Wednesday, 23 May 2007

electrifying

We have ambition when it comes to our electrical system. We want something simple to use, safe, reliable, and something that will take care of the boat. With that in mind, we decided to update things a bit. We opted for a 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter/charger with a built in echo charger for keeping the start battery happy. This will let us run any piece of electrical gear we might use at home on the boat (for as long as the batteries hold out).

We aren't sure what our live aboard or off shore needs will be, so we opted for something a little over the top.

So with running water, after getting our foot pumps installed in both the galley and the head, I needed another job to do. The weather was not friendly for an outside job, so I decided to mount the new inverter.

This turned into one of those 'boat jobs'. There is only one place that the inverter fits and in order to mount it there, the shore power plug and AC breaker panel would have to move.

I disconnected shore power and pulled the breaker panel off the bulkhead. There was a 2 1/2" hole into the cockpit where the shore power plug had been. That had to be patched up and then the area behind where the inverter was to be mounted had to be primed, then there was the additional fasteners that had to be bought, and the special driver that was required to drive a screw in a space that was too narrow for a regular screwdriver. Did I mention that the inverter weighs 70lbs?

In and around the installation of the inverter, I started sorting through the old wiring. Fortunately, even though the boat is 50 years old, the oldest wiring seems to be from the 70s. There have obviously been several electrical 'upgrades' over the years. Old wiring has been added to by tacking a different coloured wire to the end of an old wire.

There was this crazy home made fuse panel tucked into the quarterberth. It actually had some things labeled, one or two were actually right. Most of the fuse panel and its many many wires didn't seem to do anything.

I decided to reconnect the bilge pump (didn't want the boat to sink, after all). The bilge pump was connected to a pos and neg bus bar. When I connected those to the house battery, almost the whole DC system was up and running again. There are no fuses, or breakers protecting any of it.

Somewhere in the mix, I have misplaced the alternator cable. It runs off to the instrument panel, but it doesn't seem to come back. Guess I better get back to it.

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