Dedicated To The Smallest Of Skiffs banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First, a little history, then a few questions
My boat is a 1999 16FT Carolina Skiff. It was born a salt water boat, then adopted into fresh water. It has had at least 3 previous owners, each one a shade tree mechanic/electrician. One of the previous owners installed a transom mounted trolling motor, and apparently did a lot of trolling because it had 2 12v batteries feeding it. So right now the wiring is a cobbled up cluster, with 3 group 24 (2 trolling and accessories, 1 cranking) batteries mounted in the console. It has 5 individual switches for lights, bilge, electronics, etc. as well as a large disconnect switch for the outboard on the face of the console. There is also a battery disconnect on the side of the console.
I am planning a total rewire to accomplish a couple of things: relocate and eliminate weight, and clean up the cluster of wires.
First question, will I be ok to run lights and other electronics from the cranking battery, or do I need to run a wire from the trolling battery to the console? I'm moving the single group 24 trolling battery to the front hatch, installing a plug and receptacle for the troller.
I'm planning to leave some existing wire that is hidden in a chase, or do I need to bite the bullet, rip out everything except the outboard harness, and rewire bilges, lights, etc.?
I am going to use a couple of inline switch clusters to go back in place of the individual switches, add a new fuse block with negative buss, move 1 battery and breaker to front hatch.
I'm going to have some screw holes in the console, what is the bast way to "patch?" Caulk or leave a screw in the hole, or ??
What am I missing? I'm a pretty decent electrician, so I don't have any issues with the actual wiring, just working out the logistics of where to put everything.
150011
150013
IMG_2133.jpg
150014
IMG_2133.jpg IMG_2125.jpg IMG_2132.jpg IMG_2135.jpg
150015
IMG_2133.jpg IMG_2125.jpg IMG_2132.jpg IMG_2135.jpg IMG_2136.jpg
150012
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If I use the trolling battery for lights and electronics, what size wire will I need to run about 12 ft to power lights, bilge, possibly bait well, and Lowrance fish finder? I may get a smaller dry cell battery for the lowrance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
865 Posts
Start with a good diagram of all your batteries and accessories. Include fuses, switches, and individual loads. One great way to clean things up is to use a BusBar for grounds. There are some good online calculators for wire sizing.

I rewired my Phantom back in 2017. Here is the thread. I added some lessons learned along the way.

Rewire Project - '05 Ranger Phantom - (and Wiring...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
I'm running everything off one battery (no trolling motor).
Mapping it out on paper is a good idea (not2shabby diagram)
I should have done that, could have saved 30 feet of wire.
Down the road plan to fix my cluster (F) wiring job and use a buss bar or two.
One thing I'd recommend would be to make it reasonably easy to either move or get power from the trolling batter to start you motor in a pinch.
If you haven't got LED lights I'd get them...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I don't plan on using the lights regularly. My stern light is LED, I was going to replace the bow light, but couldn't find one that would cover the footprint and hole where the existing light is now. I've got to replace the float switch on the bilge pump. I found out today that it is not working. The bilge is wired in with the motor and stays hot to the float switch, plus there is a second pump wired on a console mounted switch.

Not electrical, but how would you repair holes in the console? I'm thinking about removing a radio and 2 speakers, which will give me extra space in the console, but will leave 3 big holes in the front and sides. The console has a textured finish. Looks like I may be taking a crash course on fiberglass repair.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
I was going to replace the bow light, but couldn't find one that would cover the footprint
On my Sea Nymph I ran across the same problem. My bow light base is 4" long and 3" wide. The light I ordered turned out to be half what my old one is so I took the LED emitter out and put it in my old base :)
Shortly after I found that there's some just like my old one on Amazon that are LED.

