A thing of beauty...

29 12 2009 Posted by Daniel

$1,250 worth of Marine batteries… about to get installed. :) Yes, I’m stoked.

Note that if you are just now tuning back in, there is a whole other article full of great photos just below that you might have missed also.

Finally, some photos

27 12 2009 Posted by Daniel

So, you all can get a glimpse of what’s going on here with the electrical project, I’ve assembled a crack team of photographic ninjas to catch the work as it was going on. In fact they work so fast and so nimbly that they were able to avoid me being in any of them - which is precisely why I paid a team of ninjas to do it in the first place.

Now, this is to chronicle the ongoing saga of this work, I don’t have a complete project for you yet, but trust me, there’s a world of difference already.

To begin with, this is what the radio station looked like before I started:

Looking inside that box showed some of the signs that the owner’s previously noted competence in wiring only went so far:

I must be becoming a sailor, as my language when removing that mess of wiring became vibrantly colorful. Nearly a full days worth of sweat went into removing that box, and the ritualistic blood sacrifice required of any major undertaking aboard a sailing vessel was repeated several times in order to fully exorcise the beast. After a minor celebration involving suitable libations (for the season, rum-spiked eggnog sufficed nicely), I began the task of running new, clean wiring to the location with proper buss bars:

Seeing as I had no place to stow the communications and navigation gear with the removal of its demonic home, I had to construct a new repository for said instruments:

The wiring is obviously coming along, although it will be even neater than this when I’m finished:

The view from where the old box used to be:

Another view of the construction progress so far:

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to present to you the first test fitting of all the equipment!

Electrical Brouhahahahahahahahaa.....

01 12 2009 Posted by Daniel

So, I have some pictures to share with you shortly (I’m not QUITE done yet, but they’re coming, I assure you). Let’s just say that the electrical system (if you can call it that) on this vessel was slightly… askew, yes, askew.

To illustrate my point, the engine wiring alone, which ordinarily consists of a total of approximately 10 wires, consisted of 5 separate “harnesses” (read, spaghetti tangles) each containing at LEAST 5 wires. Yes, you did the math right, there were 25 wires where 10 would have sufficed. And on top of that, the wires were not run in neat, accessible bundles of related circuitry. No, it was a haphazard crisscross with zero regard for color coding. That had to go.

I looked in the sail locker and found a horrid rats nest of wire hidden BEHIND a wooden panel. There were controls not wired to anything, and 110V AC wiring right next to 12V DC.

So far I’ve spent about a week solid rewiring things, and I’m only about a third of the way done. The AC is still routed next to the DC, but its much more separated now. The rats nest is entirely gone, replaced by a single, cleanly routed harness going to the main buss and circuit breaker panel. The engine has all 10 wires in two clean harnesses which route entirely out of the way and are easy to get to for troubleshooting. The connection between the engine and the switch panel is a high quality waterproof automotive connector instead of an exposed terminal strip. Things are starting to shape up.

I’d love to be able to just rip EVERYTHING out and do it all from scratch, as it would be far, far cleaner than it is now. Unfortunately I don’t have that luxury at this time, I am cleaning everything up “in place” as it were, since I still use and need the electrical system on this ship to work for me as I live on her. I’ve done a pretty good job, and the improvement over what was there is tremendous.

There are still gremlins, though. The entire main harness running forwards is nearly entirely inaccessible in many places, which makes running new cables or troubleshooting existing ones very difficult. And I just found a whole new rat’s nest in, of all places, the head/shower area (yes, there is a mass of cable tangle and exposed circuitry in one of the wettest parts of the entire interior of the ship save the bilge itself). And the cables running up the mast desperately need replacing, but that will be a much more serious job to be done with a few buddies for safety. I could use a new windex, so I might put one of those up at the same time as I run the new cables.

Last but not least, I need a cockpit arch made to hold new solar panels.

I’ll get to those pictures for you, and we’ll talk about leaky portlights soon!

Catch you next time…