Boat rewire project

Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
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San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
I'm in the middle of rewiring my boat, and I want to get some input since I've never done any wiring before. I initially was just going to replace some ugly/suspect connectors and household wiring with marine grade stuff, but decided I might as well do it right if I'm gonna spend the time.


Let me show you what I got rid of so far. It was a mashup of stranded copper wire, wire nuts, and various other non waterproof connectors, a mess of in-line fuses all over the place, and about 8 leads going directly to the positive terminal of battery.:
IMG_0040.jpg

Not pictured is all the wire I pulled out along with this stuff.


Here's what I've replaced it with so far:
IMG_0037.jpg

I pulled new 10 ga tinned copper wires for a fuse box and neg bus bar in the console, and so far have leads out to the FF and bilge switch. All connectors are tinned copper adhesive shrink.


As I got going, I've sort of come up with a plan. I already spent 6 hours working on it before I actually came up with a plan, but that's the way it goes when you have no clue what you're doing at the start:

IMG_0043.jpg


I'll explain what I've done and what I plan to do, and I welcome any input from those with more experience than my zero experience.

Regarding the main leads from battery: I used 10ga wire for the runs from battery to fuse box and neg bus. It's about 7 feet of wire and I'm only planning on running a fish finder, bilge pump which only gets used intermittently, a bait pump, and possibly a USB accessory port for emergency phone/radio charging only. With everything on it should be pulling less than 15A and I usually won't run everything at once.

For all the wiring from accessories to bus, I plan on using 14ga wire.

I intend to put one LED push button switch for each accessory.

It's going to be hard to find a way to permanently mount the fuse box in the console since it's tight in there (haha). It's basically a glove box. I'm planning on screwing the fuse box and neg bus to plastic board or box and then velcro that into the console. Also open to ideas on this.

Finally, the last part which I have some concerns about: I would like to put in a master switch to turn on/off power to the accessory fuse box. This is shown in the diagram where the accessory fuse box is broken up form the battery via a switch in the console. I guess it's not totally necessary, but I like the idea of a master switch to shut off everything. My only concern is if the switch fails on the water then nothing works. Also it needs to be rated to carry the full load of the fuse box. Is this a bad idea? I could forgo this all together, or use this space to put a breaker between the battery and bus in the console.



I'm looking at this style of switch for accessories:
1580772782567.png



Anyway, just thought I'd share and gather some input and ideas. Oh and it's a 13ft boat so I'm super limited on console space.
 

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TheBoyScout

Thanks doesn't buy gas...
Nov 13, 2014
241
185
San Diego
Name
Ray
Boat
Bayrunner Baja 21 "Rough Rider"
Looks pretty good. I would use a breaker switch instead of an inline fuse though. Also 10 gauge is pretty big. Look up voltage drop charts to figure out what gauge you need for each appliance. I believe I used 12 gauge or 14 for everything including 2000 gph bilge pumps. I rewired my entire 21 ft offshore center console. Let me know if you have any questions
 

TheBoyScout

Thanks doesn't buy gas...
Nov 13, 2014
241
185
San Diego
Name
Ray
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Bayrunner Baja 21 "Rough Rider"
Also blue seas switch panel is the best, crimp all connections no solder, use shrink wrap connectors and shrink wrap tubing on top of everything. I like the covered blue seas fuse block the best for less corrosion
 

Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
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San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
Looks pretty good. I would use a breaker switch instead of an inline fuse though. Also 10 gauge is pretty big. Look up voltage drop charts to figure out what gauge you need for each appliance. I believe I used 12 gauge or 14 for everything including 2000 gph bilge pumps. I rewired my entire 21 ft offshore center console. Let me know if you have any questions
Thanks man.
Yeah I went conservative on wire gage for the bus leads.

regarding connectors, yeah Im using crimp adhesive heat shrink connectors for everything.

Regarding the breaker, do you have a recommendation for a compact breaker switch to put between battery and fuse box? Console space is super limited. I would imagine a 15A breaker should be plenty big for my accessory load. Actually how do you normally size a breaker? Some amount above max theoretical load, or based on wire gage and fuse block max rating?

regarding the fuse box, it’s the blue sea covered version, just pictured with cover off.
 
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Derby

My "Member" is Well Known.
Sep 9, 2010
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The Kid
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Aquasport 222 FFV
Typically.....

