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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Rewiring: Circuit Panel v. Switches and Fuse Block
|Author||Topic: Rewiring: Circuit Panel v. Switches and Fuse Block|
posted 04-04-2007 09:27 PM ET (US)
In planning the rewiring of my 88 Montauk, I am debating which of two routes to follow for circuit protection and switching:
--install a dash mounted circuit panel (e.g., Blue Seas 8372), or
--use dash-mounted switches and a fuse block.
I would be interested in informed opinions on which route to follow and why.
posted 04-05-2007 01:23 AM ET (US)
I would lean toward using a fuse block which was mounted inside the console, then use the old-fashioned brass pull switches that were original equipment. My reason: to keep some of the classic flavor of the boat and its gear.
Also, you probably already have the holes in the console for the pull-switches. I am always trying to avoid making new holes in the boat. If I can use an existing one, I do.
posted 04-05-2007 08:29 AM ET (US)
Another fact to take into consideration is that no circuit protection device protects more consistently then fuses. Circuit breakers are convenient, but can (and do) fail to perform as rated from time to time.
Although circuit breaker technology has come a long way, they are still a electro-mechanical device.
I don't think there is a more sickening smell out on the water then that of wire insulation burning. Fuses are cheap.
posted 04-05-2007 10:52 PM ET (US)
I know it's redundant but I use both. All of my electronics (radio, fishfinder, GPS, stereo, and the like) are run through a fuse block (Blue Seas blade fuse box) and what I call standard electricals (lights, bilge pumps, live well, and non solid state equipment) are run off Blue Seas fused switch panels. It's probably false security but the separation makes me feel better. Once hooked up most standard electricals will not need to be changed. Electronics on the other hand come and go. Having them separated makes for easier change out. Also electronics usually have their own built in switches and do not need a dedicated switch panel. I'm rewiring my son's new boat this was right now. I agree with Bella and like fuses over circuit breakers. I haven't had to enlarge any holes on my console or my son's to install the 4 switch horizontal Blue Seas panels. All main positive feeds are also fused. Call me paranoid.
posted 04-05-2007 11:10 PM ET (US)
Sorry, I misread the part of the question. The answer is fuses for the reason Bella gives.
posted 04-06-2007 09:02 AM ET (US)
Jeff: I too have my electronics separated out from my heavier loads, example lights, pumps, etc. It may be a false security, but I feel better having the ability to kill the feed to the electronics in the event that I get stuck in the unavoidable thunderstorm.
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