Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Electrical Stuff

Ok, so I redid most of the electrical in the boat. I can do that since she is small. I pulled out what wire I could, and left the rest.  I replaced the original distribution panel with a new one from West Marine. I am sure that at some time in the past the p/o also did some electrical work, because what was installed was such a mess.  It also confirmed some of my suspicions that a good portion of this boat had had a fair amt of water in her, as many of the low lying wiring was corroded, brittle, and falling apart.  I installed the battery in a battery box, and pushed it back into the area where on the floor layout show where it should be.  The p/o had it sitting free just under the companion way steps.  I also took out the 4AWG (i think) battery cables.  Since I am not running a starter, or other heavy duty electrical I didn't see the need for them.  I replaced the 4AWG with 10AWG wiring to the distribution panel.  I also added a bus bar for the ground system.  There doesn't seem to be any previous bus bar installed, and when I pulled out the old electrical panel and wiring, all the grounds were taped to the 4AWG that led to the battery.  Most of the wire had corroded so much that there wasn't any connection.  No wonder it didn't work, surprising there wasn't a short and fire... but of course you would have to use it to get to that point.  I wired in a new stereo, and VHF, and replaced bulbs and a new bow running lights.   So the only electrical remaining that does not work is the mast light.  I had no way of testing it when she was on the hard.  I still haven't decided if i am going to hoist Flannery up the mast or not to fix it.

Here is how its installed now.

I think that I will have to replace the battery, as if left off the charger for a day without use, the VHF alarms that the battery is low (below 11V).

On a side note, I dont think that I sealed the keel bolts well enough, as the bilge is taking on water (about 5gal/wk).  Not enough to reach the cabin floor, but enough.  I hope that its just the keel bolts. I will try and re-seal them in January, when I have some time off.  Also going to try and work on them while the boat is in the water :s