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How hard to wire a boat?

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by twistertail, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. I want to wire up lights and the livewell on my boat but have never done anything like it before. I think I will be able to put the battery under the back seat and I want to wire the lights and livewell to a switch pannel.
     
  2. [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of the boat, bought it form tee this spring. The live well is in the middle and just has a plug in the bottom and it fills up when you put the boat in the water. I have an aerator kit to install in the live well and I think the pump on the aerator can be used to fill and empty the live well also. I aso want to run the wire up front for a trolling motor.
     

  3. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    no problem on the wiring.if you need a little help,i'm available.just give me a yell.
     
  4. you always up early?
    I probably wont start till this winter but just wanted an idea of what I'm getting into. I was looking at the cabelas catalog and there are all kinds of fuse boxes and switch panels and stuff and i'm not sure what i need to get.
     
  5. Does Gander Mountain or Dicks have things like that? I would rather get the stuff in Columbus instead of going to Bass Pro in Cincy or Cabelas in Michigan.
     
  6. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    it's a pretty simple.you can go different routes on the switches,but for the money,i like the panel i put in my boat.about 35 bucks at cabelas.hard to find any around here for the price.at least for me it was.
    mine has 4 fused switches marked for lights,areator and bilge..here's a pic after i installed it,next yo my ignition switch.
    no,i'm not always up this early :rolleyes: ;)


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Twistertail,

    I just finished re-wiring my boat about ten days ago. I'm what they call "mechanically uninclined". Re-wiring my boat wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought. They have panels like the one misfit showed at BPS too, one with 4 switches and the other with 6. All are fused and mine works great. Especially with help from someone knowledgable, it shouldn't be hard, and could be a lot of fun.

    Eric
     
  8. I'll have to build some type of box to mount the switch panel to.
    What size wire should I use?
     
  9. BigChessie

    BigChessie BIG PIMPIN' "GIGELO"

    Dude let me know when you want to knock it out and give me a call. Really not much to it, nothing a couple beers can't handle. I have done the last 3 of my boats and they turned out great. I really like to mount a pair of the 55 watt off road light on the front to better see at night hands free. My last one had 4 lights mounted on the front, interior lights to use for rerigging and to just see what your doing when needed without worrying about flashlights and headlamps. Also nice to have a single light in the rear when your messing with the motor or just to see behind you if you are trying to postion boat at night. Sounds like alot, but think about how many times you are messing with a flashlight in one hand and got the other tied up with poles,the motor and anchors. lol
     
  10. Thanks a lot for the offers guys, I'll be sure to take you up on them when I start. Good idea about some interior lights, I neve thought about that.
     
  11. I used all 12 gauge wire for my boat, front to back. Find a store where you can get marine grade wire and differnet colors for each accessory. Make a diagram of the wires and color code the wires so if something should happen, you'll know what wire to pull. I know the power squadron and sailing association have a standard color for each accessory, but I just made my own. Without looking, my bow light is brown, my livewell is green, my bilge is blue, and my stern light is yellow. I used black for all the ground wires.

    Eric
     
  12. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    running/anchor lights,areator,bilge can all be run in 16-18 ga. wire.they draw very little amperage(normally 2-4 amps).it's best to run 8 ga. to bow mount motor unless you plan on running more than 50 or so lb. thrust,then 6 will work,just for insurance.
    it should be easy to make an enclose for switch panel.you can get a couple terminal blocks to tie accessories together,which mount right on the battery post.they're about 10-12 bucks at cabelas.or you can run a 12-14 ga. lead from switch panel to battery.
     
  13. FINMAN

    FINMAN Old Junior Member

    355
    83
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    I liked what you did, buddy. Got tired of jiggling wires and decided to follow suit. I got mine at West Marine for 32 bucks ( it's the add-ons that kill ya there!) and fabricated a box out of aluminum.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    looks good,fins.i checked west marine's site,cause they have a store hrere in town,and i didn't want to go through the mail order thing.and i don't think they had that one at the time.cheapest one was closer to 50 bucks.that's why i went with cabelas.

    shane,i like the lighter and gauge,but it's good idea to add a bilge pump,which needs to be swithed.you can tie your lights to one switch,and use the third one for that purpose.you can always add a switch between bow and stern lights,to turn off bow light if you don't want it on when anchored.
     
  15. Where would be a good place to put a bilge pump and would I have to drill a hole in the boat to pump out?
     
  16. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    the lowest place in the stern,if possible.you drill a hole toward the top of the transom,and just attach the hose to a thru-hull fitting.

    it's not an absolute requirement,but if you ever need it and don't have it,you'll wish you did.i know i sure was glad i installed one,just a few days afterward ;)
    i'm sure toad is thanful i did,too :D
     
  17. I guess its something that you probably dont use much but when you need one you better have it.
     
  18. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    exactly :D
    if i had put off installing it at the time,i might not be posting this right now,or i might have been posting a similar story to execex:eek:
     
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