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Rewiring my boat- any pointers?

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Old 07-21-2018, 07:53 PM
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Default Rewiring my boat- any pointers?

I have a 2000 Pro-Line. I bought it used and the first time I had electrical problems it was very obvious that the previous owner wasnít into doing or having things done properly. Iím at the point now where fixing individual things just feels like a complete waste of my time. I just rewired the helm switches and now itís time to start the boat itself. Any suggestions? A big part of my plan is to shorten to the actual needed length of any and all hanging wires. That stuff drives me crazy. I plan to label everything and make proper use of terminal blocks and ground bars. I am using proper marine wire and adhesive heat shrink terminals also.

I was was going to write a separate post but Iím thinking of removing the installed wash down pump setup. Itís an 18 ft center console. Is a washdown REALLY needed? It seems like overkill and weíve never used it much anyway. Iím thinking removing the tube in the helm and installing another storage compartment would be a better use of the space. Opinions?
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:27 PM
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Go with the Blue sea fuse panel and run (home runs) to everything you have. You will be glad when it’s all over especially if god forbids something goes wrong and it’s tied into something else. I redid a c hawk and 2 privateers that way.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:34 PM
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Default Is a fuse panel necessary?

All of my switches have individual circuit breakers. Right now I think the only places that need a fuse are the bilge hot lead, depth finder, power-pole (should already have fuse but I canít remember at the moment), and the jack plate (should also be fused already). Can you expand on ďhome runĒ for me?
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:44 PM
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Recently did this on my 25. check out bestboatwire.com for your supplies. Get a good crimper (i got one off that site) and use marine grade heat shrink butt splices. Also, figure out your runs and order about 30% more wire than you think you need.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:52 PM
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Can’t agree more with Alex about the heat shrink and the splices. All home runs are is, each unit your running has its own set of wires going from the breaker or fuse directly to the unit, then the next item has its own wire going to its own fuse or breaker. Some people tie the hot wires together with other units then they bring the wire back to a positive terminal. When something shorts or more likely corrodes then everything it’s connected too doesn’t work
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:00 PM
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Best advice I have is use best boat wire . Com. Great products great service great prices.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:31 AM
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First, sit down with a coffee, pencil and paper - and plan it out.

then have a beer or three and a few days away from it.

then more coffee and planning.

once you have the plan sorted, then, and only then, sort the shopping list. Wire, connectors, heat shrink, switches etc.

then, at the boat, execute the plan, do it one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:00 AM
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Default Got it

Originally Posted by Delduck View Post
Canít agree more with Alex about the heat shrink and the splices. All home runs are is, each unit your running has its own set of wires going from the breaker or fuse directly to the unit, then the next item has its own wire going to its own fuse or breaker. Some people tie the hot wires together with other units then they bring the wire back to a positive terminal. When something shorts or more likely corrodes then everything itís connected too doesnít work
Thanks for the clarification. That is exactly what I intend to do. I want it all done neatly and correctly so any future problems are simple to sort ou and rectify.
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:50 AM
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Great thread Pluginaway do you mind if people post there wiring pics on this thread. This is a very timely thread for me. Hope your wiring job works out.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:28 AM
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Same here man, I am about to tackle my wiring job on my walkaround if i can get a break in the rain.

Just as a "this is what i did"... I drew out a wiring diagram for each accessory, figured out where all my buss bars, fuse blocks and switches are going to be installed. Measured my rough distances and like Alex said added 30%. Sized each wire independently according to length and amp draw.

The game plan is to wire each accessory one at a time. I bought some 3M sticky pyramids that i can run a zip tie through for clean wiring, they are cheap on amazon. Everything will have its own home runs and use nice heat shrink connections.

I have looked at a bunch of the build threads on here for ideas on routing. Try to think a step ahead in terms of how you want to route and bundle the wires.

Good luck with it man, take your time and post some pics when done!
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:41 AM
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Default Pics are cool

Pics would be great and welcomed here. I am planning to post some myself if I can figure it out. I already had a failure trying to upload. I took a panoramic photo of the back of the helm switches before I tore it apart. It doesnít want to load. Maybe itís too big.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:46 AM
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Default I split the pano view

I keep getting a fail message saying a security token is missing. I reported that, but does anyone have any ideas?
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:12 AM
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I rewired my flats boat two years ago and so far so good, I haven't had any electrical issues since. I bought all my wiring and connectors from genuinedealz.com. Definitely don't go through West Marine...I love that store but they'll charge you 3x as much for anything wiring related. I stripped the boat down to bare fiberglass and re-rigged it from there. New wires, switches, steering tubes, shift cables, pumps, hoses, etc.