Bilge pump runs straight to battery off a float. You can have a "Manual" switch at dash.
Breaker is used to power accessory panel. This gives you a means to shut off everything as well as protect the circuit.
Cable should be sized according to run length, amps % drop for essential and non essential.
Cable "run" is a round trip....positive and negative length added together.

BlueSeas is good stuff. I prefer to use the switch panels pre-made rather then drill a bunch of holes for switches.
 

Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
Jun 22, 2014
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No Grave But the Sea
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Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
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Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
Looks excellent.

What are using for your main inline fuse going from the battery to the fuse block?

It is better to overkill it with wiring, the 10 AWG is more than enough, a 15 amp load with a run of 7', with a 3% drop only calls for 14 AWG so you got that covered.

I agree with Ray on the double heat shrink, all of my connections are heat shrink connectors with heat shrink over that.

As for a master switch, they make others besides the standard big Perko switch. You could even go for a "knife switch" on the positive battery terminal if your battery is accessible.

You are doing a great job! Keep at it.
 
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Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
209
35
San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
Looks excellent.

What are using for your main inline fuse going from the battery to the fuse block?

It is better to overkill it with wiring, the 10 AWG is more than enough, a 15 amp load with a run of 7', with a 3% drop only calls for 14 AWG so you got that covered.

I agree with Ray on the double heat shrink, all of my connections are heat shrink connectors with heat shrink over that.

As for a master switch, they make others besides the standard big Perko switch. You could even go for a "knife switch" on the positive battery terminal if your battery is accessible.

You are doing a great job! Keep at it.
Thanks for the suggestions. Here’s my out of order responses:

For the main inline fuse I had a leftover in line fuse holder with a 15A fuse for temporary use until I get something better. It’s just what I had lying around.

My battery is under the driver‘s side seat in a battery box so it’s reasonably accessible. I could try to find a terminal mount fuse for the master accessory fuse. I like the idea of a breaker in the console if I can find a way to fit it.

I considered double shrinking everything, but didn’t. Maybe I’ll add that in.

You brought up a good point. I was thinking run length for positive side only, so the actual run would be more like 14ft. Either way the blue seas chart says 10ga is good for 20A to 15ft at 3% voltage drop so I’m still good.
 
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Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
209
35
San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
Typically.....

Bilge pump runs straight to battery off a float. You can have a "Manual" switch at dash.
Breaker is used to power accessory panel. This gives you a means to shut off everything as well as protect the circuit.
Cable should be sized according to run length, amps % drop for essential and non essential.
Cable "run" is a round trip....positive and negative length added together.

BlueSeas is good stuff. I prefer to use the switch panels pre-made rather then drill a bunch of holes for switches.
Theres not really a bilge. Water pools under the drivers seat, so if my feet are sitting in water, I flip the switch and pump it out.

Good point on the round trip. I was calculating one way. 10ga for 20A at 15 feet is still fine for 3% according to the blue sea chart.

A switch panel would be nice but I’m not sure I can fit any premade ones. I’m going to have to squeeze the switches together to fit them. I’ll check it out though as it would give it a clean look.
 

Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
Jun 22, 2014
1,242
1,444
No Grave But the Sea
Name
Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
Boat
Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
For the main inline fuse I had a leftover in line fuse holder with a 15A fuse for temporary use until I get something better. It’s just what I had lying around
I would shy away from using any type of AGC / MDL fuse. (Glass tube) I have had a decent amount of problems with them with corrosion.

At a minimum I would go with a 20 amp ATO / ATC inline fuse. Then go for either a breaker or a inline ANL or AMI/MIDI inline fuse when you can get one. (I know this reads funny, I am saying 1 fuse, not one after another)
 
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TheBoyScout

Thanks doesn't buy gas...
Nov 13, 2014
241
185
San Diego
Name
Ray
Boat
Bayrunner Baja 21 "Rough Rider"
They have breakers they sell on amazon that arent expensive or large in size. Amazon product
inline fuse is probably okay but ideal would be a breaker
 
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Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
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35
San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
I'm loving the wire nuts coated in liquid electrical tape.
Me too. That connection was dangling near the floor too. I wish I took pictures of everything in place before I dismantled it all. Oh well. It was all done by previous owner with whatever they had on hand in their garage. It all worked fine, but it’s time to do it right.
 

Windy Bay

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 2, 2008
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108
Elkton, OR
Name
Larry
Boat
Skipjack 240, Skipjack Sports Cruiser under construction
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Derby

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Sep 9, 2010
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The Kid
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Aquasport 222 FFV
Color coding is for OEM. Great to figure out what is what.

