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Old 05-20-2015, 06:02 PM   #1
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A grenade went off in the wiring chase

OK, so maybe I was exaggerating a little. (not by much)

The wiring on my little vessel has shown 34 years of additions, alterations and who knows what.

The battery switch is hooked up wrong, the main power supply switch (with the same: Off, 1, ALL, 2 selection) seems redundant. There seems to be no correlation between selection and power routing.

Using all your knowledge should I rip out all the wiring back to the switch harness and start fresh from the batteries?

Can anyone recommend a yacht related wiring primer to start with?

Thanks.

Being as the boat sits on a mooring and I need to feel secure leaving her for two weeks with a solar panel on the batteries, I would like to ensure the electrical system while I am away. Bilge pump good. No juice bad.

Any ideas?
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:06 PM   #2
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I am just finishing up on doing just that, I ripped it all out and started over. The books listed here can't be beat:

https://www.bluesea.com/resources/536
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:19 AM   #3
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I have been doing a lot of rewiring on my old '85, and have been successful doing a bit at a time as necessary and issues come up. Unfortunately, it is a bit like changing and tire while driving down the road.

My philosophy has been to make sure that when I leave the boat that all necessary systems like battery power, bilge pumps, battery charger still work correctly, even if kludged together rather ugly until next time. I have done some serious rewiring, but she is always ready to go between visits. The key is to break the jobs down into small, manageable chunks and then only tackle as much as you can get done in one visit, while keeping a backup circuit in place.

I would suggest starting with the basics, batteries, batt cables, and that batt switch - get a good 12 volt foundation from which the boat will run well away from the dock without worries. Next, get a good stable charging system from the Shore Power and also from your alternator.

I found Nigel Calder's and Charlie Wing Electrical books to be most helpful.
Also, when in doubt, I always bump up to the next larger size of wire just in case I need it someday.
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Old 05-21-2015, 06:06 AM   #4
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First is the biggest PIA , draw a schematic (best you can) of what exists.

Then if you can, obtain a copy of the vesseld origonal wiring schematic.

Then decide exactially what purpose you want the vessel to serve.

Dock cottage ,weekend cruiser , ICW wanderer , anchor out master or ocean voyager.

ALL have different battery charging requirements.

The basic is ,no Bo Bo should kill ALL the batterys,

and any source , alternator , charger , solar or wind should be able in time to recharge all.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:32 PM   #5
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I spent a day just pulling out dead wiring left over from old electronics because there wasn't any room to fit a vhf antenna coax in the path from lower helm to bridge. When electronics are replaced, they pull the ends of the old wires tight and clip off at the harness. It was worth getting rid of the old, unused to allow the ablity to trace out the still working wires easier. The hard work is verifying its really junk before cutting.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
I spent a day just pulling out dead wiring
Honestly, that's the best was to get started. Find dead and unused wires and pull them out. You might be surprised how many there are. Of course, be careful and make sure you aren't pulling good ones, but once all the dead ones are gone, it really makes attacking the existing wires a little easier.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:11 PM   #7
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I agree. When we first bought our NOVA 15 years ago, I started pulling out unused wiring. Don't know about other Taiwan boats but our NOVA had no color coding. I have the schematic, but without color coding it is not of much use. When encountering a ground or a short, it is far easier to just rewire rather than find the bad connection.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:42 PM   #8
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That is not entirely true, some of the black and red wires have white stripes.....
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:03 PM   #9
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They must have got a buy on blue with white tracers and green with brown tracers as that is what comprises the majority of the wiring, of course, with no rhyme or reasoning.
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:55 PM   #10
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I've posted this before, but here is an example of 40 year old wiring. These are cloth covered 1/0 cables that got a little warm.

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Old 05-21-2015, 04:11 PM   #11
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Here is a pic of the wire pulled from our lower helm from former electronics that was connected to nothing. There was a 2nd smaller pile from under the FB dash.
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:19 PM   #12
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Gee, that all looks familiar....
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Delta_JimS View Post
Gee, that all looks familiar....
I will try to make that disappear.....

I was perusing a survey from previous owner when he bought her in 2003. Two things noted are not the same.

1. The main cole hersee battery selector switch used to be kept in either 1 or 2 or both to start the engine or generator. The ME could be started when the battery switch was in any position other than OFF.

Now it only starts when on 2.

The entire 12 volt panel has been modified to work only off ALL or 2 on the cole hersee switch.

As an interesting aside, the secondary bilge pump switch is hooked up to a float switch that blows the horn when the bilge level gets higher than the lower pump! I guess the PO had Marina life and this set up as an attention getter.

Going to go down after the holiday weekend to see what kind of mischief I can dig up.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:05 AM   #14
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When I installed new fuel tanks on Bay Pelican the engine room was taken apart. I decided to cull all wiring that 1) was spliced or 2) was routed in a round about way. Ended up with an inverter box full of old wiring.

Found out that the fresh water pump had moved locations a couple of times as its wiring crisscrossed the engine room doubling back on itself. Apparently each move was accomplished by just adding wire from the then existing location.

Fewer electrical failures because of the reduction in the number of splices.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:30 AM   #15
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Cappy. I had a similar situation with my 1986 Silverton when I bought her two years ago. I had a very strange battery setup (all in one massive bank), a switch that wasn't wires correctly, etc.





I didn't rush into ripping things out, except the obvious unused wires. I slowly tested and labeled all wires, some with the label 'abandoned'. I work alone on my boat, so I built a bell tester.. a cheap 12v bell on a small board with alligator clips for the + and -. This way could attach the bell to leads on an end where I wasn't. And then connect wires until the bell rang. This helped identify what wire was what.





Then I did more cleanup, then a new wiring design, complete with a wiring diagram I did myself. Then I went to work. Now a nice clean, properly wired 12v setup.





Good luck with it all. This is one of a few jobs that help you to really get to know your boat, which is a good thing!
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