Your fiber glass repair...
there are some real wizards on this forum for answering that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
Gut the wiring and start over with tinned copper please, thank me later. Adding a ground bus as suggested is a great idea along with a new battery switch and switch panel. I prefer fuses over breakers which will require a bit more wiring because most of the switch panels don’t come wired correctly. I can help you with correctly wiring it to a fuse panel when the time comes. Please follow ABYC color coding for your wiring and don’t use duplex for it all. If your console has a webbed/ splatter finish then the fg repair is pretty simple and I’ll walk you through that as well when you are ready as long as you are willing to listen.
Edit: just looked at the pics and your console is webbed so finishing work will be a breeze.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
Also, West Marine online sometimes has good deals on marine wire by the ft. believe it or not!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all!
I'm gonna get started gutting everything tomorrow. I'll have to remove the rear deck to get access to everything.
I'm going to get rid of one battery, radio and speakers.
Relocate another battery from console to front hatch
Front battery to power trolling motor, lights, bilge pumps
I have a breaker for troller, and switch to put inline to console
I've got a smaller drycell 12v battery to power Lowrance
New tinned wire from battery to new fuse block with ground buss
New switch panels with tinned wire from fuse block through switch to device
New trolling motor plug and receptacle
New float switch at bilge.
Then repair fiberglass....maybe I'll be ready for the fall striper bite
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
And I forgot...there is a West Marine about 35 miles away, so I can get the right wire and hopefully anything I forgot to order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Demolition done. Its a good thing to do this. I found some crappy wiring in this thing.
The wiring for the bow light was concealed in the rub rail, and was the yellow/brown from trailer wiring.
I found splices going from red to white and back to red at the device. And black to red, same.
Loose butt splices, mismatched connectors, just about anything wrong could be done was on it.
150354
150355
150356
150357
150359
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
Wow, that thing was a wreck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: fishnpreacher

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I have not done any demo on the wiring harness on the motor, nor am I tempted to. I did find that there is no fuse or breaker on the outboard. Should there be? What size fuse/breaker, and should I isolate anything like the starter and install fuse?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Wow, that thing was a wreck!
Thats what I was implying in my first post, I'm the 4th owner (that I know about), and each of the former owners have done additions or modifications to it. There was no tinned wire that I found, all copper. And I'll add, I found different sized wires connected with butt connectors, and one connector with 2 wires one side and one on the other. The 2 wire side was loose
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
I have not done any demo on the wiring harness on the motor, nor am I tempted to. I did find that there is no fuse or breaker on the outboard. Should there be? What size fuse/breaker, and should I isolate anything like the starter and install fuse?
Don’t remember what motor you have, but there is typically a main power fuse on them all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: fishnpreacher

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Its a 1998 Mariner, 40hp ELPTO I looked it up once and it is a salt water motor. There is no fuse or breaker, unless there is something on the motor.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
It will be on the motor. There should be a main power fuse on the motor. This is where your ignition switch should be getting it’s power from.
 
  • Like
Reactions: fishnpreacher

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
If you don't have or know how to use a multi-meter...
I'd start with an inexpensive analog multi-meter like the one in the lower left of the pic.
150402


For boats,
"continuity" and dc voltage are what you will want to be able to test on a boat
(or boat trailer).

go to you tube and watch a couple of their video's on using a multi-meter.
Pretty easy device to learn how to use.
Easy to test, voltage, fuses, switches, circuit breakers and "continuity".
Once you grasp multi-meter basics make yourself a couple test wires.
150408
.

I use 16 and 14 gauge wire on these test wires with clips on both ends..
An example using the test wires on a boat would be attaching on end to the negative battery post, the other to the negative leed of the multi-meter. With the meter set to dc volts you can check that all fuses in a panel are connected to the battery. Touching one side of a fuse in a panel with the positive leed of the multi-meter will tell you if the panel is getting power, touching the same fuse on the other side will tell it the fuse is "good" or not without having to remove the fuse and test it for 'continuity". If the fuses are set in a way you can't touch them with the multi-meter probe then pull the fuse to test the panel directly. (wiring from battery to panel good or not).

Disconnect the negative battery cable, attach the test wire to it, then the wire to the multi-meter, meter set to ohms, then the meters other leed to the negative wire on the bilge pump.
First with the bilge pumps switch in the off position (should be no reading on the meter, if there is there be a problem, maybe a "short")
With the switch in the on position the multi-meters will swing right (or a digital will show a reading of resistance). If no reading then there is an "open" , (wire is broken or not connected somewhere.

Before all above you can just turn the switch to ON and then stick the multi-meter probes to the wires where they connect to the pump. (or light) to see if they are getting power, if getting power then good chance pump or light is "bad".
If not getting power you look at the connections between the battery and device you are testing and test to see where the failure is.

I'm actually a pretty good teacher in person, maybe not so good a writer :)
BTW,
(You don't need the yellow or large red thing in the second pic.)
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top