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ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
posted 04-01-2001 05:57 PM ET (US)
I'm in the process of re-wiring everything running to the console on my Montauk, using a new fuse block mounted within the console.
What is the best way to determine the proper capacity fuse for:
Is 16 ga. marine wire sufficent for all of the above items?
Any other tips or suggestions?
posted 04-01-2001 06:13 PM ET (US)
To figure out size fuse and wire you need,
figure out from the manufacturer's specs
what the current draw is, then about double
it. For example, my VHF pulls 6A when
transmitting. It's fused for 10A, and
wired for a good bit more.
If it's very far from the battery to the fuse
There's a nice table of wire sizes vs load
Figure 10 amps for the power point. You may
Blue Sea systems makes a really nice fuse
Use marine grade stuff. If it came from the
The Ancor glue line heat shrink is cool.
Plan for a couple of spare circuits at the
posted 04-01-2001 08:11 PM ET (US)
Think about using an ATC/ATO type fuse panel rather than glass type fuses.
Much easier to get in and out.
posted 04-01-2001 09:22 PM ET (US)
I'd also recommend Chucks comments regarding the Blue Sea hardware.
I took it one step further, during my rebuild, and replace all the push/pull switches with a Blue Sea circuit breaker panel, mounted on the side of the console, in a flush mounted splashproof clear plastic housing. I've never been a fan of the push/pull and glass fuse combo, and wonder how Whaler used it as long as they did (are they still?)
If your interested in leaning in that direction, I'll email you some photos of the setup, and address where I got the housing.
posted 04-01-2001 10:29 PM ET (US)
That Blue Sea Systems fuse block I mentioned
has a little lever for each glass tube fuse.
Push the lever, out comes the fuse. Really
slick. And it has a nice clear plastic
cover, and Blue Sea has darn near every
label you could want on their website:
$.50 per label plus $.50 shipping.
The ATC/ATO type fuses are nice, but I
Whaler doesn't use the push pull switches
posted 04-01-2001 10:30 PM ET (US)
Oh, and my Montauk came with circuit breakers
rather than fuses. Three CBs: running
lights, bilge pump, and Aux.
posted 04-02-2001 10:13 AM ET (US)
posted 04-02-2001 10:46 AM ET (US)
For what it's worth, a few years ago I stopped having problems with the old-style push-pull switches and glass fuses. My annual maintenance includes a drop or two of WD-40 into all the switch plungers and a quick removal and finger swipe of vasaline on the ends of every fuse. Works for me.
posted 04-02-2001 11:55 AM ET (US)
Vaseline will migrate, esp. in hot weather.
Dow-Corning #111 or #4(I think that's the
posted 04-02-2001 12:45 PM ET (US)
Hey Chuck: Timely post. Thanks.
I am just starting the re-wire of my Nauset. All switches have to mount in the two 6x9 panels on either side of the steering wheel. I want to use the newer Cole Hersee Contura switches. I noticed on page 585 of the West catalog that they have a waterproof distribution panel with the switches and fuse holders included.
Given that I am starting from scratch, would this be a better way to go than purchasing the 5015 like you (and mounting under console)and then mounting separate switches in the "dash" cutouts? Should would appreciate your advice and anyonce else that has re-wired.
Bob (Chesapeake - Chicago)
posted 04-02-2001 05:50 PM ET (US)
Bob, I just bought the Hella 6 switch "splashproof" panel which has the inline fuses behind it. I am putting this in the "dash" of my Montauk and the whole boat is being rewired. I am also using dielectric grease/silicone on every connection and using heatshrink as well. The heatshrink is not cheap but I am sure it is well worth it.
One thing I would appreciate comments on is how to run the wires from my stern light and bow light into the tunnel. How do you make this look clean besides using spiral wrap? Rex
posted 04-02-2001 06:12 PM ET (US)
What is dielectric grease/silicone? Why do I need it?
Rex: I am sure that you have seen the tiedowns that you can buy for corrugated tube, yes? It will keep the tubing in one spot. They secure into the gelcoat / fiberglass with screws and use wire ties to keep the tubing attached. I bought them from Whaler only to find out that West has them in stock.
posted 04-02-2001 06:24 PM ET (US)
Chuck: What do you mean when you say non-starter load in your post? Where would you put the fuse??
posted 04-02-2001 07:54 PM ET (US)
Dielectric grease is used to keep the salt
air (and salt water, maybe) out of electrical
connections a bit longer. It's actually an
electical insulator (hence the name,
"dielectic") so the connectors have to push
through it and make good contact with each
other (which they have to anyway).
