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Electrical Plans For My Sailboat

Since I’m having to hold off on any sailing and some of my outside projects I’ve decided to move up the rework of the internal wiring system for the sail boat Palani. Also since adding the refrigeration (I was running it with the 12v system) I’ve noticed that the charger is either too small, malfunctioning or both. The charger converts the 110v power from the dock into 12v for the batteries. I’m replacing the 30amp charger with a 60amp charger to better handle the 660 AH house bank.

A poster on, Maine Sail, provided a really nice write-up and map for the core of the system ( up to the distribution panel). Read it here.

Basic Sail Boat Electrical Design

sail boat electrical drawings
Instead of the industrial electrical icons, he’s replaced them with the actual products. This really helps when you’re learning.

There are a few big improvements over my current system besides just the large charger.

  • Currently, there is only a single 1/2/Both/Off switch (connect to battery bank 1, connect to battery bank 2, or connect to both). This can lead to “human error” as you need to switch to 1 to start the engine but then turn back to 2 after that battery is topped off (15 minutes). If you forget this part, then you’ll run all your equipment (radios, fridge, etc.) off the single starter battery and be left with both banks dead and no way to start your engine again. This system with three switches allows for two completely isolated battery banks, but still the option to connect them in an emergency situation.
  • This system will add a Voltage Sensing Relay. This allows electricity to flow from the House battery bank to the Starter battery bank as needed. This allows me to connect all the charging devices to one bus bar at the House bank location. The organization is needed on the current system to assist in troubleshooting and to keep the system functioning.
  • This will resolve all the fusing issues up to the distribution panel. Currently, the system is poorly fused (either non-existing or with outdated materials).
  • I will easily be able to add the solar charging system into the mix next year.
  • I will be adding a Blue Seas system monitor. This display screen will handle all of the boat systems in one location. Showing levels for the fresh water tanks, fuel tanks as well as feedback on the battery conditions (charge and usage).

I’ve ordered all parts except the main expensive electrical components (distribution panel and charger). The battery bank and components will be located in the Starboard quarter berth so I am going to paint the starboard 1/2 of the main cabin starting this weekend so I only have to build the system one time.




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