I used heat shrink connectors for everything. I purchased a heat gun, a set of ratchet crimpers, and some wire strippers which all made the job very quick and efficient.

Crimpers:
https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Tools-11477-Ratcheting-Terminal/dp/B0069TRKJ0/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532270904&sr=8-1-fkmr2&keywords=vice+ratchet+crimper https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Tools-11477-Ratcheting-Terminal/dp/B0069TRKJ0/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532270904&sr=8-1-fkmr2&keywords=vice+ratchet+crimper
Wire stripper:
https://www.amazon.com/IRWIN-VISE-GRIP-2078300-Self-Adjusting-Stripper/dp/B000OQ21CA/ref=sr_1_3?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1532270836&sr=1-3&keywords=wire+stripping+tool https://www.amazon.com/IRWIN-VISE-GRIP-2078300-Self-Adjusting-Stripper/dp/B000OQ21CA/ref=sr_1_3?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1532270836&sr=1-3&keywords=wire+stripping+tool

I also purchased zip ties in bulk....think I bought a bag of 500 zip ties or something. I zip tied everything and it helped make it all very neat and organized. Along with that I also bought zip tie screw mounts.

As for the wiring itself....I followed these two wiring diagrams and they were an incredible help. I used Blue Sea's Add a battery kit which I highly recommend.




It's not a bad job at all and if you do it right you'll be incredibly thankful. Its really nice to just do everything at once instead of constantly chasing down new electrical issues.
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:47 AM
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Default Rain...yay...and boo...

The rain...I have the same issue. I really wish I had a shop or barn I could put the boat in so I could work out of the sun and rain. Iím going to rig up an EZ Up tent but itís not the same, and doesnít cover the whole boat.

I bought new switches from Newwiremarine.com. These guys are EXCELLENT and very friendly. They have links to wiring diagrams on their site too. This is such a learning experience.

Last edited by pluginaway; 07-22-2018 at 09:49 AM. Reason: Additions
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:54 AM
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I just redid all of the wiring on my boat this year. It does takes longer than you think and like everyone else said planning is key.

A couple tips I have are for any butt connectors that may possibly be exposed to water, crimp them and then put dielectric grease in them and then shrink them, make sure to go with duplex wire, change out any lights that arenít already led to led while youíre at it and any old pumps.
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:25 PM
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Default What to cover the switch panel with?

The switch panel itself needs an upgrade too. The original panel is aluminum. I canít tell if it was painted or powder-coated with a clear coat overlay or what. I removed a clear film. Iím guessing the metal was screenprinted. Anyway, how should I bring it back to a new look? Powder-coating (I donít even know if anyone does it locally), automotive paint, the Krylon touch, or vinyl from a sign shop?
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:31 PM
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I don't care about abyc wire color, so I use single color and tag everything at termination points. I prefer yellow wire with black numbers.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pluginaway View Post
All of my switches have individual circuit breakers. Right now I think the only places that need a fuse are the bilge hot lead, depth finder, power-pole (should already have fuse but I canít remember at the moment), and the jack plate (should also be fused already). Can you expand on ďhome runĒ for me?
Your switches may each have an internal breaker but the wire that feeds them must be protected also .
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:07 AM
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bestboatwire cheaper than genuinedealz??
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:19 AM
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newwire marine is good too, and ship quickly.

just did 90% of my 26cc. Not sure if everyone agrees or not, but here is what I did:
  1. ran a hot wire from the batteries to a selector switch, that way while on the trailer, i can know 100% that there are no phantom loads or things that were forgot to be turned off that will drain my batteries.
  2. selector switch feeds 2 blue seas atc fuse holders
  3. I have a separate fuse for every single thing electrical on the boat (well, things like multiple courtesy lights are on one fuse)
  4. wire leaves the fuse block and goes either to the switch, or directly to the equipment (trim tabs, stereo amp, float switch, etc don't have switches)
  5. wire from switch to each piece of equipment.
  6. Also, everything got its on home run ground wire.
I removed the circuit breakers and carry a bunch of spare fuses. Not sure if the best way, but every circuit is fuse protected as close tot eh batteries as possible.

if you redo the battery cables, NortherTools sells a hydraulic crimper for about $40-50 to use on the terminal lugs. Definitely use tinned marine wire too. When going back to make repairs later (it is a boat), you'll be glad the wire isn't as corroded.
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