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Wiring all accessories/ extension cord?

Old 03-24-2020, 11:14 PM
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Default Wiring all accessories/ extension cord?

I bought a pretty nice boat but none of the accessories work. Neither livewell pump, bilge, lights, aerator. None of it. Wiring looks like a rats nest. Anyway, called around and a guy said he will pull out everything and install new wiring and switches, which sounds very good to me. Here's my question.... He wants me to bring a 20ft extension cord. Says he uses them to go from console to transom and then jumps all accessories off of it. Does this sound legitimate to you guys? I just joined here, so I appreciate you all.
Old 03-24-2020, 11:20 PM
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I heard 'Cord is Code' once. But then again that guy took Grupons. Seriously, thats a big no from me.
Old 03-25-2020, 01:13 AM
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Unless they make 20ft extension cords in tinned cable I would say that might be a problem. It will work, but only until corrosion sets in if the wire isnt tinned. It may also be too light gauge for the current depending on what your final load is. Again it will work, but you might see stuff turn off early if the battery gets low.
Old 03-25-2020, 04:14 AM
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Seems like an awfully foolish way to save a buck, I would ask for referrals, pictures or better yet to see a job currently in progress.
Old 03-25-2020, 04:19 AM
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No! Absolutely not. Tinned copper only. Find someone else.
Jeremy Burke , master electrician Tx license #391427
Old 03-25-2020, 05:37 AM
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Another newbie who is about to learn what B.O.A.T. stands for...
and yes get rid of that guy, OP where are you? This forum can be pretty good about referring tradespeople in a lot of areas.

I'm assuming you didn't have the boat surveyed or inspected by a pro?
Old 03-25-2020, 05:42 AM
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Find someone else or he is going to sell you a new VHF that consists of 2 tin cans and a string. There are MANY brick and mortar shops out there that can do it right for you, also many on this forum can give you guidance on who’s out there in your area that is knowledgeable in electronics installs.
Old 03-25-2020, 05:47 AM
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Is OP even serious? How do you even wire multiple circuits/switches with a single extension cord? All he would be doing is running a new pos/ground from battery to helm junction block. That will not fix your problems. And that likely undersized non-tinned copper wire is NOT the way to go....
Old 03-25-2020, 05:51 AM
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Define "pretty nice boat"
Old 03-25-2020, 05:59 AM
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Its better to run two extension cords, one down each side of the boat. Make sure you get a green one and red one.
Old 03-25-2020, 06:01 AM
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Something doesn’t make any sense here, First off, most extension cords are only 14ga, not nearly large enough, also, you will need a wire set for each switched item from the switch. Also, I’m guessing he’s providing everything except one extension cord? If he’s using extension cord for wire, then what is he using for the switches, fuse blocks etc?

If this is true, maybe we should let him do it, then take pictures and use them as an example of exactly what not to do.
Old 03-25-2020, 06:02 AM
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Horrible idea. Find someone else.
Old 03-25-2020, 06:03 AM
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:11 AM
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We have some great resources here on THT, as has been mentioned...here are two that I have done business with and who I would contact to ask for help in ordering the right roll of wire.

You can probably wire most of those accessories with a roll of 18/2 marine tinned wire....each one should go thru a CIRCUIT BREAKER,a helm switch, and then on to the device.

One very easy way to do this is one wire at a time...pull out the old wire while pulling in the new wire.

Here are the vendors/contributors I would reach out to:

New Wire Marine https://www.thehulltruth.com/new-wire-marine-123/

Gregs Marine wire supply: https://gregsmarinewiresupply.com/
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by uncljohn View Post
Define "pretty nice boat"
Didnt you see the Craigslist Ad thread?
Old 03-25-2020, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Flymost1 View Post
Something doesn’t make any sense here, First off, most extension cords are only 14ga, not nearly large enough, also, you will need a wire set for each switched item from the switch. Also, I’m guessing he’s providing everything except one extension cord? If he’s using extension cord for wire, then what is he using for the switches, fuse blocks etc?

If this is true, maybe we should let him do it, then take pictures and use them as an example of exactly what not to do.
Sadly, I've seen it done all too often and not only by jacklegs operating out of their pickup trucks. There was a local custom builder nearby who wired all his boats with extension cords, I wouldn't have believed it but a tower builder across the street from me called me over to check it out. To his credit he tried "color coding" the cords with yellow, orange and green ones.
Old 03-25-2020, 07:34 AM
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As you've been told by several here, an extension cord is not a good idea.

A better idea is to use tinned marine wire, as you've also been told to do.

Use #10 gauge from your battery to a fused distribution block up at your console, then run #16 gauge (for most accessories) from the distribution block to each accessory. There is a marine wire color code for accessories. Google it and follow that guide for colors. By following the color code guide, you will be able to identify which wires go to which accessory in the future for yourself and for any future owner of the boat. In addition, each new accessory will usually indicate the wire gauge # to use. Some accessories, like large bilge pumps will require something larger than #16.
.
Old 03-25-2020, 07:55 AM
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While you are having the re-wiring done, have each wire labeled at its origin from the fuse or circuit breaker and at its terminus, the accessory. This will save hours of grief later. Have all marine grade materials, Put a little dielectric grease under each terminal to prevent corrosion before it is tightened down. Use adhesive shrink wrap terminals, and cover that with another Adhesive shrink wrap. Blue Seas makes quality marine products, and that is what I normally use. Be aware of cheap imitators from China!!!
Old 03-25-2020, 07:57 AM
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Get it correctly the first, extension cord idea is half ass.
Old 03-25-2020, 08:20 AM
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Go buy 10' of each ( red / black ) of # 8 thinned ,Hand him that.
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