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Boat Wiring
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TinWhisker Online
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Post: #1
Boat Wiring
OK, so this is for boaters, or at least those who have owned or worked on boats in the past.

The pontoon I have was fine when we got it, as far as balance was concerned at least. But I added a 24v trolling motor and when I did, it pretty drastically altered the center of balance. It had a primary and auxiliary battery on the transom, but when I put in the extra two 12v batteries there for the trolling motor, it drew the rear of the boat down and lifted the nose too much. I didn't realize how much until I got it on the water in October.

Another issue is the fish-ability off the bow now that the trolling motor was installed up there. Previously there was none as it was used as a pleasure boat only before I got hold of it. The troller is great but it takes up too much room on the bow and aggravates the front fisher people, plus gets in people's way when it is stowed as it is long and annoying.

So, the project for early Spring will be to move all four batteries mid-ship, under the bench seats. And the trolling motor will be moved to the back. The trolling motor move will be easy, but the batteries and other wiring, may be more challenging.

So, that will result in re-wiring the ignition and aux bits since they are all routed to the transom currently. Has anyone done wiring on a boat that has any advice or tips/tricks?
26-12-2018 06:14 PM
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TinWhisker Online
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Post: #2
RE: Boat Wiring
I guess, to further clarify... I know the wiring system is fully closed to the battery terminals, with no external grounding to the chassis itself (which would be a major no-no). Except for the ground on the motor itself, which has an anode on it to contain corrosion.

What I'd like is any issues or problems folks have encountered in the past, and recommended wire and gauges, do-s and don't-s, things like that. I have 3 months to finish so I will have time to think this through prior to implementation.
26-12-2018 06:45 PM
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ecignut Online
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Post: #3
RE: Boat Wiring
Sorry TW - I cannot help - the only boats I ever had were for the bath when I was wee.[Image: tongue.gif]
26-12-2018 06:56 PM
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TinWhisker (12-26-2018)
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Post: #4
RE: Boat Wiring
I've had boats and jet skis in the past but never done any electrical work on them so I cant help. I wish you luck with your future project though.

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26-12-2018 06:58 PM
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TinWhisker (12-26-2018)
TinWhisker Online
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Post: #5
RE: Boat Wiring
I have a massive advantage... The pontoon is an aluminum frame with marine grade plywood on top. The underside is completely exposed and will be exceedingly simple to do once I get the process worked out. Unlike a fiberglass or aluminum hull where routing and penetrations much be done very cautiously.
26-12-2018 07:08 PM
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ecignut (12-26-2018)
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RE: Boat Wiring
Is there nothing on google that can help.
26-12-2018 07:45 PM
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Don Online
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Post: #7
RE: Boat Wiring
Lots of cathodes.

Aluminium is seriously chemically reactive once you get through the oxide layer.

Zinc cathodes for the win...

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26-12-2018 08:43 PM
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TinWhisker Online
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Post: #8
RE: Boat Wiring
(26-12-2018 07:45 PM)ecignut Wrote:  Is there nothing on google that can help.

Well, I know how to wire things, I was just fishing for any gotchas anyone may have encountered.
26-12-2018 09:06 PM
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Fatboy Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Boat Wiring
I rigged something similar to a 32' boat many moons ago and for a similar reason - at the time I rigged 3 marine batteries in parallel and used the battery website to determine gauge and placement to maintain both centre of gravity but also minimal voltage loss.

this wasn't the site but has all of the similar required data.

I had connected a large troll motor, fish finder, TV and satellite antenna....who says you can't go fishing and watch the football game on a Sunday afternoon! Tongue
26-12-2018 11:59 PM
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gentlydoingit* Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Boat Wiring
Can't say I've ever wired a boat so I don't have much to add than you wouldn't already know. 

The small amount of waterproof wiring I did on an amphicar a few years back saw me using only silicone multistrand ss wire, it's lighter, more wear resistant and carries better amperage. silicone grease and heatshrink on all crimped joints, I never solder a high moisture joint. Lots of self amalgamating tape on hand. Candle wax melted over every exposed terminal, with an anti tracking varnish spray over every circuit board.

Don't know if that helps any but I've put it out there Big Grin

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27-12-2018 06:08 PM
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