Installing a switch panel to eliminate my birds nest

TinBoats.net

Help Support TinBoats.net:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Douglasdzaster

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2020
Messages
780
Reaction score
460
Location
Smithville,Texas
LOCATION
Smithville, Texas
Hello again everyone, I’m upgrading some things with my rebuild. I have a 6 gang switch panel to install which it’s pretty straight forward. Right now all my wires are under one of the rear seats with sae plug and play connectors . I have a sla battery with a sea connector that plugs into a divider so I can run more than one thing. Depth finder all day and lights when coming in late. It’s a mess remembering which wires do what. I’ve plugged in a flood light that makes me see spots more than once. This set up is all I could afford when I got the boat (kayak style). I checked everything today and it all works. Then I realized the only thing I put an in-line fuse on was the depth finder. There’s a fuse at the battery but it’s 20amp. Everything is running off of 14awg Type MTW because I happened to have a roll it’s in looms and still looks good. Should I change the wire to tinned copper? Also I want everything on a fuse. I’m installing a 6 gang switch panel that has a fuse for every two switches. I’m running the new GARMIN straight to the battery with an in-line fuse just because I worry about interference from other wiring. I may be worried about nothing but this is my first new depth finder in at least 12 years. The old one is a Lowrance x5 with the transducer held together with gorilla construction adhesive (good stuff). So Ill have the bilge pump, bow red and green , anchor light (all led) new led courtesy lights running under the gun walls and two led flood lights that came on the boat old but work great one on each corner of the stern.
Should I go with a fuse box or in-line fuses for each?? I have a ground bar for all the negatives.
What size fuses do I need for the running lights, two led flood lights I’m posting pictures of. I’ll get the information for the courtesy lights when they arrive tomorrow. I can look up the bilge pump. Long story short I’m looking for advice on should I use a fuse box and fuse sizes? And is the wire I’m running ok? I’m strictly fresh water.
Edit….. Im also installing a small led flood/spot light on the bow.
0F342923-CE87-4DBB-8C35-2A39F2019BFC.jpegMy mess
BEC8C102-EC29-4504-A7CC-0A6DCEE4EA03.jpegOne of the led flood lights I have no clue about fuse size.
429C60A4-6E75-49A0-A3A6-4A69B7CA9B97.jpegNew switch panel.
40B0CD13-BF9C-4B1F-9024-7F8057D5F176.jpeg
 
Last edited:
First, I would sketch out a simple wiring diagram.
Inline/fuse block ? - Both electrically provide protection, but I find it much easier to find/replace fuses when on the water with a fuse panel.
Lights fuse - most lights are listed in watts. Divide watts by 12 and you will have the amperage that light requires.
Wire type - there are specific standards required for boats, just depends on how far you want to go. 14AWG is good.

I attached the hand drawing I did for my boat, simplifies the process.
 

Attachments

  • Boat Schematics.pdf
    3.6 MB · Views: 10
Here's another schematic, where it says 'fuse block' could be a combo switch/fuse block.

Look up the wattage of that LED floodlight and divide Watts by 12.6 Volts to get the Amp draw. Being LED, I'd bet that # is low.

View attachment 113179
Thank you both for all the information. My trolling motor is on its own battery and it looks like I’ve done it correctly with the 60amp breaker according to Insanes diagram. I’m confusing myself on how to run each accessory to the fuse box and the switch panel at the same time. I’m going to study what y’all sent me more. It’ll probably hit me in the head like a brick when I see the answer.
 
Thank you both for all the information. My trolling motor is on its own battery and it looks like I’ve done it correctly with the 60amp breaker according to Insanes diagram. I’m confusing myself on how to run each accessory to the fuse box and the switch panel at the same time. I’m going to study what y’all sent me more. It’ll probably hit me in the head like a brick when I see the answer.
Yep, I think I have it. It’s the way the switch panel is wired that through me off. One positive wire with fuse for two switches. Giving me three positive wires for the 6 switches.
I need to do a little rewiring on the switch panel. Eliminate the jumpers between the switches and have a wire from each switch that goes to positive.
Battery to the fuse block. Then from the fuse block to each switch an accessory is hooked to. That gives me a fuse for each accessory.
How am I doing?
 
Post a list of each item you HAVE now. PLUS a seperate list of possible additions you might like to add later. Fuse block strips are available for different maximum fuse sizes.
a common solid metal bar is also available to easily put ALL the NEGATIVE wires to .