Dielectric grease is generally a silcone
type. The standard stuff is Dow Corning
#4. I perfer the Dow #111 because it's
stiffer, and I it's speced for lubrication on
some of my dive gear. http://www.mcmaster.com/
has both, paeg 1895, search on
Dow Corning Paste.
What I meant by "nonstarter load" was
You don't want to use plain heatshrink for
posted 04-02-2001 09:54 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the info. I have been using the solderless connectors that have the built on sleeve with adhesive. When I change to your method, how does it work? Do I need to solder my connections or can I still use the tubes? Sorry for so many questions.
posted 04-04-2001 10:18 PM ET (US)
Just got a West Marine sale catalog today.
They ahve got the Blue Sea fuse block I like,
and what I think is the switch panel you
wanted, on sale. Not just in the catalog
at regular price (like most of the stuff
in the "sale" catalog), but really on sale.
The crimp on connectors with the adhesive
posted 04-06-2001 02:58 PM ET (US)
I owe you a big Thanks. Like Bob, I am wiring my whaler top to bottom and needed a fuse panel. I almost bought a standard bus with open fuses until I read your post. I am now the owner of a BlueSea 5015. The block is exactly what I was looking for. The only painful part was forking over $10 for the labels. Ouch! Once again, this forum has helped with the restortaion of by whaler. Thanks.
posted 04-06-2001 05:00 PM ET (US)
Ouch. If you haven't opened the labels,
take them back. Labels are .50 each, .50
per order for shipping on the Blue Seas
And they have zillions of different ones
Sorry I didn't post that the first time.
posted 04-06-2001 09:37 PM ET (US)
KCarlsen: What switches did you use?
I had wanted to use the Blue Sea panel with four contura switches. It is really beautifully built. Unfortunately, the guage panel cutouts on the old consoles (as you know) are not big enough to accomodate the Blue Sea panel plus a Yamaha ignition switch. Kinda stumped...
Am still trying to figure that one out, so would be interested in what you have done.
posted 04-07-2001 03:41 PM ET (US)
> I wouldn't use 18 ga for anything. Too
The ABYC agrees. From the Ancor catalog:
BTW, you can order an Ancor catalog from
posted 04-09-2001 12:12 AM ET (US)
Joe, you might consider a breaker panel rather than a fuse panel. Overton's sold one last year for a few bucks more than the equivalent fused version. I live in the desert and run in fresh water. In a wetter climate or in salt water, I might worry about how water resistant these low end panels are. Mine has six breakers and switches. I only use four presently, but I'll find some use for the others I'm sure. My motivation for using breakers is related to Murphy's Law. I assume that when I blow a fuse it will be dark and windy and I won't be able to find my spares. The wire and connectors from Ancor are really high quality stuff - much heavier duty than parts from the automotive sources. It looks a lot more corrosion resistant too. Time will tell. Dave
posted 04-09-2001 09:52 AM ET (US)
The Blue Sea panel stores six spare fuses
in the lid.
posted 04-09-2001 05:50 PM ET (US)
Chuck: Per your comment on 18 guage wire...
In speaking with the folks from whaler technical service, they recomended 18 guage wire for the bow light (in the chock) which I just replaced. I ran the wire inside the rub rail, but have not yet completed running through the tunnel and hooking it up.
Do you think the 18 guage is a mistake for this little light? Do I need to rewire again? Sure would appreciate your insight.
posted 04-09-2001 08:03 PM ET (US)
My concern with 18 ga is that the vibration
is more likely to break it. With the
rubrail you may have a clear problem with
heavier wire though.
Be sure to stuff has much extra wire under
posted 05-19-2001 01:57 PM ET (US)
Thanks to all of you the re-wiring project is now complete. I did use a standard, open-fuse block, primarily because I already had it on hand.
I used 14 ga Ancor marine-grade wire and terminals. The fuse block is pretty well protected inside the console, but I used di-electric grease on the fuses and sprayed all the connections with Quicksilver corrosion guard spray and will keep a close eye on everything for corrosion problems.
It may not perform any better, but I like having everything squared away under the console and now I feel I am thoroughly familiar with my boat's electrical system.
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