Simple wire help needed

Discussion in 'Power it up with Electronics' started by Nick5288, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. Nick5288

    Nick5288 I Love!

    I am trying to get some basic info on how I should wire my boat..what gauge wire? busbar? Switch panel?...basicly I am trying to run a bilge,nav lights, anchor light, and 55lb trolling motor all to a 12v deep cell. Does anyone have a diagram or picture of how I should rig it? Anything helps thanks
  2. ASB73

    ASB73 Well-Known Member

    A picture of your set up would help. Do you have a seperate cranking battery?

  3. timemachine

    timemachine I Love!

    The idea of a trolling motor and a bilge pump on the same battery gives me the heebee jeebees.

    For wire, 16 gauge is good for the little stuff, and if you one up to 14 gauge, that's all the better.

    Get a ratcheting crimp tool- I've got one from harbor freight and it works OK. Tinned wire. heat shrink crimp connectors- I got some form home depot (tyco electronics- it's a real company with approvals).

    As for tips of how to do it- why not go to the boat dealer and look at a boat that is similar to yours. If the salesmen bugs you, tell him that you are thinking it and want to compare the wiring to another boat.
  4. fsae99

    fsae99 I Love!

    The basics.

    Trolling motor needs shortest run of wire possible and wire should get larger the longer the run. 10 GA min, most 55lb thrust TM's will pull between 50-60 Amps.

    All fuses should be on + wire and close to where they get power, not on the appliance side.

    The older I get the more I like individual blade style fuse vs fuse box and individual switches vs gang box. Push to reset breakers have their merit though. Just remember if you have to reset, to investigate when you get back to shore, same goes for blown fuses.

    You will need some form of switch for lights and pump.

    Short run wire for lights can be 16 GA but again as it get longer 14 GA would be my preference.

    Seal all connects well, most fires on boats start as electrical fires.
  5. Vertigo

    Vertigo Carpe Diem

    The optimum rig will see the trolling motor on a separate battery on it's own circuit.

    For the house/starting power, your battery or batteries (two batteries are always better than one unless your boat is very small) should be connected positive to a battery switch, negative directly to the motor negative and on a separate 8/10ga wire to a negative buss bar. From the battery switch, connect the motor positive and on a separate 8/10 ga wire directly to a positive buss bar. From the positive buss bar, wire all accessories to a fuse or breaker, then to a switch (if required), then to the accessory. From the accessory, wire back to the negative buss bar. If you have a lot of accessories in the bow or stern you may want to install extra negative buss bars in those locations to avoid running lots of negative wire. Connect any aux negative buss bar directly to the main negative buss near the battery with 8 or 10 ga wire. If you run a jack plate or trim tabs don't scrimp on the wire to the buss bars. To keep things organized and maintainable, use the proper wire code colors for everything. You can find the code colors online. Good marine wire is tinned and 12 ga will work for most accessories.

    For the trolling motor, I always use 6 ga, a 12 volt motor actually draws more current than a 24 or 36 volt, and bad wiring and connectors can easily cause a fire. From the trolling motor battery positive, wire in a 40 amp fuse or circuit breaker then positive to a heavy duty plug. Negative from the TM batterie(s) directly to the plug. USE A GOOD PLUG, cause that's where most fires start. Here's the plug I like:

    Depending on your motor and gauges, most of the wiring will come thru one cable to a plug and then to a wiring harness for gauges, neutral switch, ignition switch, horn, etc. The only wiring that may be needed other than hooking up these various motor controls is instrument lights which should be wired just like any other accessory.

    Good luck