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Old 04-03-2017, 07:21 AM   #1
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CHB Electrical systems

Hi guys.
I read on forums and websites all the time that dodgy electrics are up there in the list with deck rot and leaking windows. My question is, what in particular? The wiring on my 34 seems pretty solid, and as far as I know everything functions as it should bar a temp gauge (bridge gauge works fine so assuming dud gauge).
Apart from copper core going black, I can't really see any other issues. What have you all come across or experienced to support the claims?
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by 34Clipper View Post
Hi guys.
I read on forums and websites all the time that dodgy electrics are up there in the list with deck rot and leaking windows. My question is, what in particular? The wiring on my 34 seems pretty solid, and as far as I know everything functions as it should bar a temp gauge (bridge gauge works fine so assuming dud gauge).
Apart from copper core going black, I can't really see any other issues. What have you all come across or experienced to support the claims?
Yes, gauges do 'die', and can be replaced. I had a couple of water temps, and one tachometer replaced, about 14 years ago. However, if everything works that is powered by 12v DC, or 240 v AC, and every circuit is properly fused, then I'd say, move onto something else that really needs attention.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:27 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. 34. I don't think the factory electrical on CHB's or any Taiwanese vessel of a particular era is any better or worse than any other. The problem lies in the DPO's (D*** Previous Owners or the "electricians") add ons/"improvements".

Earlier on, we had a 1974 34' MT and one spring I removed 2-1 cubic foot boxes packed tightly with redundant and dead wiring both 12v and 110v. Frustrating to say the least and in some cases downright dangerous.

Be thankful that your boat is unmolested and for all things holy, IF you alter the wiring, PLEASE be neat and remove any "dead" wires.
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:55 PM   #4
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Beautiful. That's exactly what I wanted to hear. I was concerned people were going to say "keep an eye on this" or "watch out for that". I wasn't wanting to hear that insulation was cracking and falling off, shorts here and there, insufficient wire size etc.
I do notice however that a few switches on the panel have been repurposed and labels put over the original. I pulled them off to see what was under them and I had:
-search light
-blower
-auto pilot
-spreader light
Was the boat equip the with these and have been removed? Or were they options that could have been added but were not in use. I can't see anywhere here would have been a search light, I didn't think blowers were necessary in diesel boats, auto-pilot was never fitted and the spreader light may have existed but removed after all the canvas covers were added as it would have been useless.
I'm guessing you all have re-purposes switches.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:34 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. 34. Well, if you insist...Yes, you still have to inspect and keep an eye on your wiring. For instance...A particular circuit may have been wired and terminated quite acceptably at the factory with proper size and construction of wire for factory installed accessories BUT, subsequent owners may have added to that particular circuit or installed replacement equipment that would tax the capacities of the wiring.

Most important IMO is tight, corrosion free connections including your grounds. I've experienced more than a few problems that have been traced to bad grounding.

As far as re-labeling...HAH! Labels are just a suggestion.

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Old 04-03-2017, 06:50 PM   #6
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Loose terminals on terminal strips over heat.
All wire insulation the same or wrong color.
No wiring diagram.
Stuff wired directly to battery positive terminal with no fuses.
And on and on.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:34 PM   #7
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My Prairie has pretty good original wiring but as some have said, watch out for previous owner mods and additions. I have so far removed about a 3 gallon bucket full of old unused wire to long ago removed accessories and electronics. Boy is it fun and a good opportunity to learn Boat Yoga to trace out all that stuff and label it, but it is worth it to get it right.

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Old 04-03-2017, 08:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
.

