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Author Topic: Electrical Routing or How I'm Ready to be in over my head. C34 MkII  (Read 186 times)

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girmann

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How the heck do you get to the wires that come up behind the chart table and into the electrical panel?

After spending a couple of hours looking and re-looking over how I'm going to route power to the new autopilot I'm installing on the boat, I've come to the conclusion that I'm in over my head. But I'm also ready to admit than and move forward. Since I already installed an EV-100 on my Catalina28, I knew the steps involved, and none of them were overly complicated. The one thing that I wanted to do differently was to run a separate power feed to the autopilot instead of leeching off of the instruments' power like I did on the 28.

First step was to take a look that the pedestal wiring - something that tripped me up with the install on the 28. It looks like there's adequate space to route the extra wires, but everything is sealed in silicone. Not my favorite, but manageable. Next I traced the wires back to the electrical panel. At some point, they disappear behind some fiberglass and appear in the electrical panel. I can't seem to get to that part of the run, however.

A PO ran a new wire to a fan in the aft cabin, so I figured running another wire was doable. But I can't figure out how to get to the electrical wire once it goes back behind the nav table. There's a lot of holes where the cables come up into the electrical area, but where they go into the holes seems to be a completely inaccessible area. There are no messenger lines and no obvious screws, so I feel like I'm missing something completely obvious.

I looked in a bunch of the wiki and 101 articles as well as searching the website (you can imagine there are a lot of articles about electrical and wiring, so I haven't gone through them all), but i can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Is it just a matter of pulling new wires where an old wire exists now? I'd rather do some cleanup of the cable management here, that's why I'm looking for a way into this space.
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waughoo

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I have routed additional circuits to the panel via the holding tank side of the panel (my boat is a mk1.5).  When I put in the refer in its new location, I had to run a new #10 from the stbd setee forward of the water tank to the panel.  I routed the wire under the sole at the galley till it came up in the setee at the macerater pump and fed it up next to the waste evacuation hose (inside that small wood cover in the sliding storage area) and aft through a hole in that partial bulkhead.  In my boat, the MAJORITY of the manufacturer's wiring for DC circuits comes into the panel recess this way.  I would snoop around in this area to see what you can find as far as pre-drilled holes into the panel area and see if you can find out a good route.
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Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
Std rig w/wing keel
Belafonte

Stu Jackson

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IIRC, the Mark II boats actually moved the entire electrical panel UP from its location on the Mark I boats.  Mark I boats had the bottom of the panel at the level of the nav station opening lid.  The Mark II's have the bottom of the panel at the upper level of the nav station itself.

I don't know exactly when Catalina made that change.

When I was helping former Commodore Jon Arck with some wiring on his boat (in 2010?), I remember having to deal with this issue, because the top of the nav station Formica ran all the underneath the electrical panel.  Damned if I remember what we did, it was somebody else's boat!   :shock:
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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girmann

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I would snoop around in this area to see what you can find as far as pre-drilled holes into the panel area and see if you can find out a good route.

I have stared at this for a while and thought about using fish tape to thread that part of it. Unfortunately, I can't see where it goes back behind the nav station to get the other end going toward the back of the boat. I suppose I could use the PO's retrofit wire as the messenger line for the new cable, but part of me feels like that's giving up on understanding exactly what's going on back there.
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girmann

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I remember having to deal with this issue, because the top of the nav station Formica ran all the underneath the electrical panel.  Damned if I remember what we did, it was somebody else's boat!   :shock:

Stu,

Thanks for the response. You're right about the position of the electrical panel - and I believe it's fiberglass and not formica, but I don't know that for sure. It might be part of the fiberglass insert, for all I know. I haven't taken enough of it apart yet. (For now, the Admiral as forbidden any exploratory surgery with the oscillating multitool... What good is having a cutting tool if you're not allowed to cut anything?!?)
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waughoo

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I remember having to deal with this issue, because the top of the nav station Formica ran all the underneath the electrical panel.  Damned if I remember what we did, it was somebody else's boat!   :shock:

(For now, the Admiral as forbidden any exploratory surgery with the oscillating multitool... What good is having a cutting tool if you're not allowed to cut anything?!?)

Usually I will side with the installer here, but I must admit that I think she is doing you a favor here.  I can't tell you how many times I thought, oh I'll just patch it later, and then spent FAR too much time fixing the hole I cut which never illuminated anything in the first place.  But hey, that's boat work!
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Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
Std rig w/wing keel
Belafonte

Noah

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On the other side of that coin, there are plenty of ways to disguise a test/peek /exploratory hole. A piece of teak trim, a screw with finishing washer, mount something over it... artwork? You might just need a small hole and a cheap bluetooth borescope that sends an images to your phone, to see whats behind the curtain. I probably have half a dozen nice neat screws to nowhere. Filling holes I drilled in error and/or where I removed or moved something. Nobody knows they donít serve a structural purpose and are instead  just cosmetic cover-ups of my mistakes.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 09:23:26 PM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
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Craig Illman

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Instead of using a fish tape, I had better success using a ten foot piece of 3/8" pex to create a path for new wiring. For smaller gauges, you can run the wire inside the pex, then remove the pex. For larger, you can tape the wire to the pex, then pull it through, similar to replacing halyards on your mast.

Craig
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Ron Hill

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girm : You didn't mention what type of auto pilot (wheel or steering below).

To get power aft I ran a wire from the batteries (fused) under the aft cabin that way. Much easier that going from the Main Electrical panel.

I also took power from the main electrical panel and went up and then along the cabin to hull joint, thru the head, thru the side locker, to power an aft Loran/GPS repeater.

A few thoughts
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Ron, Apache #788

Colonel Butler

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I have the EV-100 installed on my 2006 MKII and it is on a separate breaker on the panel. I'm installing a Balmar battery monitor in the panel this weekend and will have everything exposed so will try to help you out with some pictures from my boat. The install was done professionally before I bought the boat. I'll try to get something posted this weekend.
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2006 Catalina 34MkII "Calypso"
Hull #1746
Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club
Niagara-on-the-Lake ON Canada
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