Sunday, November 13, 2016

Getting Wired Part 2

It has been a good weekend. In an update to the previous post, I did some more wiring on the boat.

Spent a few hours today working on actually mounting/installing the Pronautic 1230P charger I bought TWO years ago. I recently ordered a couple of Firefly batteries for my new house bank. Since I want to make sure the batteries are taken care of, I had to get the charger set up. I ordered some 10/2 wire and some ring terminals from Genuinedealz to connect the charger to the batteries. While time consuming, it wasn't too difficult. I mounted the charger to a couple pieces of oak I had laying around and went head first into the starboard quarterberth to mount the setup to the bulkhead. A little tight but manageable.

I routed the new wires the same way they were with the old charger directly to the battery bank. When I flipped the breaker on the panel to turn on the charger, a fan started and in a moment, a click started charging to the batteries. Very happy this worked out. I don't have a starting battery yet and will run wires for one when the time comes. When I left the boat today, I turned on the vent fan that came with the Airhead for ventilation. The Airhead website said the fan draws .08 amp. So I figured even leaving it on for the week, or even two weeks, it wouldn't drain the battery too much, too fast. And now the charger is in place, I can top off the batteries during my visit.

In my last post, I mentioned ordering a panel from Front Panel Express using their software. Well, it came in and I'm pleased with how it turned out. Black anodized aluminum with engraved letters filled in with yellow, 7"w x 3.25"h. Everything lined up nicely for the toggle breakers. I'd say this was a good test panel for the possibility of changing the main breaker panel by the companionway. Changing the main panel isn't a near-term project but something I can play around with in the design in the meantime.

First look in the box. Vacuum sealed on cardboard.

only have two breakers at the moment

got a bus bar made for attaching the main positive line

This panel will be mounted just under the front of the nav desk where an old cassette car stereo was mounted. This will be used to wire the VHF in its new location, just above the nav desk. Later, perhaps other items. At least it won't require multiple wires to be sent back the main panel, keeping the wiring clutter to a minimum.

Lastly, the mast. The shop I'm having do a paint job is also doing a few modifications. They changed the setup by the masthead. This will help keep wires and halyards from interfering with each other. They're changing the location of the conduit for running wires up. Instead of being on the back side where the track is, they installed a new one on the front side of the mast.

The anchor/tri-color light was in the middle of the masthead and now on its own pedestal on the side. The wires will run up the middle of the tube instead of being external. They also patched up a lot of holes, the largest being the hole from the baby forestay that I didn't intend on using and also a hole used for a box sheave. They patched up a few smaller holes around the mast and boom that were mostly unused. A new location for the VHF antenna is also installed. Soon, it will be sent for painting and then the hardware will be reinstalled.

The guy at the rigging shop suggested connections shouldn't be outside of the boat. So he's talking about putting a short tube on the mast step that will go down a bit (maybe 1") into the deck. Then connections would be made inside the boat at the bottom of the compression post. I'll still have to see how big the holes are at the bottom of the compression post to see how feasible it would be for any connectors to pass through. Below is a picture of a tube on the mast step at the shop I used to visualize what it might look like. The final product certainly wouldn't be as high as in the picture. Should be shorter that would still allow the mast to be stepped/unstepped by an owner.

 At this time, not much to update in regards to the insurance claim on the fallen tree hitting the boat. I've been told I need to contact workshops to get detailed quotes for getting the damages fixed.

Lately, I've been side tracked, or maybe distracted, from a couple projects due to focusing on the mast and the tree damaging the boat. I hope to get back on track and tackle the major projects I've been working on over the summer that still isn't quite done yet.


  1. The ProNautic chargers are great! That is the same charger I have and it has kept my batteries up and like new for over two years now. You'll love it.

    1. Good to know. Thanks. The technology in this certainly beats out the old 10A charger I had. I'm sure these batteries will last much longer than the last set.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you.
      I'm happy with how things are turning out so far.

  3. Wow, yes, ditto above comments. I'm lying squarely in Retro-land with my electrical stuff. I'm just happy my lights function. I admire your expertise on the engine and electrical!

    1. Thanks Bill.
      I like working on stuff like this. I might rework some other wire, but it'll work fine like this.