Now I have to go on the web & find out who still sells the items you would need. I use the simple glass fuses as they are easy to see if they blow or check with a cheap Harbor Fright voltmeter which I keep in a boat tackle box with a couple of spark plugs and a sparkplug wrench. All are small & cheap. I have the parts in the tackle box that is waterproof with my favorite lures. I carry a pack each of 5..10 .. and 15 amp glass fuses. Every item on the boat is fused if it has wires. They are connected from left to right by their first letter of their name. All the 5 amp fuses are together. Then the 10s are together. Last is all over 10 amp group.
If you want me to go on the wwb & find all the parts you would need & where they are ? Post back. I will post the sealed wire ends a crimping tool also if you need them. Piec of cake job that will make you feel good when finished.
 
Yep, I think I have it. It’s the way the switch panel is wired that through me off. One positive wire with fuse for two switches. Giving me three positive wires for the 6 switches.
I need to do a little rewiring on the switch panel. Eliminate the jumpers between the switches and have a wire from each switch that goes to positive.
Battery to the fuse block. Then from the fuse block to each switch an accessory is hooked to. That gives me a fuse for each accessory.
How am I doing?
Sounds like you've got it. Fuse panel terminal to switch to load.

This will not give you a main switch (turns all off) but will give you individually fused & switched circuits.

Keep in mind that the wire (+ & -) from battery to fuse panel needs to be able handle total current being used for all circuits. The branch circuit wire from fuse-switch-load needs to handle current for that circuit.
 
Sounds like you've got it. Fuse panel terminal to switch to load.

This will not give you a main switch (turns all off) but will give you individually fused & switched circuits.

Keep in mind that the wire (+ & -) from battery to fuse panel needs to be able handle total current being used for all circuits. The branch circuit wire from fuse-switch-load needs to handle current for that circuit.
Got it. They wire these switch panels with one 15 amp fuse going to 2 switches and either the voltage meter on one the phone charger on another the 3rd fuse is cigarette charger. That’s three things on one 15amp inline fuse. I’ll be trashing those and the jumpers and run each switch to the fuse box and put the volt meter , phone charger , and cigarette charger on one circuit. Which the main thing I’ll use is the volt meter.
I still have a problem. I have know way of knowing the wattage of the two old led flood lamps on the stern ( they came with the boat) I can’t calculate the amps without it. I’m running 14awg. One about 5’ the other 3’ and want to put them both on the same circuit. Just don’t know what size fuse I need. I used them before loading in the dark. But they went straight to the battery which had a 15amp fuse. I hate to replace them .
Is there a way I could tell how many amps or watts with my multimeter?
 
Got it. They wire these switch panels with one 15 amp fuse going to 2 switches and either the voltage meter on one the phone charger on another the 3rd fuse is cigarette charger. That’s three things on one 15amp inline fuse. I’ll be trashing those and the jumpers and run each switch to the fuse box and put the volt meter , phone charger , and cigarette charger on one circuit. Which the main thing I’ll use is the volt meter.
I still have a problem. I have know way of knowing the wattage of the two old led flood lamps on the stern ( they came with the boat) I can’t calculate the amps without it. I’m running 14awg. One about 5’ the other 3’ and want to put them both on the same circuit. Just don’t know what size fuse I need. I used them before loading in the dark. But they went straight to the battery which had a 15amp fuse. I hate to replace them .
Is there a way I could tell how many amps or watts with my multimeter?
The cigarette charger port is probably rated for 10-15 amps. I would recommed it be on seprate circuit and fused for its rated value (my 12v immersion drink warmer is 120w, uses around 10a). The other 2 items are probably under 3a.

HF sells a 12 bulb 12v led flood light that is 24w. I would guess the one pictured is some where close to that.

You can measure current, if your meter supports it and the meter has to be connected in series.
 
The cigarette charger port is probably rated for 10-15 amps. I would recommed it be on seprate circuit and fused for its rated value (my 12v immersion drink warmer is 120w, uses around 10a). The other 2 items are probably under 3a.

HF sells a 12 bulb 12v led flood light that is 24w. I would guess the one pictured is some where close to that.

You can measure current, if your meter supports it and the meter has to be connected in series.
I agree with the cigarette charger. Thanks if I plugged in a spotlight or something that draws more amps, pow.
my current spot light is rechargeable with the usb phone charger ports but it’s also possible to use it while plugged in. I need to see what it draws.
Im still learning about everything I can do with my multimeter. So far I’ve tested batteries,alternator, repaired the furnace Etc. so I know how to measure voltage,current and ohms.
I just received some advice to set my multimeter on DC amps. Remove the fuse for the flood lights, turn on the switch and measure across where the fuse goes then multiply that number by 1.1 and that tells me what size fuse I need. Not sure if I should try this or not. I’d hate to fry my multimeter. I need to check and see if my new multimeter has a fuse. My old analog did and I blew it once having it one setting off testing my trolling battery. Oh when I used the 14awg Type MTW I heat shrunk every connection then heat shrunk a sleeve around that. All heat shrink was marine grade with the adhesive. Even though it’s not tinned copper wire I’m leaving it alone for now. All new wires are going to be marine from here on out.
I really appreciate your time and help.
 
