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Wiring the Maru Vahine #445

25 years has taken its toll on this old boat. One of the larger projects I am involved in is the complete re-wiring of Maru Vahiné.


I have re-wired many boats and since this is my current boat I am going slow. I have decided a few safety points:

  • Main motor-to-cabin #8 AWG run will have a single rotary On-Off switch on the power side .This switch will be front-panel mounted about a foot up from cabin sole on front of stbd. Berth. While projecting about 4 inches, it is protected under the step and wiring will enter through a 1” hole underneath the switch. The advantage over recessing the switch is that the wiring can be accessed outside the locker instead of in it. From the battery the #8 AWG will run to a new Blue Sea 10-position metered circuit breaker panel (8082) This replaces the small original toggle switch/fuse panel with its degraded wires.

  • From the panel, all circuits (+/-) will run to a pair of 10-post BusBar’s where all wiring runs will then route. These BusBar’s are mounted to a ¾”x8”x15” branch circuit board that will mount directly next to the battery. The advantage is instead of having to remove the panel, you troubleshoot circuit runs at the board. All new branch wiring is #14AWG stranded. I found Lowe’s has this wire on 500 foot spool for about $50/spool. Pricy but I will never have to jump in the car for that next upgrade project.
  • Primary cabin lighting is from a bungee-tethered brass miner’s lamp (every system has a manual backup). To prove the point, my 8HP Nissan 4-stroke electric start motor has a spare emergency hand rope for manual starting if the main rope breaks. Can you say redundancy?
  • I use the large suspended from the ceiling. It can easily be moved to the cockpit. I also have a small as a backup that is also used as an anchor lamp when run up the forestay. There are also 3 brass 12VDC lamps mounted in the boat. One in the v-berth and two in the main cabin. All have been retrofitted with long life MR12 low voltage lamps. I found retrofit lamp bases several years that turn a DC lamp socket into a 2-pin socket.
  • I have a halogen chart light at the navigation station with brackets that allow the light to be moved to 2 other locations.
  • Lastly, I have a LED light mounted at the VHF in the aft cabin. Exterior lighting will be addressed when the snow cover comes off the boat.
J. Carl Miller
Email: questgrp@xxxxxxx
Work: carl.miller@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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