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Author Topic: Boat electrical work recommendations  (Read 1087 times)

Offline ducks4days

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Boat electrical work recommendations
« on: June 19, 2023, 09:33:13 AM »
I have a boat which is 90% dedicated to duck hunting, but I want to also use for fishing / crabbing/ etc. I have a switchbox that came with it which for whatever reason was not watertight, and fried when the back got a few inches of salt water in it (motor still runs, but front light bar has no power). I also need to install a fish finder I bought a few months ago and never installed. Looking for recommendations on  trustworthy / fair priced folks to do electrical work on the boat. I still plan on reaching out for quotes / availability, but starting with list not from google would be a big win. Preferably within a couple hours of Enumclaw.
What country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.

Offline brokentrail

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2023, 09:45:37 AM »
@Kc_Kracker may either do some of this work or at least know of someone he could recommend....

Offline Kc_Kracker

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2023, 09:57:00 AM »
I have a boat which is 90% dedicated to duck hunting, but I want to also use for fishing / crabbing/ etc. I have a switchbox that came with it which for whatever reason was not watertight, and fried when the back got a few inches of salt water in it (motor still runs, but front light bar has no power). I also need to install a fish finder I bought a few months ago and never installed. Looking for recommendations on  trustworthy / fair priced folks to do electrical work on the boat. I still plan on reaching out for quotes / availability, but starting with list not from google would be a big win. Preferably within a couple hours of Enumclaw.
What's the current status is it running now or is it still having a switch box problem a couple inches of salt water wouldn't have anything to do with it usually a switch box gets burned up because you've got a bad rectifier or voltage regulator. Unless something just shorted out somewhere. As far as the other electrical work yeah I definitely do that but I can tell you it would be absolutely impossible for someone to give you a quote on that without actually seeing what they're getting into every boat is drastically different anyone who gives you an off the cup estimate without actually seeing it is probably just throwing a high estimate at you to cover there butt.

Offline Kola16

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2023, 11:22:16 AM »
A switchbox submerged in saltwater would need replaced since all your connections are going to corrode away. I do not recall ever seeing a fully "sealed" switchbox or switch panel. For that reason, I would have the switch box moved to a different location if possible so it cannot be submerged again. Rain water is fine for them, but submersion in salt is a no go.

Installing a sonar will run you on the lower end of around $100 for a duck boat. Sonars run straight to the battery with an inline fuse, no going through switches or anything.

As far as the other electrical stuff, it depends. I do not have a recommendation for someone to send you to in your area that is budget-friendly, but I could get you an idea of how much you'll spend if you gave me some pictures of your current wiring setup. The switchbox and the main switch to the battery if you have one and stuff. The price will also depend on the condition of your current wiring. Will they need replaced or are they reusable. Also, moving the switchbox may increase the price since you may need all new wires to reach the new switchbox location.

If you can't find someone that is reasonably priced, 3 Rivers Marine will do it right for you, but they come with a high price since their riggers all have many years of experience.
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Offline metlhead

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2023, 02:17:01 PM »
If you are reasonably handy and have some time, powering the boat to fit your needs is not difficult and very inexpensive.

Offline ducks4days

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2023, 02:51:46 PM »
I have a boat which is 90% dedicated to duck hunting, but I want to also use for fishing / crabbing/ etc. I have a switchbox that came with it which for whatever reason was not watertight, and fried when the back got a few inches of salt water in it (motor still runs, but front light bar has no power). I also need to install a fish finder I bought a few months ago and never installed. Looking for recommendations on  trustworthy / fair priced folks to do electrical work on the boat. I still plan on reaching out for quotes / availability, but starting with list not from google would be a big win. Preferably within a couple hours of Enumclaw.
What's the current status is it running now or is it still having a switch box problem a couple inches of salt water wouldn't have anything to do with it usually a switch box gets burned up because you've got a bad rectifier or voltage regulator. Unless something just shorted out somewhere. As far as the other electrical work yeah I definitely do that but I can tell you it would be absolutely impossible for someone to give you a quote on that without actually seeing what they're getting into every boat is drastically different anyone who gives you an off the cup estimate without actually seeing it is probably just throwing a high estimate at you to cover there butt.

@Kc_Kracker It is running now, the outboard connection to the battery is completely unaffected. Just nothing downstream of the switch shows any voltage (on my dinky little home depot meter).

That's a fair take on the quote. Still, there has to be some ballpark figure that is reasonably accurate barring weird scenarios, right? Like, generally hooking up a trolling motor should be $x-$y, unless you need to make custom mounting brackets or something. I am admittedly not super experienced in the boating industry, so I could be completely wrong.
What country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.

