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Author Topic:   Working on wiring in Montauk console
MikeG posted 04-29-2002 03:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for MikeG   Send Email to MikeG  
How do you guys work on the wiring in the console of a Montauk? I have an '88 with the teak doors. Getting in there is a real chore with the small access holes and the RPS in the way. Even worse, the previous owner left a real rats nest of wires in there. It is difficult to work on while on the trailer let alone under way. I think I knocked out a wire to my bilge pump when I was removing a life jacket but it is nearly impossible to figure out where it goes or where it went.

I am considering a complete rewiring along with replacing all fuses with breakers and the push-pull switches with lighted rocker switches. Further, I think I need a more robust and easier to access terminal block as mine is loaded.

Any pictures or advice on how to go about this or what type of undertaking this will be? When I see pictures like Whale-Lure's console from the outside I can't imagine all the wiring that must be going on in there.

george nagy posted 04-29-2002 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
I'm currently doing just that, rewiring my whole boat. I removed the console which made it very easy to acces through the bottom. I'm using lighted rocker switches and I think it looks and functions fantasticly.
peteinsf posted 04-29-2002 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for peteinsf    
I removed all the teak while I re-rigged. It seemed much easier without the hatch frames. I also cleaned up the wood at the same time.
knothead posted 04-29-2002 04:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for knothead  Send Email to knothead     

When rewiring the console on my '88 Montauk, I removed the the RPS seat back, the seat cushion, and the Pate gas tank. Then took off all the louvered doors and the fire extingusher box. It took me a while to figure it all out, but I was able to simplify the wiring and move the batteries into the console. Because my boat is moored in the summer, I've tried to make all the electrical connections as simple and bombproof as possible. The bilge pump is wired straight to a battery with an inline fuse. The VHF has quick disconnects so that it can be removed easily when the boat is moored. Don't skimp on wire quality or size and use heat shrink butt-end connectors. Then bundle it all up and use plenty of cable ties so that life jackets or children can't accidently pull a wire loose.

Good luck--knothead

EddieS posted 04-30-2002 01:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for EddieS  Send Email to EddieS     
Hello Mike,

I am just finishing the wiring on my 66 Nauset. The wiring is more simple than it looks, more than half of the wiring is comming from the outboard loom to your gauges, ignition, etc. I used a six switch fused panel, I think the lighted rocker switches look great. Blue Sea Systems makes some nice ones. Use a bus bar or circuit block for your ground connections, it keeps things tidy. For my electronics and accessories that are not switched I added a labled fuse box. Cable ties are a must, you can get the type with the hole in the end for securing wires to the inside of the console. Heat shrink all connections.

I would recommend sticking with the older type of glass fuse. I recently saw an article testing all of the different fuse types for reliability and the old AGC fuses hold up best. My .03 worth

Good Luck, a good electrical system is one of the best things you can do for your boat.


MikeG posted 04-30-2002 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for MikeG  Send Email to MikeG     
Thanks for the responses. I may take a crack at it this weekend. My first instinct is to rip everything out and start fresh but then I may have an unusable boat for a while. My problems are short wires, a crowded terminal block, poorly connected splices, loose pull switches and a generally unorganized mess all of which is difficult to access. Short of cutting the console in half I may look into removing it or trying knothead's idea of clearing the RPS pieces out of the way.

I was trying to take an inventory of what needs electrical power. Here is what I came up with so far:

Battery (in console)
Tilt and trim sender
Console (internal)
Lighted Gauges
Trim indicator
Depth Sounder
VHF (linked to acces. pull switch)
Humminbird 3D FF
Garmin GPS power
12V Recepticle

Seems like a lot for a 17' boat. I purchased a voltage reg for the FF that I need to wire in as well. The 88spl does not have one and throws up to 16V sometimes. I may also need blank dash plates for installing the new switches. Any ideas or sources?

Thanks again for the replies!

dfmcintyre posted 05-01-2002 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Mike -

I'll send you pic's and info on my system tonight. It's a Blue Sea panel mounted inside of a shell that's pretty water resistant and flush into the side of the console.


george nagy posted 05-01-2002 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Last night I finished putting a new floor in the console. I used pvc plastic 1/2" thick. I then cut out for the twin battery boxes to fit in. The batteries will nicely slip in and rest on the floor of the boat relieving the stress on the console floor and giving extra much needed storage space. I'm now thinking of making a shelf and/or a mounting bracket to mount my oil tank above the starboard battery in the corner opposite the port side entry door. I will take some pictures of the work done so far and send them to you asap. The instillation of the new lighted rocker switches came out extremely nice I think. Good luck w/ your project.
MikeG posted 05-01-2002 05:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for MikeG  Send Email to MikeG     
df, I'll look for the pics. Thanks for the advice everyone. I installed a new console floor two years ago. The previous owner moved the battery from the back of the boat to the console and the pounding wrecked the original floor. Mine now sits on the deck through a cut out. I'm putting together the electrical inventory list now. Any good sources for new marine wiring, heat shrink connectors, switches and breakers? If I'm going to do it I want to use stuff that will last!

I'm going to try to get this project done before it really gets into the season (SE PA). The paradox is that whenever the weather is right and there is enough time to work on the boat, I'm usually out in it!

Thanks again,

jellisfeingold posted 05-02-2002 10:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jellisfeingold  Send Email to jellisfeingold     
Here's some strident advice: Use anti-corrosion goo on all connections. I forget the name of the stuff, but it looks like vasolene and you get it at Radio Shack. Use is on fuse contacts, screw terminals, plug-ins, etc. Use in on wire ends prior to crimping, and on battery terminals. Smear it on light bulb bases, and nywhere there is a non-soldered electrical contact. Also, solder everything you can. If it can be crimped, it can be soldered. Shrink wrap every connection. Straighten up and fly right.
dfmcintyre posted 05-02-2002 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
I'd stay away from automotive wiring or any type of wiring you'd buy at the local Radio Shack, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.

Instead, go to your closet West store, and pickup the catalog of Ancor wiring products.

I'll send the .jpg's tonight.


Guts posted 05-12-2002 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Guts  Send Email to Guts     
I'm A little late on this subject. A friend lowned me his coppy of a book that is very good on this.the name of it is;
for boats
by miner k. brotherton
a Mc graw hill companie
retail costomers 1-800-262-4729 I must say I have not called this number befor and hope it worksfor you. I realy like this book as it is for boats and not cars or other may be able to find it at a book store or O-line. if some else has this I would like to here what you think of it also.

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