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Small Boat Electrical System: Upgrades This Season
|Author||Topic: Small Boat Electrical System: Upgrades This Season|
posted 10-13-2009 10:55 PM ET (US)
Here is a recap of some of the electrical projects on my small boat this season:
--moved all electrical cables from the chronically damp rigging tunnel to a nice, dry, high run under the gunwale;
--moved the SONAR transducer back to the rigging tunnel after I noticed interference from being bundled with all the other electrical cables;
--replaced the 17-year-old original connectors on the stern pole navigation lamp, even though they were still working; used DEUTSCH two-pole connectors, boots, and dummy plugs;
--replaced the wiring from stern pole lamp to console with new marine grade ANCOR 16-AWG wire; this replaced the replacement wire I put in last season that had one splice to reach the console;
--installed NMEA-2000 network backbone using a mixture of DeviceNET connectors and LowranceNET Blue connectors; powered network from the engine IGNITION circuit.
--installed I-Command 3.5-inch digital gauge on NMEA-2000 network;
--installed I-Command interface cable to E-TEC engine on NMEA-2000 network;
--installed I-Command memory module;
--removed original OEM tachometer to make room for I-Command gauge;
--rewired battery negative (or ground) and battery positive (from IGNITION) to instrument panel after removing tachometer; used OEM Amphenol rubber body connector to mate with the original tachometer cable from engine wiring harness for neat installation;
--found bad connection in OEM sump pump control switch wiring and made repair, twice;
--replaced engine's battery cables with new cables of similar gauge;
--restored isolated ground to analogue TRIM gauge which was omitted from new wiring harness for new E-TEC engine; this fixed problem with gauge illumination circuit sneak path.
On my boat trailer electrical system:
--replaced tail lamp assembly after lamp socket became intermittent after 17-years; also corrected orientation of lamp assembly to improve diving bell principle of water resistance.
--[Forgot this one in my original list] repaired cabin lamp fixture which had jumped out of the ratchet mechanism for holding lamp in position.
There are still many projects left for next season!
posted 10-13-2009 10:57 PM ET (US)
How about you? Any electrical system improvements to report?
posted 10-15-2009 11:45 AM ET (US)
Jim, I completed only a fraction of the electrical upgrades that you did.
1. Replaced both batteries.
2. Replaced the 50-amp circuit breaker located in the starboard stern storage compartment.
I would say, electrically speaking, that you were much more productive than I this year.
posted 10-15-2009 03:53 PM ET (US)
Here is my list:
- removed 16 year old dedicated Apelco RADAR system;
- removed Garmin 182c GPS;
- installed Garmin 4208 NMEA 2000 compatible display;
- installed 18 inch Garmin HD radome;
- installed Garmin 17X GPS (NMEA 2000 networked) antenna;
- installed basic NMEA 2000 network backbone connecting Garmin 4208 display to Garmin 17X GPS antenna, backbone wired to house power bus which is connected to battery selector switch;
- replaced Navman F3100 fuel flow computer with malfunctioning LCD display with Northstar F310 fuel flow computer;
- replaced one battery; and
- replaced two broken 6W solar panels with 7W solar panels, each dedicated to a battery.
posted 10-15-2009 11:57 PM ET (US)
The idea of bringing wires out of the rigging tunnel to a high and dry location is something I have been considering. When Tony owned the boat, his/our mechanic had run all the rigging in a very funky manner along the side railing of the boat in plastic flex tubing. It looked like one of the robot arms from "Lost in Space". It worked because the boat had a starboard oriented console.
I moved all the rigging to the tunnel to convert the boat to a center console, and everything began to get wet. Although there are no wire terminations of any kind in the tunnel, the wire insulation is subject to constant water and moisture.
I'd love to some pictures when you're done Jim.
posted 10-16-2009 01:48 PM ET (US)
Jim would be great to see some photos of the upgrades
posted 10-16-2009 03:07 PM ET (US)
cable run on my 210 Ventura .... and yes it's right sided but can be done on a center console.
posted 10-16-2009 10:12 PM ET (US)
The cable run under my boat's starboard gunwale is not encased in a flexible plastic conduit as Tom has shown above. Boston Whaler kindly ran some of the wiring under the gunwale in the original installation. I used the existing wiring, which was nicely run through metal cable clamps with rubber bushings, as a hanger to attach my wiring, using nylon cable ties. Actually, I used a mixture of nylon cable ties and some velcro wraps. I have added and removed so many cables in the past two years that I got tired of cutting off nylon cable ties and changed to velcro wraps.
Tom--I like your under-gunwale indirect cockpit lighting. I keep planning to add that type of lighting to my boat, but it is still on the project list.
Also, I don't see any mildew under those gunwales. That is a sign of very good boat keeping.
By the way, when I do cut off an existing nylon cable tie, I make the cut just behind the head on the end of the tie. That way I can keep the length of the tie as long as possible. I often re-use the cut tie in another location where a shorter tie will work. I guess my Scottish ancestry is at work there.
posted 10-24-2009 05:55 PM ET (US)
Jim, would you show some photographs of your wiring? I have a 1983 22 Outrage Cuddy that I plan to work on this winter. The wiring definitely needs attention.
posted 10-24-2009 09:34 PM ET (US)
My current electrical system is not particularly photogenic. It is quite functional.
posted 11-01-2009 11:54 AM ET (US)
Summer 2009 projects
1992 23 Walkaround
The plug and play connections made the system very easy to install.
1966 16’ Sakonnet
Replaced the old wiring from the battery to the accessory fuse box in center council and replace the old fuse box.
posted 11-18-2009 09:41 AM ET (US)
Summer to present (assuming weather holds boat with not be hauled till early December):
1. replaced broken Rule float switch and rewired portions of stern bilge pump.
posted 11-19-2009 05:37 PM ET (US)
I attached an RJ connector and compatible plug to both my Raymarine RL70-CRC chartplotter/RADAR and Raymarine Ray 55 radio to make NMEA connections a snap.
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