Offline ducks4days

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2023, 02:53:52 PM »
A switchbox submerged in saltwater would need replaced since all your connections are going to corrode away. I do not recall ever seeing a fully "sealed" switchbox or switch panel. For that reason, I would have the switch box moved to a different location if possible so it cannot be submerged again. Rain water is fine for them, but submersion in salt is a no go.

Installing a sonar will run you on the lower end of around $100 for a duck boat. Sonars run straight to the battery with an inline fuse, no going through switches or anything.

As far as the other electrical stuff, it depends. I do not have a recommendation for someone to send you to in your area that is budget-friendly, but I could get you an idea of how much you'll spend if you gave me some pictures of your current wiring setup. The switchbox and the main switch to the battery if you have one and stuff. The price will also depend on the condition of your current wiring. Will they need replaced or are they reusable. Also, moving the switchbox may increase the price since you may need all new wires to reach the new switchbox location.

If you can't find someone that is reasonably priced, 3 Rivers Marine will do it right for you, but they come with a high price since their riggers all have many years of experience.

Good info all the way down. I will try to grab some photos of the wiring scheme tonight.  I assume anybody providing a quote will want them as well anyway.
What country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.

Offline blackpowderhunter

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2023, 08:38:15 AM »
id say do it yourself...
it pays dividends knowing how things are wired up when they stop working.
https://newwiremarine.com/how-to/wiring-a-boat/
fwiw i want to say 3rivers is like 150/hr. or something, maybe more.
so i'd almost guarantee you wont leave there for under a grand to have wiring re done.
for what you need, i think you could do it yourself.. run a dedicated power to a fuse box, get a ground bus bar, and wire things off the fuse box.
be sure to use marine tinned wiring, good heat shrink fittings, and corrosion spray on all the connections.

Offline Kc_Kracker

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2023, 03:06:18 PM »
I have a boat which is 90% dedicated to duck hunting, but I want to also use for fishing / crabbing/ etc. I have a switchbox that came with it which for whatever reason was not watertight, and fried when the back got a few inches of salt water in it (motor still runs, but front light bar has no power). I also need to install a fish finder I bought a few months ago and never installed. Looking for recommendations on  trustworthy / fair priced folks to do electrical work on the boat. I still plan on reaching out for quotes / availability, but starting with list not from google would be a big win. Preferably within a couple hours of Enumclaw.
What's the current status is it running now or is it still having a switch box problem a couple inches of salt water wouldn't have anything to do with it usually a switch box gets burned up because you've got a bad rectifier or voltage regulator. Unless something just shorted out somewhere. As far as the other electrical work yeah I definitely do that but I can tell you it would be absolutely impossible for someone to give you a quote on that without actually seeing what they're getting into every boat is drastically different anyone who gives you an off the cup estimate without actually seeing it is probably just throwing a high estimate at you to cover there butt.

@Kc_Kracker It is running now, the outboard connection to the battery is completely unaffected. Just nothing downstream of the switch shows any voltage (on my dinky little home depot meter).

That's a fair take on the quote. Still, there has to be some ballpark figure that is reasonably accurate barring weird scenarios, right? Like, generally hooking up a trolling motor should be $x-$y, unless you need to make custom mounting brackets or something. I am admittedly not super experienced in the boating industry, so I could be completely wrong.
Yes, with a visual so a guy knows what he's estimating against some boats are 1 hour some boats are 10 hours like I said every boat is vastly different and has different challenges. Remember by taking the time to get it to them and let them put eyes on it it's not just about the mechanic not screwing himself it's also about them making sure they're not throwing out a price that screws you!

Offline Pnwrider

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2023, 09:56:44 PM »
Thereís a saying about if you want to own a boat, better learn to be a mechanic. Duck boat should be pretty easy/straight forward to completely rewire if necessary and for a lot less than dropping it off at 3 rivers. Pretty sure my duck boat was less than $500 to wire including the battery and took an afternoon. Seems like most shops these days donít even want to touch jobs under $1k and will price as such.

