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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Installing Navigation Lamps; Electrical Switches on Open Boats; Battery Selection
|Author||Topic: Installing Navigation Lamps; Electrical Switches on Open Boats; Battery Selection|
posted 04-19-2011 11:41 AM ET (US)
I [am] installing new [navigation lamps] and wire on my 13-foot boat. I [am] running the wire to the [bow] between the new rub rail. I [am] not sure what to do with the stern pole. I can [not] reuse the old wiring as it is beyond repair and now sealed away forever [in the] 1963 boat.
Do I drill a large hole and install [a lamp mounting socket] receptacle for the pole?
I know nothing about electric stuff so this may be real dumbed down: do I need waterproof switches? Or water resistant if I am installing them exposed on the center console?
What type of battery do you suggest? I will have a stereo, lights, and maybe a GPS or fish finder.
Does the starting battery provide enough juice or do I need a dual purpose?Thanks again for you help
posted 04-19-2011 01:45 PM ET (US)
You will want waterproof switches.
You will want to buy tinned wiring (Ancor is a popular brand for this).
If possible, I'd avoid drilling holes in my boat. If you can hide the stern light wiring with the rigging, do so.
A standard deep cycle battery should be fine. You're not running a big motor on the boat, so the starting current won't be excessive, and you can likely pull start it if you needed to.
I'd also invest in a float charger/battery tender and plug it in when the boat is stored and not in use to maintain the battery.
posted 04-19-2011 04:39 PM ET (US)
Power: some people place the rear light on the engine cowling (rear of the cowling, I have), you can hide all the wires with the wires going to the engine, you will just need a connection under the cowling to pull apart when you want to remove the cowling. No holes in the hull. If you use LED lights instead of factory lights you would pull a lot less juice. Buckda is correct You want water proof switches and the ancor wire.
posted 04-20-2011 03:48 PM ET (US)
My first ever boat, that I got not even 3 years ago, had a 1959 35hp Johnson Super Seahorse. After some research, I found that mine had the rare, generator/voltage regulator, charging system, with the rare and expensive, toothed belt to drive the generator. Only, the voltage regulator had been removed. Once I found out how rare and desireable that option was for collectors, I removed the toothed belt, and ran the motor with no charging system to charge the battery. So, I did what Dave suggests in the quote. I got a deep cycle battery to start the motor and run the lights. At first, I was careful and dilligently charged the battery every time I got back from boating. In the end, I found out I could go WEEKS without recharging the battery. I could get dozens of strong starts plus at least a handful of hours of basic nav light operation, (two bulbs: white all around, and single bulb, split red/green housing), on a single charge.
I concluded that for a small boat like a classic 13, most users would be just fine, electrically speaking, with a single deep cycle battery and an outboard that has no charging system.
The new owner of my old boat got a second battery to run his bait tank. I never had a bait tank. He also stays out all night sometimes. He's a hardcore fisherman.
posted 04-20-2011 09:08 PM ET (US)
The electrical requirements of engine starting are much greater than the electrical requirements for running the electrical loads of a 13-foot boat, unless you plan to install some sort of elaborate loudspeaker and public address system to reproduce selections of recorded music at extraordinarily loud sound pressure levels. Get a battery that can crank over your engine, and that will be all you will need.
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