Just a quick note really… Well… maybe quick, maybe not. I’ll know when I stop typing…
Speaking in general terms, small boats are simple. Kayaks, canoes, car-toppers with small outboards… simple craft. Large boats on the other hand… are extravagantly complex and creative devices. The larger they are, the more complicated and convoluted they become. They have interconnected systems for propulsion, fuel management, electricity generation and routing, battery management, heating, air conditioning, hydronic heating system, water pressure systems, navigational equipment including radar, charting, AIS, GPS, depth, lighting… the list goes on, eh? Within the hull, decks and superstructure, resides the support paraphernalia of a small city that includes an airport facility.
Harkening back to the simpler times some refer to as “the good old days”, one would think that older boats would be less sophisticated and have less complex systems than their modern counterparts… but alas… that is not so. As boats age and pass through different caretakers, have equipment added, renewed, repaired, and upgraded… their wiring, both 120V AC and 12V DC becomes more complex, byzantine, and is seldom documented by an updated electrical diagram. (Sigh…)
The addition of new electronic equipment usually starts with a conversation between the owner and electronic tech: “Maybe we should remove the wiring of the old device we are replacing?”. Costs are discussed. The end result: the wiring of the old system stays in place. That can be good and bad.
An example… on Great Northern, an older Xantrex inverter was replaced with a very nice Magnum inverter. I found that some of the wiring for the Xantrex was still in place. I found some dangling wires, traced them to their origin points, found out where they went, shuddered in horror (sorry Charlie), and REMOVED IT. This is what was removed:
Several of the wires were still connected to the house battery bank. Negative and positive wires were still active and shoved in a small space next to a lot of high energy DC wiring. Yes their collective ends were taped, but… well… hells bells!
On to the next project…