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Rewiring Boat

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:53 pm
by gigglingdolphins
Well we have completely removed all of the old wire in Giggling Dolphins (except what was actually embedded in the fiberglass hull to deck joint) We are now going to start rewiring, so of the thoughts we have:
1: Move AC /DC Breaker Panel to the aft cabin just below the bump out for the engine control panel.
2: Move all DC pumps to under the aft cabin bunk (short wire runs)
3: Replace all lights (Internal and External) with LED's
4: All wire runs above waterline (except to float switches in the bilge)
5: New house battery box built into the forward section of the aft bunk (Completed)

While I would like to purchase a new breaker panel, I don't see any reason why I could not just use the existing panel and breakers with an upgrade to digital meters. I figured that I could take it all apart, repaint and relabel and go from there.
Any feedback or thoughts will always be greatly appreciated.

Re: Rewiring Boat

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:45 am
by sv_pacific_pearl
Hello Giggling Dolphins,

I re dd my wiring all can't tell you how important it is to mark everything properly. The drawing you take ages to make will pay off.

Obvious other stuff is to use tinned copper and take the time to solder and heat shrink all joints. Also, put water proof plugs on stuff you are likely to change out often, like bilge pumps etc. that way, when they fail you just plug in your spare.

I am probably telling you stuff you already know so will stop but the 12 v bible by wing is a good guide.

Re: Rewiring Boat

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:56 pm
by scleary
You may want to read up on/consider a 'distributed electrical' approach. Instead of home runs back to a main panel, you place sub panels near the loads (1 panel in the galley, 1 panel at the NAV, 1 forward, etc). This approach can result in significant weight and cost savings by reducing the long runs of larger gauge wires with short runs of smaller gauge wires, as well as less expensive lower amperage breakers. For example, if you have 10 30' runs of 12 awg from your main panel to a set of devices at the NAV, you may be able to do 2 30' runs with a ground/power feed in 4 awg to a sub panel placed at the NAV, and 10 3' runs with 14 or 16 awg (these are just arbitrary lengths/gauges).

There are much more complex systems that take this approach to the extreme with very sophisticated monitoring and control capabilities (programmable switches that can control any device from anywhere in the boat, etc), but they are much more complicated and expensive. There is a pretty good discussion of distributed electrical on ''. Another at yachting. One system I read about was 'Octoplex' by carlingtech. It's interesting stuff.

I think the traditional approach, but with sub panels is the best of both worlds for a cruising boat ( you don't want proprietary and complicated out in the middle of nowhere). My 48 was originally owned by a gentleman with a disability, so they put a panel right at the helm for all of the things you'd want to control from topside, tri-color, anchor, running, engine ignition, etc.

Best of luck!

Re: Rewiring Boat

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:22 am
by andyv94
I know this is a very old post but I hope it gets answered.

How did you guys rewire the cealing lights? Did you had to remove all of the ceiling panels? If so how is it done?

Re: Rewiring Boat

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:52 pm
by gigglingdolphins
So here is the outcome of our rewire job:
1: We ordered a new panel from Blue Sea Systems and installed it where the old panel was by the nav. station
2: All overhead lights were removed and the holes filled in and the headliner was repainted
3: We ran continuous led light strips under the cabin side hand holds (We used a total of 15 12 inch ultra thin high output led light bars from Lunasea) #LLB-32DW-01-00
4: To replace the overhead lights, we installed the elegant wall mount led 33GW Brass lights from Lunasea on the upper teak molding on the cabin sites
5: Our new battery bank is installed under the aft bunk, a total of 6 6V 280 Amp hour batteries from Rolls in Canada for a total of 840 Amp Hours (I like the Rolls Surette Batteries 3 year full replacement then 7 years prorated replacement)

Re: Rewiring Boat

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:57 am
by andyv94
Thank you for the reply!!

My electrical panel sits below the entry step near the galley! My batteries are behind the engine compartment

I want to move the panel to where most HC have them which is by the nav station. I want to do the exact same thing
with literally the same type of batteries and same number of them. I’ve actually done the same thing with the LED lights
and they work well.
Is it a difficult job to move everything to the nav station from where I have itright now?