Friday, 15 February 2008

Yacht "Blue Heron" The Refit Starts - Winter 2003 - Electrical System

The 20-year-old electrical system had been added onto over the years.

It wasn't until a really close look behind the scene was undertaken that the reason for the odd light flicker became apparent. Many of the old copper wires were joined with chocky blocks that had green copper ends held in place by the screws. The resistance created by the corrosion had created so much heat at some time in the past, the plastic surrounds of the chocky blocks had melted in some cases.

DC power has a reputation for creating fires if enough corrosion/resistance/heat is allowed to build up.

Some considerable thought and planning happens about this stage.

An Opportnity to build a new bookcase is too hard to resist.

What to do with the old bookcase hole. More thinking and planning required.

New BEP AC and DC Switchboards, not cheap but good value.

A cheap ICOM GPS that didn't last a year before it decided to retire.

At this stage, more than 300 meters of marine grade (tinned) 1.5mm and 2mm wire had been run through the 13 metre long boat, and vertually non of it vissible. It's amazing where it all goes.

Drilling holes in bulkheads is not a good feeling. At times the access points are virtually inaccessable. I knew I should have kept up those yoga classes.

Then there was the 50mm and 75mm marine grade wire that ran fore and aft from the generator and main engine through the BEP heavy duty Switches and blocking Diodes (located in the old battery box) to the new Victron AC 50 Amp battery charger and the new 440 Amp bank of six volt lead acid house batteries. And the new Lofrans Windlass on the foredeck, 2 x 10 meters away there and back.

Thanks World Power for doing all the heavy work and teaching me how to do the light stuff right.

If you are planning an electrical upgrade of this scale don't expect any change out of NZ$15,000.

Notice how I sacrificed a water tank (with a 100 litre bladder) for the new easy access house battery stowage. Getting easy access to maintain these expensive, easily abused batteries is important if you want to get your money's worth out of them.

The gauges left a few holes in the bulkhead that I left to the boat builder to sort out.
But thats another story. Stay posted.

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