Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wired Right!

2015 November's weather was surreal for the Northern Chesapeake.  Mild and short sleeve weather.  Perfect weather to get ahead of projects and help get the boat back into the water to take advantage of those early April winds.  

Like many old boats in the Chesapeake Bay that are not slipped, the AC power is rarely used.  In my world, my friends and I gunk hole every chance and every where we can. We are not status people. You know who status people are.....they buy things they don't need, with money they don't have to impress people they don't like.  Don't misunderstand what I am saying.  Sailors who associate with our Club, are do it yourselfers by choice.  

Some of us are ok with 10 and 12 hp engines that may not get us out of the Sassafras River with a strong incoming tide, 10-15 mph headwinds and 2-3 foot swells.  We have to stay ahead of the weather conditions probably more than the average Captain probably has to.  Most of us live on the sailing edge and we love it.

Let's catch up on what I have been doing since the Constance Marie has been on the hard since late October. The Constance Marie was in such poor shape when we bought Her, that although I did a wiring overhaul (Phase I), I never did it to the level that would satisfy me.  You guys know what I mean.   She hadA DC panel that had only 7 positions yet was being asked to support every increasing
Figure 165 - 10 is better than 7
requirements as I added the capabilities of a fridge pump, a Garmin, a radio, a pedestal speaker, and a 12 volt socket for charging a handheld radio, power fans and support the inverter. With a little creativity, keeping things nice and clean, I decided on upgrading to a 10 position LED illuminated panel with voltmeter and ampmeter guages. I decided on a Blue Sea 10 position with three battery bank selector. With Automated Charging Relay (ACR) doing the yeoman's job between the starter and house batteries, I think I can position another bank of 6V batteries that would give me some redundancy at a lower cost. The 27 Hunter has a nice room navigation table and I did not want to reduce the space to elevate a large panel. The LED lights will clearly show me what the switch controls and whether it is on or off. The new panel was a bit smaller in width than the original OEM one so i built a teak frame around it and added a bottom brass hinge so the panel rotates forward for easy maintenance. Make sure all your wires are long enough to allow the panel to rotate forward all the way to the floor.

Figure 166 - Like my college dorm 
 Did I mention that when you re-wire a boat, things quickly get out of place.  You can see some water on the floor near the entrance to the head.  That is from me addressing the wiring in the mast boot above deck.  More on that next time.  See ya.