You don't need marine grade wire. As long as you solder your splices and use the heat shrink with sealer even on your crimped lugs . Blue Sea makes very nice fuse blocks with thier own negative buss. I rewired my switch panel so the volt meter, usb and 12v socket are on a seperate circuit and the switches are isolated and on seperate fuses. It's not hard but well worth the effort.
 
NO ONE ever needs to solder wires together !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is NOT done by any military repair group. Ever ! Compression butt splices with built in sealing gels are the correct way to join any 2 wires in a boat.
 
NO ONE ever needs to solder wires together !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is NOT done by any military repair group. Ever ! Compression butt splices with built in sealing gels are the correct way to join any 2 wires in a boat.
Seems like sound advice. Is there a particular brand you recommend? It seems everyone buys Amazon, I’d want the best.
 
Seems like sound advice. Is there a particular brand you recommend? It seems everyone buys Amazon, I’d want the best.

Per the ABYC standard: “Solder shall not be the sole means of mechanical connection in any circuit”. The concern is the solder joint failing due to fatigue/stress. Use a crimped connector instead. BTW, it is OK to use solder as long as it is in addition to a mechanical (crimped) connection.
 
NO ONE ever needs to solder wires together !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is NOT done by any military repair group. Ever ! Compression butt splices with built in sealing gels are the correct way to join any 2 wires in a boat.
I use tinned copper heat shrink connectors with the sealing gel adhesive then a heat shrink sleeve also with sealing gel adhesive over the connector. I have thought about trying the ones with solder in them and the gel. You don’t crimp them. You hold the wires in the connector and heat it which causes the solder to bond the wire and shrinks and seals at the same time. My thought is it must not be very strong solder to melt so easily is why I’ve stayed away.
 
NO ONE ever needs to solder wires together !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is NOT done by any military repair group. Ever ! Compression butt splices with built in sealing gels are the correct way to join any 2 wires in a boat.
I have had too many butt splices fail, I solder all wires and heat shrink. Brother was a avionics tech in the Air Force and they soldered everything!
 
Per the ABYC standard: “Solder shall not be the sole means of mechanical connection in any circuit”. The concern is the solder joint failing due to fatigue/stress. Use a crimped connector instead. BTW, it is OK to use solder as long as it is in addition to a mechanical (crimped) connection.
You may solder a wire to a connection for current flow not structural integrity is a correct statement. I have tinned copper wires and braided them together for an in-line splice connection,solder that connection and sealed the joint with self sealing heat shrink tubing. Crimp connections of the proper size are great, I solder them as well and seal accordingly. Never had a failure doing them this way.!!!
Retired Electrician Chief USCG…
Type of connections are dictated buy use and location. The application must be considered and then select the appropriate solution for your needs. My two Lincoln’s worth.
Hope I made sense…
 
I agree with the cigarette charger. Thanks if I plugged in a spotlight or something that draws more amps, pow.
my current spot light is rechargeable with the usb phone charger ports but it’s also possible to use it while plugged in. I need to see what it draws.
Im still learning about everything I can do with my multimeter. So far I’ve tested batteries,alternator, repaired the furnace Etc. so I know how to measure voltage,current and ohms.
I just received some advice to set my multimeter on DC amps. Remove the fuse for the flood lights, turn on the switch and measure across where the fuse goes then multiply that number by 1.1 and that tells me what size fuse I need. Not sure if I should try this or not. I’d hate to fry my multimeter. I need to check and see if my new multimeter has a fuse. My old analog did and I blew it once having it one setting off testing my trolling battery. Oh when I used the 14awg Type MTW I heat shrunk every connection then heat shrunk a sleeve around that. All heat shrink was marine grade with the adhesive. Even though it’s not tinned copper wire I’m leaving it alone for now. All new wires are going to be marine from here on out.
I really appreciate your time
CFR 33 and ABYC electrical standards may or may not apply to your boat, but they are a good source of information for electrical work.

I usually use my on hand stuff first, but Marine grade products are the way to go!
 

Latest posts

Top