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best book/manual for wiring a boat

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Old 03-01-2012, 07:16 PM   #1
bluegilla killa
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Default best book/manual for wiring a boat

Looking for a thorough book or manual for rewiring a boat. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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Bluegilla, Google free wire diagrams for boats. They will give a standard color chart
on what to use for what, It helped me alot ,I just got done doing mine. Good luck
hope this helps.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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thanks, ill check it out!
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
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You need to find a diagram for the motor and the controls. Boats are all rigged differently. A proper service manual for your motor should include information on the wiring. Google your motor and wiring diagram.

What are you looking to do exactly?
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:09 PM   #5
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not so much the motor and controls, im rewiring basically everything else! building new consoles, wiring for nav light, interior lights, horn,cigarette lighter,marine radio,fishfinder,stereo,fuel guage, 2 bilges, eventually a onboard charger and probably some other stuff lol. Ive had alot of good advice from guys that redo alot boats. I know im going to start with a 12 gang fuse box and go from there. I just want a book for references and possibly tips or something i might not have thought of.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Try amazon or google for "The 12-Volt Bible for Boats" Amazon also lists several other books too. have fun and good luck
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
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Boats and Motors

Boats and Motors

Something like that?
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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yea, something like that!
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:19 PM   #9
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Pay a lot of attention to your grounds. Make sure you have good solid clean grounds. Use dielectric grease or some other type of corrosion inhibitor. Don't cross or hookup your battery wrong to your motor, you can damage electrical components. Be careful. Even though its only 12 or 24 volt systems, there are a lot of amps.

http://forums.iboats.com/forumdisplay.php?f=23

that is the iboats electrical forum. There is TONS of info there on just about anything. its all been done pretty much, you just have to search and find it. Google is a good way to search iboats as well. Like if you google "tracker electrical diagram" you'll probably find a bunch of iboats links at the top. OGF and iboats are my two favorite internet places!!
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:08 PM   #10
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thanks bud!
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:38 PM   #11
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ill def check out the 12 volt bible for boats, and have heard good things about The fishermans electrical manual. has anybody ever looked through it?
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:55 PM   #12
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Tinboats.net is an awesome resource to get info from. Whenever I had a question, my posts were answered very quickly.


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Old 03-07-2012, 10:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegilla killa View Post
ill def check out the 12 volt bible for boats, and have heard good things about The fishermans electrical manual. has anybody ever looked through it?
a 12v system in a boat is actually very simple. Be sure you aren't over thinking it. All were talking is a positive lead and a negative lead. And senders going to your instruments. I'm not sure why one would need all the books. positive to positive, negative to negative. Nice clean connections, minimal splices. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but its not rocket surgery

Most electrical problems can be traced to broken/loose connections and bad connections for grounds. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:55 PM   #14
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no offense taken, but ive never done it before, this is my first project boat ever, its an erie boat and i dont wanna f up out there, im a visual type person and i usually end up drinking beer when im out in my shop!
Im more of a rocket scientologist btw ! lol
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassillonBuckeye View Post
a 12v system in a boat is actually very simple. Be sure you aren't over thinking it. All were talking is a positive lead and a negative lead. And senders going to your instruments. I'm not sure why one would need all the books. positive to positive, negative to negative. Nice clean connections, minimal splices. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but its not rocket surgery

Most electrical problems can be traced to broken/loose connections and bad connections for grounds. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.
Wiring a boat is a "little" more complicated than just running a black and a red wire. Here are a couple thoughts you should have considered:

1) Minimize the wires connected to the battery(s). You don't want the top of your battery(s) to look like spaghetti. As a maximum, you should have a positive from your Perko shutoff switch, a negative from the motor, a negative from a buss that all the rest of the electronics and lights negatives that aren't wired to a dedicated fuze box are wired to, and, if you are running a house battery in parallel, you will need a negative from the other battery and a positive from a separate on/off switch that the positive of the house battery is connected to (so you can connect the two batteries in parallel with). Positives from your bilge pumps, motors, and fuze box run to the Perkos.

2) You do have Perko shutoff switches, don't you? You must have a means to cut off power from the batteries.

3) You need to know what size wires to run through the boat, to ensure your wiring has enough capacity to run your equipment without overheating.

4) Fuzes... fuzes protect wiring as much as they do equipment. You will probably want a 40 amp fuze on the positive wire immediately coming from the Perko switch before running the positive to your Blue Seas fuze box.

5) Blue Seas makes a great, and not too expensive fuze box using automotive type mini fuzes.

