AC Wiring - Port

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Back to Home ... s/v Stella Blue home ... Wiring Page ... Projects

There are two AC runs, shore power and inverter.
After winding the wire down along the edge of the engine compartment and working it up to the galley,
I needed to get it up to deck level,
inside the cabinet above the counter.

It might be serendipity (or it might be crazy)
but the 25 year old center deck drain hose was still in place. It ran from the deck down to a through-hull, and it couldn't be removed without damaging the galley cabinets. So I secured it and used it as conduit
to run the wires up.


I'm usually pretty good about guessing wire length, but my first run, from the panel to the galley, was two feet short. Bummer.
Rather than have a splice inside the hose, I made a major splice at the back of the cabinet. To be safe, each butt connector is heat shrink sealed, and then the entire bundle was heat shrink sealed again.
It made for a stiff section of wire that isn't very pretty, but it's at the very back under the sink.

The first set of outlets is in the galley, right above the ice box.

I cut a new hole right above the counter. There was an old AC outlet inside the cabinet, but it was too hard to reach and was only for a single outlet. A small piece of marine plywood provides additional strength for the box.

All the connections are ring terminals
(see making connections.)

There are two GFI outlets here. The grey one is for the inverter run, and the ivory is for normal shore power.

 

August 2005-- Finally, I'm done with the AC rewiring! The boat has always had an AC run on port,
but I've never used it since the breaker flipped under load. The wiring was corroded.

Pulling the new wire is always the biggest challenge, just like with the starboard AC run.
The cleanest run to the AC outlets would have been right next to the DC wires for the entire way,
but one should keep AC and DC wires separate. In this case, there aren't any instruments
or sensitive DC devices on the port side that would be affected by interference from the AC wires.
However, it's best to follow the rules, so I routed the AC wires down and away from the DC runs.

The little blue junction box isn't quite big enough to hold two GFI outlets and all the stiff, marinized connectors. They *barely* fit,
and you shouldn't look too close.
However, I'm not going to go get a bigger box and recut everything. Maybe I'll make a second 1/4" plywood "frame" so that the outlet faces can extend out a little bit.

Maybe not.

These outlets are tucked way back under the deck, and you can't see them unless you
get down on the cabin sole and look up.
They're easy to reach without looking, though.

The rest of the run is protected
by the galley GFI outlets.

The next set of outlets is mounted up under
the U Shaped Galley counter. This is also well hidden.

The grey inverter plugs are to help me avoid making a stupid mistake, like taking off for a day sail with an electric appliance running off of the inverter.

Actually, I don't expect to use the inverter much, and only have a 1000W inverter. There's nothing on the boat that requires AC. I just figure that as long as I'm pulling wire, I might as well pull two runs.

However, there's a three way switch so that I can have the TV on when motoring with low batteries, which will make the voltage regulator output really high DC voltages. The inverter will smooth that out and avoid stressing the electrical components.

There's one more plug on the port side, up inside the cabinet behind the LCD TV.

I doubt this will be used much, as I figured out how to wire the TV to run off of DC, which cut the power consumption
in half.

As the wire feeds down to the next set of outlets, it is protected from chafe using pieces of old hose. I used whatever scraps were handy.
It doesn't match, or look pretty. I don't care. You'll never see it.

Sharp fiberglass edges can saw through wire pretty quickly, so chafe protection is very important.