Basic wiring questions

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by fredscat, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. fredscat
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    fredscat Junior Member

    These questions are in reference to a 97ft sailing catamaran.

    Am I totally crazy thinking that I can use regular household wiring for most of the lighting and other 12 V needs? What type of connections - solder - crimping - are to be used?
     
  2. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Yes, totally crazy. Use marine wiring. It can be found cheaper than you think. You don't have to pay retail for it. But use it. And if your are building a 97 foot sailing catamaran then what is $1000 in the whole project. You can do wiring yourself. Use appropriate marine crimp-on connector. You can buy panels in ebay, or whatever don't pay retail that is where money goes. On a boat your size I would have 4 panels, 2 dc panels one per hull, an AC one main one, and a small one for generators/inverters. The idea is redundancy in case one panel catches on fire you have a quick backup.
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yes you're nuts, :rolleyes: this isn't the way to do things, can cause fires and will surly nix the possibility of a good price come resale time. 12 VDC wiring is simple, easy and relatively painless, but you do need a clue as to what's going on, what to use and how to install it. There are several books on the subject, if you have an inclination towards electrical tasks, pick one up (try the book store here). Then again, many people (most) just begin to shiver when it comes to electrical stuff. If you're one of these, call someone who is more comfortable with 12 VDC marine systems.
     
  4. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Start by building your book library. Buy every book by Nigel Calder. Yeah seriously. What I have done different in my larger boats is divide system into rooms rather than individuals runs to panel. But you are still talking a lot of wiring. Create cable runners, backbone through boat. Also remember you need other types of wirings, alarms, engine warning, engine, emergency lights. Think of a boat more like a space ship. Build with "Murphy" in mind. and some redundancy in everything you build.
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If he's an engineer he should be looking at the appropriate documentation for the hoops he'll have to jump through. ISO, USCG, ABYC, etc., etc., etc., will all have input, recommendations and requirements, which is the logical place for an "engineer" to start, assuming a familiarity with the system(s) he's developing.
     
  6. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Good point considering the commercial requirements of a boat like this. I believe that the requirements change at about 20 meters.
     
  7. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    I agree with all of the above. First learn about what you are about to do. Nigel's books are good and there are others. Here's a short list:

    Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: by Nigel Calder.

    Powerboater's Guide to Electrical Systems, Second Edition
    Ed Sherman, Published 2000, by Boating Magazine

    Boatowner's Illustrated Handbook of Wiring:
    Charlie Wing, Published 1993 by McGraw Hill

    Your Boat's Electrical System: Manual of Electrical and Electronic Projects Conrad Miller, Elbert S. Maloney, Published 1988 by Hearst Marine Books

    Sailboat Electrics Simplified, Don Casey, 1999 International Marin

    Absolutely use marine wiring. Marine wiring has to meet a raft of SAE and UL standards that household or automotive wiring do not meet. Look on the label. If it says UL 1426 it is marine wire. You can find it at many marine stores and on-line. It does not have to be tinned (some will tell you it has to be tinned wire but neither the USCG or ABYC require tinned wire), but tinned wire is better. But it is also more expensive.

    Start by looking at http://newboatbuilders.com/pages/elect.html

    Mydauphin is right, you may have to use UL 1309 cable

    Addendum:
    I looked up the standard for small passenger vessels unde r100 gross tons. It is found at http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/183-340-cable-and-wiring-requirements-19861007

    It say UL Boat Cable which is UL1426, but that is for some circuits. Other circuits such as fire fighting systems require other cable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  8. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    If your going to buy rolls - I can get you some good deals.
     
  9. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    ...oh, he will be buying rolls alright, and lots of emm, and yes you are crazy.

    Have you actually built this monster or is it still a dream?

    If it has been built, then I am very concerned.
     
  10. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    He has a website showing many parts built.

    http://codevco.ws/Composite_pages/Catamaran/Design-Overview.htm


    I already know what is going to happen. But anyone crazy enough to build a 92' anything better be able to take a few comments.
     
  11. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Since there is no real problem with big wires , only with small wiring, we have found its cheapest to simply purchase a large quantity of #10 , which handles most smaller circuits.

    Marine wire is Tinned , a must for longevity, purchase REAL marine terminal ends and the crimper from the terminal end mfg.

    Anchor is the brand we use as the wire is 10% larger than requirements.

    The crimper is about $75 , but only it will crush the terminal end enough to cold flow the solder to seal out air, and create a satisfactory end.

    Go cheap on the ego toys , the 22 inch flat screen for the depth sounder .

    Electric must be totally reliable , only the best will do.

    An armed lead sounding weight is cheap, and gives far more info than a depth sounder .

    FF
     
  12. fredscat
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    fredscat Junior Member

    You are so right crazy but determined and not totally dumb I HOPE:)
     
  13. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    The world needs a few more dumb nuts... Welcome to the club...
     
  14. fredscat
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    fredscat Junior Member

    Marine wiring it is. Clearly I am convinced and it is what I expected to be told - so no surprises. Thanks for the notation on the crimper. I have been told by a marine electrician that the terminals should be covered with shrink tubing and filled with some ??? anti corrosive "stuff" Any input on that? I am currently looking for AN (Army Navy) specs on marine wiring. Is there such a thing or is there a Coastguard equivalent?
     

  15. fredscat
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    fredscat Junior Member

    Thanks, I am familiar with the FAA (Aviation) chain of requirements. Point me to a tarting point for the Marine rules and regulations
     
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