Rewire, not so much. Especially with the cost of wire. A label maker is better use of money.
 
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Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
Jun 22, 2014
1,242
1,444
No Grave But the Sea
Name
Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
Boat
Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
Here is a few I was working with when I did my re-wire:

Positive or negative? Fuck it, 50/50 chance....
IMG_3086.JPG
IMG_3087.JPG
IMG_3084.JPG


Middle one is new obviously... those were what were going up to power the flybridge electronics.

Here is just a tiny piece of the wiring I pulled out.
05774608BBE9000088600002-attachment-1-0603171137.jpg


New gauge cluster
0577460E7E860000D1700002-attachment-1-0603171128.jpg
 

Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
209
35
San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
Here is a few I was working with when I did my re-wire:

Positive or negative? Fuck it, 50/50 chance....

Middle one is new obviously... those were what were going up to power the flybridge electronics.

Here is just a tiny piece of the wiring I pulled out.

New gauge cluster
Nice!

I’m thinking maybe I’ll skip the bus bar and just twist all the leads together in one giant wire nut and skip the fuses because it’s a pain to replace fuses when the blow. Haha.

That gauge panel is really nice. I wish I had space for a real panel but I’m going to have trouble squeezing 3-4 small switches in as it is. There’s very little flat space and there’s a built in cup holder blocking access to the back of the top of the flat area. Plus the cable bundle is routed close to the flat part as well so there’s very little access to the back of an already tiny area in my console.

Here’s the area where I want to mount the switches. Existing switch for bilge was there already and I plan to replace it. Obviously radio will be relocated.
99EC4118-A478-40DD-B9ED-E58BCFF4A4E3.jpeg


Here’s inside behind the panel area. There’s not much clearance so I have to be clever about where I put my switches.

308E5F2C-6AB1-420B-A66E-7EECB7D86B23.jpeg


The other option is to try and fit them up in the dash near the tach and Nav/anchor switch if I can find space, but it’s also pretty tight and I think it will look cleaner if :

CF5644D8-864C-4786-ACDD-CDDD297F0438.jpeg


I also need to figure out where to mount the fish finder. I’m thinking of ram mount since the mount has a small footprint and is adjustable plus easy to swap if I change the head unit. Currently it’s on a railing mount next to the console.

Small boat guy pretending to have a big boat.
 

Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
Jun 22, 2014
1,242
1,444
No Grave But the Sea
Name
Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
Boat
Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
With those switches, I wouldn't recommend mounting them on anything horizontal because of water intrusion, that area next to/behind the wheel like a good spot. I mean, it's not like you are going to be needing to get to them all the time, turn them on when you leave the dock, turn em off when you get back. You could maybe do (2) on each side, one could be a spare.

I think you are on the right track regarding a ram mount. You can run the wires from anywhere, just put a clam shell over the hole.
 
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Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
209
35
San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
With those switches, I wouldn't recommend mounting them on anything horizontal because of water intrusion, that area next to/behind the wheel like a good spot. I mean, it's not like you are going to be needing to get to them all the time, turn them on when you leave the dock, turn em off when you get back. You could maybe do (2) on each side, one could be a spare.

I think you are on the right track regarding a ram mount. You can run the wires from anywhere, just put a clam shell over the hole.
I’ll have to see once I get the switches where they’ll fit. The steering mechanism is wider in the back so I’m not positive I’d have room up there but if I can fit it I think that’s a good spot for them.

Again I appreciate all your input.
 

Fishnmike_2002

Well-Known "Member"
Mar 9, 2012
73
72
Modesto, CA
Name
Mike
Boat
20' Duckworth & 2320 Parker
I have one suggestion, get some di-electric grease or no-ox grease and coat the wire ends before you crimp them and also all the ring connectors before attaching them to the fuse panel. It will really help prevent future corrosion down the road.
 

Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
209
35
San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
I have one suggestion, get some di-electric grease or no-ox grease and coat the wire ends before you crimp them and also all the ring connectors before attaching them to the fuse panel. It will really help prevent future corrosion down the road.
I coat all the terminals with dielectric where they attach (battery, fuse box, etc) but I was worried that getting grease inside the crimp/shrink connectors before shrinking them would prevent the adhesive from getting a good seal on the wire.
 
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Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
209
35
San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
Putting all your feedback to work: I ordered one of these. Blue seas 187 30A breaker. Will put it between the battery and accessory panel and ditch the inline fuse.

12A26FC6-6201-4D41-8254-91A825E22F13.jpeg
 

Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
191
209
35
San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler