Skip to content

Smoothie rewire – 1/9/23

Tagged: ,

Viewing 18 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #5316
      CJ
      Keymaster

        I have had a lot of questions about my upcoming rewire so I am starting this thread so those interested can follow along, ask questions, and make comments. This process won’t be quick so don’t expect a post everyday.

        Currently, the wiring on Smoothie is a mess. The prior owner rewired the boat but used tinned wire he purchased at a flea market. I don’t think there is any one piece longer than 5′ on the boat. Splices everywhere and extra cable laying in every locker.

        The biggest part of this project is the planning. What wire, what panel, how many circuits, how to splice, home runs or series, etc.

        For the AC system I will be reusing what I can from the existing panel pieces. I don’t have much AC on the boat so it will be minimal.

        For the DC system, I was going to make the panel from scratch. However, after looking around I found I could purchase a panel for a reasonable price as opposed to buying all the materials and breakers I would need to make it. I went with a Paneltronics 20 circuit DC panel. In addition, I am adding an 8 position panel next to it for a total of 28 DC breakers. I found this panel ranging from $400 up $900. I went with the $400 one.

        https://www.hodgesmarine.com/pan9973210b-paneltronics-standard-dc-20-position-breaker-panel.html
        https://www.hodgesmarine.com/pan9972204b-paneltronics-standard-dc-8-position-breaker-panel.html

        I purchased Ancor wire on Black friday at 40% off. I purchase 350′ of 12ga. tinned marine wire. This will give me a good start. I will have to purchase additional wire sizes for the frig, windlass, etc.

        I need circuits for the following circuits:

        Cabin lights
        Water pressure
        Refrigerator
        Radar
        Propane
        Running lights
        Steaming light
        Deck light
        Anchor light
        Cockpit lights
        Engine lights
        Anchor windlass
        Electronics
        Auto helm
        DC outlets
        Stereo
        Bilge pumps
        Water heater
        Shower sump
        Heater
        Sanitation
        Water maker
        Fuel polisher

        I will be using terminal strips to keep the system neat and easy to troubleshoot. There are a lot of terminal strips available but you need to make sure to use zinc plated brass terminals or you may have issues with corrosion.

        Now for the warning: Scary pictures attached. You have been warned.

        Attachments:
        You must be logged in to view attached files.
      • #5322
        garybrown
        Participant

          1/9/2023
          Great thread CJ, thanks for sharing!

          I will be watching this closely as I’m almost done with the wood-working part of this boat I’m building and wiring will be coming up soon.
          Gary

          • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by garybrown.
        • #6469
          CJ
          Keymaster

            Well, it’s been a while and a lot has changed. Smoothie now has a new electrical system. See below for the upgrade story.

            I started by gutting all wiring from the boat. I didn’t want to use any of the existing wire as the prior electrician (very loosely used title) skimped on wire size. Also, every wire took a different route through the boat and there were splices every 4 – 5 feet. None of the wire was dressed, many lockers had extra wire just laying in the locker not tied up. Residential electrical boxes and connectors were used.

            In addition, I had splices all over, some were 1/4″ from their destination. The world’s shortest extension. Circuiting was a disaster. For example, I had to turn on my fridge in order to power the shower sump. I had to unwire the steaming light when I got to an anchorage so I could land the anchor light, etc.

            The existing panel and cabinet were completely removed.

            Once all the wire, boxes, and panels were gone, I put in new pathways. The ceiling was a pathway for all ceiling lighting. Everything else went through a single pathway on either the starboard side or the port side of the boat. AC has a separate pathway from DC wherever possible. Separation between AC and DC was maintained.

            I purchased all new marine wire on Black Friday at 40% off. 460′ 12awg of flat duplex, red and black cable for DC circuits (20′ was 10awg). 120′ of 12awg round triplex cable for AC circuits. 50′ of marine grade battery cable.

            I purchased all new Paneltronics panels, an ELCI for stray current protection, a Victron galvanic isolator, Victron inverter, fiberglass boxes for AC plugs, new terminal strips, new waterproof connectors, waterproof ring terminals, low voltage plugs, marine grade heat shrink, a crimping tool, new cabin lights, new battery terminal lugs, new shore power plug. AC GFCI plugs, new battery switch, AC source switch, and misc. screws, ties, and saddles. All marine grade.

            Pics below are of the removed wire, boxes, and cabinet.

            CJ

            Attachments:
            You must be logged in to view attached files.
          • #6474
            CJ
            Keymaster

              Pics of the some of the splices/extensions. Also, automotive splices in the AC wiring which was buried inside DC cable bundles.

              CJ

              Attachments:
              You must be logged in to view attached files.
            • #6479
              CJ
              Keymaster

                Pics of a locker with cable just laying in it and an existing terminal connection with automotive crimps, the new panels, and new wire being pulled.

                CJ

                • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by CJ.
                Attachments:
                You must be logged in to view attached files.
              • #6483
                CJ
                Keymaster

                  Some of the new connections.

                  CJ

                  Attachments:
                  You must be logged in to view attached files.
                • #6488
                  CJ
                  Keymaster

                    Building the new cabinet. AC and DC have separate compartments and panels.

                    CJ

                    Attachments:
                    You must be logged in to view attached files.
                  • #6493
                    CJ
                    Keymaster

                      More cabinet/panel building.

                      CJ

                      Attachments:
                      You must be logged in to view attached files.
                    • #6498
                      CJ
                      Keymaster

                        A picture of the ceiling with everything removed. Terminating all the field devices. Notice the blue tags on all the ceiling panels and panel trim. I had them all numbered and a map showing their location. This made re-assembly go a lot easier. The last two pictures are of the ground connection in the AC plug boxes. Since the box is fiberglass there is no connection point. The wires are an in, an out, and a pig tail to the plug. To prevent shorting, I encased the whole package in heat shrink. All connections are made in a box. No more spices in wire bundles.

                        CJ

                        Attachments:
                        You must be logged in to view attached files.
                      • #6503
                        CJ
                        Keymaster

                          Starting the panel layout and wiring.

                          CJ

                          Attachments:
                          You must be logged in to view attached files.
                        • #6508
                          CJ
                          Keymaster

                            AC systems build out.

                            Also, laying out the batteries, inverter and house battery bank selector switch. I have another Battery switch to select between house and starting batteries. The 2 house batteries were replaced with last year with new 220ah AGM batteries. In addition, I added an additional 2 house bank batteries, increasing my house bank to 440ah. The starting battery was replaced last year with a new 105ah AGM dual purpose battery.

                            CJ

                            • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by CJ.
                            • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by CJ.
                            Attachments:
                            You must be logged in to view attached files.
                          • #6515
                            alanbergen
                            Participant

                              What are the physical dimensions of the large panel? I’d like to replace my wiring but use the same space that the old panels occupy.

                            • #6516
                              CJ
                              Keymaster

                                DC panels are 19 1/4″ (13 3/4″ + 5 1/2″) x 8 1/4″. AC panel is 5 1/2″ x 8 1/4″.

                                CJ

                              • #6539
                                CJ
                                Keymaster

                                  Final product. One thing I learned doing this project, I am not a cabinet builder.

                                  CJ

                                  Attachments:
                                  You must be logged in to view attached files.
                                • #6561
                                  Marcin Manek
                                  Keymaster

                                    Maybe not, but that’s some great looking wiring! Congrats.

                                  • #6562
                                    CJ
                                    Keymaster

                                      Thanks. I’ve wanted to do this since I got the boat. Just had to wait until the right time. It was enjoyable.

                                      I will be updating all the interior in a couple of years and will brush up on my woodworking skills before hand. 🙂

                                      CJ

                                    • #7145
                                      CJ
                                      Keymaster

                                        I knew it. The only part of the electrical system I did not replace failed. The battery charger decided it has had enough and went belly up recently. I replaced it with a ProNautic 1220P (3 bank, 20A per bank) charger. What a difference 20 years makes in technology.

                                        CJ

                                      • #7246
                                        lorenbeach
                                        Participant

                                          Hi CJ, Did you find a reason for the charger dying? We have a ProNautic brand also, and other than the fan sometimes being a bit loud, have not had any problems. How old was yours?
                                          Thanks,
                                          Loren

                                        • #7247
                                          CJ
                                          Keymaster

                                            The charger I replaced was a Charles 10A. Like this one.

                                            Charles 10A

                                            The ProNautic 20A is the new one.

                                            ProNautic 1220P

                                            CJ

                                        Viewing 18 reply threads
                                        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.