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Old 06-11-2019, 08:19 PM   #1
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Tigres windlass wire conductor size?

I am replacing my 15 yr old Good Windlass with a Lofrans Tigres.
I am trying to confirm whether the existing cables are correctly sized for the newer unit.
The Tigres is a 1500 Watt, 12 vdc unit.
App current draw is 80 -130 amps on the spec sheet.
My cables are 35' feet long so the sizing is based on the round trip of 70'. I know enough to be dangerous, lol.

The spec sheet also says the conductor size is 50mm squared.
I am sure it is fairly thick cable.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:23 PM   #2
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The almost impossible task will be bending the heavy cable within the back cover of the windlass once you wire it up.


You may want to think about a battery close to the windlass to reduce cable size.



Before you order it all...you might want to check what I have said as my wire size (1/0) was a real challenge.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:42 PM   #3
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I have a 1200 watt Tigress.

I installed the reversing solenoid under the deck close to the windlass and connected the heavy cables from the battery to the input. I used slightly smaller diameter cables to connect the solenoid to the windlass. The short distance has no effect on operation as long as you use the thickest cable that will make the bend inside the housing.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:35 AM   #4
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I too used lighter cables at the windlass, but I thought it was still lousy engineering to have to bend thick cables that much.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:30 AM   #5
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I have a Tigress and it was wired up professionally using 4/0!! The total run is less than 50'. Maybe that's all they had in the shop that day.

The installation manual states for 50-75' to use 50mm2 or 2AWG. For greater than 75' to use 3/0. I wonder if this is a typo because there is a huge difference in size between the two?


- edit - Looked it up. 50mm2 is 0 gauge, so that makes a lot more sense to use 0 gauge for up to 75' and 3/0 for runs greater.


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Old 06-12-2019, 08:58 AM   #6
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Have no idea how they got 4/0 into the casing...


I have quite a bit of wiring experience and had other pros to confer with when doing mine...they scratched their heads too with wiring the newer model.


What cracks me up is the factory manual installation photos that show cable diameter WELL under their recommended gauge.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:56 AM   #7
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TJM,
I also have the Tigres, its a great unit. Your current spec looks correct; for DC, the power equation is extremely simple: I=P/V
Therefore, current = 1500W/12VDC = 125 Amps
The Lofrans installation manual seems to contradict itself when it says you need wire that is 2AWG as well as 50mm2.
Anyway it seems part of your problem is you want to know what guage wire is already at your old windlass correct? There are calipers that can help measure, or you could simply go to a hardware store and buy a very short length of 0 and 2 AWG wire and take it to the boat to compare.
A great resource for this kind of problem is BlueSea, as they sell a lot of electrical supplies for boats and their website on wire and circuit breaker selections is here:
https://www.bluesea.com/resources/1437

By BlueSea definition, a windlass is a "non-critical" circuit. Once you determine the size of your current wires, you might also call Lofrans or Bluesea to get additional advice.


(The BlueSea circuit wizard tool seems to suggest 1AWG in your situation)
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:45 AM   #8
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I replaced a 1000W Muir Cougar with the tigress.

Just to be on the safe side I installed a Group 27 “helper battery” near the windlass, and have no problem lifting over 500 pounds of dead weight, plus breaking the anchor out.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Have no idea how they got 4/0 into the casing...


I have quite a bit of wiring experience and had other pros to confer with when doing mine...they scratched their heads too with wiring the newer model.


What cracks me up is the factory manual installation photos that show cable diameter WELL under their recommended gauge.

I'm not sure what they used from the relay box to the windlass, it could be smaller. Whatever they did it works well - so very little voltage drop. (This was installed before I purchased the boat)
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:36 PM   #10
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Hi Kevin:

I like your idea about the other battery under the windlass.
I assume it is wired in parallel with the feed lines from the engine room ?
(positive to positive and negative to negative)

That would make it on the normal charging circuit as the house batteries correct ?

Is that normal practice ?
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:34 PM   #11
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Wire is usually sized for voltage drop as well as having enough ampacity to carry the current. For a windlass a 1 v total drop is usally acceptable.


So with 130 amps of current over a 70' total round trip distance requires 1/0 to keep the voltage drop just below 1.0 v. Since the ampacity of that wire, its ability to carry current without overheating the insulation, is 285 amps you should be fine with 1/0.


1/0 cable at geniunedealz.com is about $4.79/foot. You can save a little money at the expense of complexity by installing a separate battery forward, but with the cost of smaller wire (I would use #6), another fuse and maybe a battery combiner, you won't save much.


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Old 06-12-2019, 03:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJM View Post
Hi Kevin:

I like your idea about the other battery under the windlass.
I assume it is wired in parallel with the feed lines from the engine room ?
(positive to positive and negative to negative)

That would make it on the normal charging circuit as the house batteries correct ?

Is that normal practice ?
Yes it is charged along with the house bank. It has a disconnect that I turn off when it is not needed to be on for charging or use, so that it is not partially discharged when I trey to use it.
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Old Yesterday, 08:38 PM   #13
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I installed the 1500 Lofrans Tigres 5 or 6 yrs. ago. I used 4/0 wire for a round trip of about 55 - 60 ft. to minimize the Vdrop.

You will NOT get 4/0 into the case, no way.

Use a power stud from Blue seas nearby to terminate the + & - feeds. I used the ones with the several small terminal screws on the base so I could also ground [-] the control box and direction foot switches.

Then if I remember correctly I finished with #4 AWG for the final few feet. I will try to remember to check the final wire size but pretty sure it was #4.

My calculated Vdrop total was low, no I don't remember, but well within acceptable limits.

For the final run with I tried several wire sizes, short lengths, untill one fitted properly. I also wrapped the conductors with a protective sleeve, split lengthwise on a spiral and then Tywraped into place and to keep the spiral closed, as there are several sharp edges in there the conductors needed to be protected from.


Works just fine. The big Vdrop is getting the power to the studs. Just mount them close so the #4 run is kept to the minimum.
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Old Today, 12:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
I installed the 1500 Lofrans Tigres 5 or 6 yrs. ago. I used 4/0 wire for a round trip of about 55 - 60 ft. to minimize the Vdrop.

You will NOT get 4/0 into the case, no way.

Use a power stud from Blue seas nearby to terminate the + & - feeds. I used the ones with the several small terminal screws on the base so I could also ground [-] the control box and direction foot switches.

Then if I remember correctly I finished with #4 AWG for the final few feet. I will try to remember to check the final wire size but pretty sure it was #4.

My calculated Vdrop total was low, no I don't remember, but well within acceptable limits.

For the final run with I tried several wire sizes, short lengths, untill one fitted properly. I also wrapped the conductors with a protective sleeve, split lengthwise on a spiral and then Tywraped into place and to keep the spiral closed, as there are several sharp edges in there the conductors needed to be protected from.


Works just fine. The big Vdrop is getting the power to the studs. Just mount them close so the #4 run is kept to the minimum.
That is what I would do, get the big cable close and then run the biggest wire that will go into the windlass.
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Old Today, 10:07 AM   #15
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Took a look at how my windlass was wired and it's 4/0 between the batteries and the relay box and #1 from the box and into the windlass about 5' away.

Ken
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