Switch panel options/wiring?

Discussion in 'Power it up with Electronics' started by Andrewp, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Andrewp

    Andrewp Going Solo .......

    I am thinking about re-wiring up my boat from scratch -- throwing away all the existing wiring and replacing  (old age and corrosion issues).   I will use a small switch panel for certain items (replacing an older one), but I'm not sure what items should go on the switch panel.

       Nav lights front and back (yes)
       Courtesy LED lights on console (yes)
       Bilge pump (why not wire up directly to battery?)
       Fishfinder/GPS (why not wire up directly to battery?)
       Bait pump (will not have one right now, possible in future,
       so aux/spare)
      12v round accessory switch (ie for large spotlight -- needed?)

    Anything else you would have/not have connected to a switch panel?   Do you need a "master switch" which turns on/off everything to a battery?

    Assume I would wire trolling motor direct to battery with it's own 50amp fuse - right?  Also Johnson motor is wired directly to battery.  Switch panel.  Anything else wired direct??

    Question about a switch panel:   Is the switch panel just wired to the positive side of everything, with one negative wire from switch panel to the battery?  That is, do all components being wired to the switch panel just have their positive lead coming in to the respective switch?   Assume all the negative leads from each item go to a buss, and then the buss is connected to the negative side of the battery?

    First time in doing electrical stuff, so thanks for helping out a newb ... any other general comments appreciated!

  2. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Previous post...


    Do you need a "master switch" which turns on/off everything to a battery?

    Switch or circuit breaker

    Assume I would wire trolling motor direct to battery with it's own 50amp fuse - right?

    Circuit breaker recommended

    Also Johnson motor is wired directly to battery.

    I prefer a master supply switch, especially for 2 batteries

    Question about a switch panel: see diagrams in previous post

  3. Andrewp

    Andrewp Going Solo .......

    Thanks as always, Brett!! :)

    I'll digest the information on the links you provided and see if I can then make sense of it all. Some things are much clearer now; so I'll probably dive in and start wiring! :D

    I do have one question -- in several instances I can see references to buss bars for connecting several wires. I understand the function; my question is whether the buss bars need any kind of protection (spray, cover, etc.).

    thanks again!

  4. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    When I install any type of wiring, I make every effort to mount it in a high, dry location.
    Especially any type of connecting point, that's where moisture has the access to do the most damage.
    That means switches, buss bars, circuit breakers all need to be in places where the chance of
    flooding, splash or drip are minimized. I heat shrink/silicon wherever possible and apply an electrical
    moisture displacing spray to all exposed metal connector surfaces.
  5. SRQGator

    SRQGator Well-Known Member

    The spray coating made by CRC (can't remember the exact name) works really well. My switch panel is open to the bilge—something I've been meaning to remedy for awhile—but has remained in good condition regardless.

    I also coated the controls and wiring of my Endura. It gets soaked with salt on the front of my Highsider. Still going strong.
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