Offline millerwheeler

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2023, 07:14:25 AM »
I have wired dozens of vehicles, set up entire rv , and boats. I 10000% agree with above better to know your boat and how itís done . Iíll also add , try to have wires go from point a to point b with splices , any splice or connect make or waterproof 100% donít use some cheap butt connectors do it correctly , so place fuse box and ground in area of least chance of contact with weather. Proper wiring size is crucial as well . And last without saying the battery , and or batteries must be sized properly

Offline MeepDog

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2023, 08:20:41 AM »
Thereís a saying about if you want to own a boat, better learn to be a mechanic. Duck boat should be pretty easy/straight forward to completely rewire if necessary and for a lot less than dropping it off at 3 rivers. Pretty sure my duck boat was less than $500 to wire including the battery and took an afternoon. Seems like most shops these days donít even want to touch jobs under $1k and will price as such.
   :yeah:
YouTube has a wealth of knowledge about boat wiring. If you want it done right with no effort on your part for sure hire a professional, but if you want to save money, you'll need to invest your time in learning how to DIY. Not trying to be condescending, but boats and cars are money pits unless you do the work yourself.

Offline Stein

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2023, 05:03:37 PM »
Marine power wiring is pretty straight forward, use quality marine cable sized properly, terminals, the right crimp tools and then spray some corrosion inhibitor on any exposed metal.  Make sure you have at least some fusing so you don't do any welding.  Make a drawing before you start so you can plan on where you want the distribution and know what busses/fuses/switches to buy.  Make sure you leave one or two extra slots for what you'll add later.

VHF and sonar are a bit trickier, but if you keep those cables away from power cables and don't have to put any terminal connectors on it's easy as well.

There aren't many places I would let touch my boat and I can't afford the ones I would.

Offline ducks4days

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2023, 05:27:40 PM »
Quote
Make a drawing before you start so you can plan on where you want the distribution and know what busses/fuses/switches to buy.

This is fantastic advice. I have some time off over the holiday weekend, I'll try to get this all prepped in time to knock it out over a couple days.
What country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.

Offline Stein

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Re: Boat electrical work recommendations
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2023, 05:34:30 PM »
There is a cost benefit decision, most of the time I will run one larger wire up front and distribute it from there.  You can put a fuse block that gives you 6 or however many individual fused circuits and run one to your sonar, vhf, USB port, whatever.  There are also switch panels that do the same thing but provide switches which are handy for lights, bilge, stuff that doesn't have a switch built into it.  You can also run one black wire up and land it on a bus that has enough screws for each of your loads.

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Systems-Blade-Block/dp/B000K2MBPA/ref=asc_df_B000K2MBPA/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312061157224&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14699252241642309822&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033354&hvtargid=pla-436632363535&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=57630531050&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312061157224&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14699252241642309822&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033354&hvtargid=pla-436632363535

https://www.amazon.com/FXC-Waterproof-Cigarette-Lighter-Vehicles/dp/B01LS0PDZM/ref=sr_1_5?crid=KEWTHUDK7GS3&keywords=marine+switch+panel&qid=1687566695&sprefix=marine+switch+panel%2Caps%2C240&sr=8-5

https://www.amazon.com/Weewooday-10-Gang-Terminal-Distribution-Caravan/dp/B08YNS846V/ref=sxin_17_pa_sp_search_thematic_sspa?content-id=amzn1.sym.749943ff-94bd-4679-8f03-3b5488f65fae%3Aamzn1.sym.749943ff-94bd-4679-8f03-3b5488f65fae&crid=FHW6Z0178ZAS&cv_ct_cx=marine+bus+bar&keywords=marine+bus+bar&pd_rd_i=B08YNS846V&pd_rd_r=93bb3fc9-22eb-4846-9037-e1c4ef9682f4&pd_rd_w=SiHsy&pd_rd_wg=C8uTi&pf_rd_p=749943ff-94bd-4679-8f03-3b5488f65fae&pf_rd_r=A0FNNHN8AB0YBYPRHXKK&qid=1687566727&sprefix=marine+bus+bar%2Caps%2C145&sr=1-3-2b34d040-5c83-4b7f-ba01-15975dfb8828-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9zZWFyY2hfdGhlbWF0aWM&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/Ancor-311225-Electrical-Insulated-Terminals/dp/B000NI1F12/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1PAP6S7VU3YVM&keywords=ancor+ring+terminals&qid=1687566793&sprefix=ancor+ring+terminals%2Caps%2C146&sr=8-4

https://www.amazon.com/Ancor-Marine-Grade-Primary-Battery/dp/B000NV0G0U/ref=sr_1_3?crid=111DLZCZGZCI6&keywords=ancor+wire&qid=1687566812&sprefix=ancor+wire%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-3

https://www.amazon.com/Crimping-Tool-Heat-Shrink-Connectors/dp/B07GFXHH91/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?crid=5XO7QB2T3F4B&keywords=crimping+tool+ratchet+heat+shrink&qid=1687566850&sprefix=crimping+tool+ratchet+heat+shrink%2Caps%2C143&sr=8-3-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1

 


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