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Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

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Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

Old 12-16-2002, 07:59 PM
  #1  
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

Hey guys, here's the deal.

I plan on re-wiring my entire electrical system on my Scout 185. I want to relocate two batteries, install a bus bar, and replace all the old wiring and connectors. My control panel consists of toggle switches and push-button breakers. The current wiring job, due to no fault of my own, is very messy and somewhat half-assed. Most of this was a result of improperly installed accessories by the previous owner.

I have very little electrical experience but I want to do this myself so that I know it gets done right. I also feel that by completing the work myself I will be better prepared to fix it while underway.

So, what book should I ask my wife to get me for Christmas? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] I appreciate any help with this matter.

Thanks,

seabass
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Old 12-17-2002, 03:52 AM
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

http://www.ancorproducts.com/ I'd start here first and get the catalog. This is the standard of marine grade wiring, period. Then I would get this catalog www.consumersmarine.com The have all the panels, switches, NAVPODS,and other stuff you'll need. There are several books out there on Electrical wiring for boats. I can't think of their names however...I sure someone else will have and idea. There have been some very good recent threads on wiring, have you checked 'search'? Also as a tip; I would use circuit breakers whereever possible in lieu of fuses. Hope this will get you started. Good luck. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-17-2002, 04:47 AM
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

Everything Mumblerone said. There is a book that is often recommended its "The 12-Volt Bible For Boats" by Miner Brotherton. I have never read it but many say it is very good. I have no doubt at all that you could log on to Amazon this morning, do magic stuff, and have a copy in hand by friday. Beyond that let me help you set out a couple of rules you might want to bind yourself to, maybe a hint or two on procedures too.

1. First off you absolutly must plan what it is you will end up with. Have a picture, and not one in your mind, of what you intend to wind up with before you begin.

2. Force yourself to do it all and do it right. This may sound harsh, but go into the boat and cut out all the old stuff at the beginning, so you have to replace it. The doing it right part is just self inflicted.

3. Even before you begin your planning get yourself a copy of the wire size chart for a 3% loss (I am sure you will be able to find a copy at the Anchor site but I think I'll put one together and put it up today) and do not run any wire smaller than it recommends no matter what.


4. In conjunction with 3, sit down and make a list of every single electrical device on your boat, do not miss so much as a single bulb, then write down what its electrical requirement is, in amps. When figuring your wire size increase each requirement by about a third.

5. Once you get started label every single wire, label it at each end and in the middle. Lable them whereever there is any chance you might be dealing with them in the future.

6. Figure out for yourself what sort of foolproof method you will be using for attaching things to wires or wires to wires. Make sure that which ever method you choose to use that the wire is sealed completely. Liquids work ....

7. Minimize, minimize, and minimize some more. This should be part of your planning process and it should be carried out in execution as well.

8. No wire ever existed that had to much support.

9. Color code everything and then make sure you make up an "as wired" wireing diagram, complete with notes, a you actually complete the work. When done laminate a copy of this diagram and keep it on the boat. Once again, color code it, and follow convention to the extent possible here.

10. Never subsitute and inferior wire (to small or the wrong color, or the wrong type) for that which is required just because you're in a hurry or broke that day. Wait whatever amount of time it takes to do it right. A day's delay for a trip to the store or a couple of days waiting for UPS is better than being stranded off shore.

11. Ask all the questions you can of all the people you can possible attract to answer them. Learn to cut and paste questions posted on the Internet so you can publish your questions in at least a half a dozen places (there are many message boards with boating as their theme). There is no such thing as to much advice, you can pitch the clearly absurd, and it amuses me to see how many time I can run across what is exactly the same post.

I'm sure there is more, and I am equally sure that there are a lot of people who will be more than willing to make suggestions for you as you go along. Ain't life grand?

Thom

"For every complex question, there's a simple answer. And it's wrong."
(--H. L. Mencken)

[This message was edited by Thom on 12-17-02 at 09:56 AM.]
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Old 12-17-2002, 07:06 AM
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

... or you could adopt Thom. Might be simpler and cheaper.

Fuzzy
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Old 12-17-2002, 07:27 AM
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

I'm in the process of planning the wiring for my new boat. I want to do it so I can learn how, but also so I know something about it when it's done. I went to Amazon and got "The 12 Volt Bible" and "Powerboater's Guide to Wiring". I would recommend both. In fact I plan to get a few more books, as they all seem to have something a little different, or explained a different way.


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Old 12-17-2002, 04:57 PM
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

With all deference to Thom, myself, and other great people (I did include myself) on this site. The information is outstanding; don't get me wrong, peroiod...no buts. I remember when I used to race cars...every body had an opinion on how best to do something...good intention overload. I gave up and bought a few books...many from GM, Ford, Penske, Holley,and others. A wealth of knowledge...from people who wrote the 'book'. Pun intended. I said to myself...why not learn from the best? An I did. By doing so, I was able to seperate the bullshit from the good stuff in the later years. I started with a sound, basic, understanding of the subject and then fine tuned my understanding by listening. So...having made a short story long, I have a better understanding what you guys are saying and realize the value of what you say. Buy a book! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Did I say that right? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 12-17-2002, 06:18 PM
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

I'll second tg's recommendation of Miner Brotherton's "12 Volt Bible for Boats".
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Old 12-17-2002, 06:21 PM
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

Awesome, you guys have given some excellent ideas to start out with. I basically will be learning how to do everything from scratch since I am somewhat a novice in the electrical field. I definitely plan on doing everything first-class from the get go. I am somewhat anal about things, which usually results in a job well done.

Mumblerone,

I appreciate the links you provided. I plan on using several different sources to finish this project. I also agree that there are many excellent threads in the archives about specific procedures and problems. I can’t tell you how many times I print out threads from THT for future reference.

Thom,

As always, your input is appreciated. It looks like we think a lot along the same lines since I was planning on doing many of the things you mentioned. I also hope you don’t mind if I pick your brain in the future as I progress in this job. Like everyone else here, I’m constantly amazed at the wealth of information you provide to us THTers. Oh, and one other thing, Fuzzy gave me another idea. If you want to take a vacation to the Tampa Bay area, I know a place that will offer free room and board, provided you donate a couple of hours of work a day. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

tg,

Looks like the 12-volt bible is going to be under the tree this year. Also would like to hear about your progress as well. I plan on posting pictures of the before and after.

seabass
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Old 12-17-2002, 06:29 PM
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

Thanks cat-fishin, looks like that's going to be the plan. Good to hear several people recommending that book.

seabass
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Old 12-17-2002, 08:19 PM
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tg
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

Just use lots of sources. I've printed lots of stuff from this forum (and others) to get ideas. For example, I knew nothing about 12 volt systems until just recently. Now I'm deciding between combiners and isolators. Just do the homework you seem to want to do. I plan to share my upcoming experience to all who are interested, pictures and all!


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Old 12-17-2002, 09:56 PM
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Default Which marine electrical wiring book should I get?

Just one word of advice here from someone with many hours inside cabs and under raised floors.... (computer rooms, not boats) - before you take Thom's advice (and do!), map out your existing wiring diagram. Again, map out your existing wiring, map out your existing wiring, map out your existing wiring. Did I mention to map out your existing wiring? Also, take more pictures of existing connections at all ends than of your first child.

After you tear out that batch of wiring harnesses, you are going to wonder what that blue wire was connected to and why. Unless you map out your existing wiring, you may never find out and end up replacing an otherwise useful gizmo, if only because it was made before Thom was posting or because he didn't own the device.

Again, more free advice and probably not even worth that much, but remember, past returns are no guarantee of future gains..... or whatever.

** sigh **
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