6) Discard the fuzes that come with your electronics and wire your electronics to the Blue Seas fuze box. If you blow a fuze you know EXACTLY where to go to replace it.

7) Use tinned wire whenever possible. It is much more expensive than non-tinned wire, but won't corrode like the non-tinned wire will.

8) Since you're going to use non-tinned wire anyways , and, even if you do use tinned wire, absolutely use shrink seal end connectors and butt connectors. You can find these pretty inexpensively at Home Depot (Lowe's has shrink seal connectors, but, you get multiple sizes in a package and you will not use the large ones very often resulting in a waste of money). These will keep water out of the plastic jackets your wires run in. Corrosive water can wick up the full length of your wiring. Please use shrink seal connectors!

9) While you're at Home Depot, absolutely get a multi-meter, and learn how to use it. Your most used setting will be the 200 ohm resistance setting which you will use to ensure wire continuity. You will also use the DC Volts 20 setting to check power in your system.

10) Buy color-coded marine wire from on-line sources. It's cheaper than marine wire from West Marine, and, non-marine wire might snap and break inside the plastic jacket in a boating environment causing you to rip all the hair out of your head trying to find the problem of why your electronics unit isn't working. Color-coded wire is easier to chase when you do have electrical problems.

PM me if you have any questions, and we can arrange to talk about it.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:04 PM   #16
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If you have water up under your console, or wherever your connections are, you have a lot more issues than some heat shrink tubing. Not that I'm saying not to use it, but...
Just saying..
I didn't mean for my quick message to be a comprehensive guide to all things marine wiring by any means.

Don't get lost in all the minutia. The most important thing is + and -. Being sure which wires are which. You hook something up backwards and you run the risk of frying it or yourself. Whether you use double tinned heat shrunk, 00awg wire or not. Disconnect the batteries and figure out whats running where. Whats hot, whats ground.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #17
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No it is not "Rocket Surgery" ? but for the novice, I believe the more research and planing the better. Many things that some of us take for granted, battery disconnect switches, fuse panels, proper wire size, and proper connections are all good questions for the first timer.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captk View Post
No it is not "Rocket Surgery" ? but for the novice, I believe the more research and planing the better. Many things that some of us take for granted, battery disconnect switches, fuse panels, proper wire size, and proper connections are all good questions for the first timer.
I'm a big fan of K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid ! As novice as he is, its important to understand the fundamentals is my point. Then figure out all the bells and whistles.

Powerboater's Guide to Electrical Systems:
Maintenace, Troubleshooting, and Improvements

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Old 03-08-2012, 05:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassillonBuckeye View Post
If you have water up under your console, or wherever your connections are, you have a lot more issues than some heat shrink tubing. Not that I'm saying not to use it, but...
Just saying..
I didn't mean for my quick message to be a comprehensive guide to all things marine wiring by any means.

Don't get lost in all the minutia. The most important thing is + and -. Being sure which wires are which. You hook something up backwards and you run the risk of frying it or yourself. Whether you use double tinned heat shrunk, 00awg wire or not. Disconnect the batteries and figure out whats running where. Whats hot, whats ground.
The book you linked to in your last post looks like a really good source for boat wiring questions! Thanks for that.

As far as whether or not the OP has "water under his console" or not, Bluegilla could get several pieces of old wiring in his boat, cut them, then strip them back. Are the wires a shiny silver (tinned) color? Good. Shiny copper colored? Good. Black colored? Sorry, that one is corroded because water got to it.

Reference "Don't get lost in all the minutia," Bluegilla NEEDS to get into the minutia...he is completely rewiring his boat! If he is rewiring a Lake Erie boat, like he says, he doesn't want to do a half-bass job and get stuck out on the lake, or burn his boat down, or trash his expensive electronics or motor, or continually chase electrical problems.

My $.02

P.S. I should clarify that the heat shrink connectors I talked about in my previous post has a glue which liquifies when heated, and completely seals the connector from water intrusion as the plastic shrinks down. Also, if you're going to rewire your boat from scratch, a heat gun is a MUST HAVE. Your only other option to heat up the heat shrink is a match and that is not good in a boat near fuel sources. Besides, heating those connectors with a match or lighter tends to melt into the plastic of the connector ruining it.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:15 PM   #20
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Oh i get you bud. But yeah, DEFINITELY needs done right. You cant exactly just hop out of a boat on the middle of Erie.
I second the heat gun. I picked one up for around $20 from a local electronic supply store. Very handy.
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