Be thankful that your boat is unmolested and for all things holy, IF you alter the wiring, PLEASE be neat and remove any "dead" wires.
Neatness is my middle name haha.
I was previously a car audio and security installer and am VERY fussy when it comes to unused wiring and all wiring cable tied or run in conduit etc. I can't stand DIY electrical "improvements".
As suggested, I'll go over all of the earth cables which I have noticed are in series (not ideal), and make sure all terminals are secured.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, hate to find stuff out the hard way.
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:36 PM   #9
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I would agree that previous owners are the main culprit.
I have found that when traveling and not in my "home" area and something needs replacing the marina fails to do the "right" thing sometimes. The intentions might be good of saving you a few bucks and get you on your way, but.......
This is not all Marinas, but us boaters shop around for price sometimes and fail to really understand why one install is $100 more than the next guy.
Get to know the ABYC colors for wires and the correct gage size for the amperage and length of run (voltage return trip included)
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:30 PM   #10
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I rewired our 1988 MT 34 aft cabin fully (thanks to PO) with two exceptions only, Interior cabin overhead lighting, and engine harness.

The original wireing was great but the modifications were a hazard. All removed and up to current code.

The one caveat is that the engine harness was suspect (I am rerunning mine this spring, due to net ground fault)
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:14 PM   #11
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you just never know with an older boat...

I simply rewired mine except for the engine and genset harnesses.

I put in an ELCI and just passed the docking scare of tripping the world.

My boat had several bad circuits that evolved over its life before me.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:19 PM   #12
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I will never forget the time the previous owner (who we were friends with), wired a 12v outlet in the rear saloon, plugged in a 12v vacuum cleaner and the ford Lehman started cranking over by itself. Tapped into wrong wires haha
I have gone over the wiring on the boat, and it really isn’t as bad as I was expecting. There are heaps of wires everywhere that need removing or cleaning up, but all of the original wiring seems to be in pretty good nick for 40 years old.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:35 PM   #13
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One of my favorite finds was under 2 round balls of cheap black plastic tape. Stranded wire ends stuck into wirenuts with brass flat head wood screws driven in to hold it all together! You never know what you'll find.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:41 PM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. HW. I think I may have you beat on your favorite find. First "big" boat was a 1950 Chris Craft Commander. ONE 110v outlet in the head and ONE 110v outlet in the electrical cupboard.

15a shore power came in via a 2 prong male flush mounted plug to a residential fuse box with 2 screw base 15a fuses. From there over a distance of about 12' there were 4 different types of wire (lamp cord, outdoor extension cord, BX cable and some unidentifiable ancient rubber insulated "stuff" (may have been the original). Connections were wire nuts, twisted connections and of course gobs of electrical tape.
This mess ran through the wet bilge.

The 12v system, as elementary as it was, was worse.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:58 PM   #15
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I have an 18-pole terminal strip behind the fly bridge cockpit that seems to have corroded to the point juice doesn’t flow from one side to the other. A lot of things started working again on the upper dash once I replaced it. It was an easy job
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:36 AM   #16
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Golden Star Wiring Diagram?

Hello, I am new to the Forum and just purchased an 84 GS Sundeck with twin Perkins. I was fortunate to have purchased from the meticulous original owners. The only document that is missing are wiring diagrams, does anyone know of a source? Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-21-2018, 08:52 AM   #17
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Hello, I am new to the Forum and just purchased an 84 GS Sundeck with twin Perkins. I was fortunate to have purchased from the meticulous original owners. The only document that is missing are wiring diagrams, does anyone know of a source? Thanks for the help!
Uhhh... Yea... Good luck with that.



I would highly doubt one exists. And TBH, after 35 years, it is more likely than not that it has been extensively modified. You are better off just learning it yourself.

I have seen some documents of some "standardization" of wiring color codes on boat. I don't know if they would have followed this or even if it is a real thing, but someone here certainly know the answer to that.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:12 AM   #18
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Pretty much figured there would be little info. but never hurts to ask!
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:24 AM   #19
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Uhhh... Yea... Good luck with that.



I would highly doubt one exists. And TBH, after 35 years, it is more likely than not that it has been extensively modified. You are better off just learning it yourself.

I have seen some documents of some "standardization" of wiring color codes on boat. I don't know if they would have followed this or even if it is a real thing, but someone here certainly know the answer to that.
Standards have indeed changed over the years. For example, on my 1980 C&L there are wires hidden away that emerge with red and black together, alongside others that emerge with red and white together. Sometimes the red is positive, sometimes it is negative.
You put your money down and throw the dice.
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