Electrics; start again?

pcatterall

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Hopefully my attachment has worked and the 'main' board of my 'new' yacht is on display!

The previous owner was an electrician and from the outside it all looked good.
I think I will have to dig out my boat electrics book but it all seems a bit odd.
The domestic type fuse board seems to control the marine panels beneath though some lights are only controlled by the domestic board.
I dont think that the domestic board should be there at all can anyone confirm this.
There is also a domestic type fuse board near the batteries, I had spotted this before purchase but thought it was part of a shore power set up, I now realise that there is no shore power link so what function that performs I know not.

Any initial thoughts about where I should start?

I think I still have a marine electrics bible but if not what is the best guide for getting to grips with this.

Moral ? don't assume that a professional will do a professional job.
 
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elton

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What's up with it? I've seen far, far worse than that, usually constructed by diy bodgers. What do you mean by 'marine' and 'domestic'? Are you saying there are mains and low voltage DC circuits in there - but you don't have mains? If so, I wouldn't have mains distribution terminals in close proximity to DC terminals, but if you haven't got mains, there isn't an issue. You should get a professional to take a look.
 

The engineer

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I agree

From what can be observed in a photo, so long as there aren't mixed voltages, ie. mains, it looks good. Breakers are breakers IF they are rated for the use intended. My only comment is that it looks like you have to take the panel off to get to them which is a tad inconvenient. Just because it doesn't look marine and expensive it is not necessarily bad or wrong! DC arcing could be deemed an issue, but how often does one of these breakers make or break in a year? Check the rating on them, and get the system checked if you are worried.
 
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rob2

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The only improvements I would suggest for the panel shown is to hinge it for quicker access and maybe replace all those choc-block connectors with screw down types. Actually choc-blocks can be OK if you crimp ferrules onto the wire ends to prevent the wire strands being torn off as you tighten up.

Rob.
 

pcatterall

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Sounds more promising than I thought!! Thanks for the reasurance. I still dont see why some items such as cabin lights are on the 'domestic board' with others on the 3 'proper' boards below.
I could see some logic if the 'domestic board' fuses isolated the 3 'proper' boards below.
Yes I will hinge the panel but the professional has allready hacked out a section at the top so the 'domestic' fuses are on show, I will have to make up an access cover for that.
Thanks again.
 

The engineer

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Maybe

Just possibly, so that when you leave the boat the main electrical panel is isolated but the one with the lights is left on so you don't stumble around in the dark. My guess this one also has the bilge pump connected to it, facilitating leaving that on too.
 
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I'd be less sanguine than the above. For a start, has the previous owner used domestic electrical wire, for example? Has he got the wire guages right because on average you will see higher currents in DC wiring than in things like mains lighting so resistance matters more.

And I would certainly get rid of the choc blocks - they are OK for an odd connection to something low current and dispensible - the FM radio for example, but he looks to have used them for everything. Replace with soldered joint covered in heat shrink. And better still install two bus bars - thick copper strips to which pos and negative are fed and connections made with proper ring terminals and nuts and bolts.

You need to be sure. I've seen the result of an electrical fire on board and it frightened me.
 

The engineer

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valid points Mr Higgs

Breakers are there to protect the cables from over heating and should be rated according to that. It is an easy check to see if the cable size corresponds to the size of breaker. If the previous owner was an electrician by trade and was using materials he was familiair with, I would hazard a guess that the breakers are sized appropriately to protect the cables. Well worth checking though.
With regard to higher currents in DC circuits, this is covered by the above, the breaker will protect the cable if correctly rated
 
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