bit of battery draw--the alternator supplies about sixty amps. The windlass draws about 120 on a heavy lift--and I use a sixty pounds anchor on ten millimetre short link chain and a 16 pounds weight kellet.

My next anchor windlass will be hydraulic. I will be able to save the weight of such a large battery, and have only the hydraulic lines to the hydraulic motors and the oil they contain as extra weight.
.

UNCIVILIZED 10-07-2017 06:23

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
It's worth studying enough on the topic so that you, yourself, can sketch out a proposed wiring diagram for your boat. Even if but a semi-abridged one. Then take it to a certified electrician, & have him go over it with you, & adjust things. Perhaps repeating this process a few times, until you get something that you're happy with, which is also safe, & makes sense from a power input & distribution standpoint.

From there you can either hire the job out, do it yourself, or possibly do some of both. And again, it'll have paid to have done a good bit of studying on the topic(s) prior to undertaking the work. Including reading up on ABYC cert's etc. Which are quite easy to find via Bing, or Google, etc.

Here are a few references to read, to get a start on your self-education. And also, prior to starting the job, as with anything else, it would be wise to practice your skills & techniques on something less important (& expensive). Possibly even not even on the boat, nor boat related. It'll save you both coin, & frustration in the long run. Ask me how I know ;)
https://www.bluesea.com/resources/536
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...ds=boat+wiring

One other option, or "tool" to add to your toolbox, would be to take a class, or classes on the subject. Be it a 2-day weekend one, or something of length at a college, or vocational school. As such training is readily available, & again, it saves you time & coin, even when the cost of the schooling is included. Plus it'll educate you on a lot of things you never thought of, or considered that you might need to know. Along with boosting your confidence, & (hopefully) imbuing you with a technique based on good safety practices. Personal safety, & system(s) safety.

For example, even though I've known my way around cordage since puberty. Including being able to do a wire to rope splice in 15min at age 19. Taking Brion Toss's weekend splicing classes was one of the best (nautical) things I've ever done. I learned a LOT. Some of which I've forgotten, but which comes back quickly after I pull out the instructions on X, & practice it a few times on some scrap rope, prior to doing the "real job".

Adult Ed. classes on carpentry, & composites have been much the same. And even if the material isn't new to me, I always learn invaluable things. With the class(es) serving as a train up (for me). The same is true when I get asked to play "guest crew", & serve as the competition, for racing classes at J-world. It's fun, & adds to my quiver of skills & my resume.


BTW, it may be worth inquiring with any industrial type retailer, to ask them to order your wire & components. As odds are, the price that they'd sell it to you at will be less than the mark up associated with any "marine" store.
That, or see about adding your order onto one being placed by a boatbuilder, or RV maker, etc. So that again, you're not paying much above the commercial rate for it, vs. marine retail prices.

donradcliffe 10-07-2017 08:21

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Its worth noting that 30 amp service is 110 volts, supporting 3 kilowatts of load, while the typical 50 amp services is 220 volts, supporting 11 kilowatts of load.

skipmac 10-07-2017 08:54

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by donradcliffe (Post 2430427)
Its worth noting that 30 amp service is 110 volts, supporting 3 kilowatts of load, while the typical 50 amp services is 220 volts, supporting 11 kilowatts of load.

Just to cover all the bases, absolutely correct that 50 amp service is typically (almost universally) 220V, split phase but there is or used to be a 50 amp 110V option, however haven't seen at a marina in years.

I do still have a 50 amp 110V shore power cord if anyone is interested. I'll make you a deal. :rolleyes:

SecondBase 10-07-2017 10:08

Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
Mads' project, refitting a Warrior 38 named Athena, is on his SailLife YouTube channel. This is an Outstanding companion to the books other forum members suggested.

Here is a link to one episode to get you started but the whole channel is worth it !!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0TCwmuLjWhk

GordMay 11-07-2017 03:49

Re: Recommended sources for new wiring on boat
 
See ➥ https://kelownayachtclub.com/wp-conte...atersGuide.pdf

And ➥ https://marincofaq.wordpress.com/cat...-power/page/3/


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