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1997 1700 Overhaul Project

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pelagic2530

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Part 5: Secondary electrical distribution system

As shown above, the electrical system in the boat is based around the two batteries moved into the console, the BEP battery switch, and the custom switch/dash panel. However, I still needed the following components:
-A fuse panel for powering electronics, lights, and other internally-switched components
-A ground bus for grounds terminating in the console
-A ground bus for grounds terminating in the bilge
-A Dual Powerpost to extend the outboard harness.

Due to limited real estate inside the console, most of the electrical components ended up being mounted on the inside face of the "glove box". I didn't take a lot of pictures during the installation, since for the most part as it was all coming together it just looks like a particularly disorderly plate of spaghetti. However, here's some pictures of the final product:
Console Wiring Final2.jpg
Console Wiring Final4.jpg
Console Wiring Final3.jpg
NMEA Tree.jpg

It's a little tricky taking pictures inside the console, but I think these get the idea across.

I went with a Blue Sea 12-circuit ATC fuse block with negative bus for the console distribution. As you can see, there's not a ton of real estate in there, so a compact solution was necessary. I knew I didn't need 12 positive circuits, however a lot of the circuits with breaker protection that are powered from the switch panel have grounds that terminate in the console. The 12 circuit block gave me 12 negative circuits, plus room to expand for further electrical additions. Hindsight being 20/20, I probably could have gone with a smaller fuse block and an independent ground bus, but this one serves the purpose barring any major future changes.

The switch panel had all of the positive leads terminated on the terminal block shown above to the left of the fuse block. I highly recommend this if you're having a panel built. I added an extra 2' to the length of the leads to make the rigging and panel installation easier. This way, if the panel or terminal block ever need to be removed, I have some slack to play with. The extra length can be seen coiled up just below the panel.

Generally speaking, I tried to keep the wiring flow such that positive wires come out from the fuse panel/terminal block on the bottom edge of the glove box, and negative wires come in on the top edge. Obviously this wasn't possible in all cases, but overall it worked out ok. The positive wires are all of a distinct color and striping, which indicates their purpose. Gray wires with colored stripe for lighting, brown for pumps, orange for electronics, red for panel feeders, etc. Additionally, each wire is labelled at it's panel termination with a brother label beneath clear heat shrink identifying it's purpose. The custom panel was ordered with an additional set of heat shrink labels for the other side of the wires, which came in handy.

All of the wiring throughout the boat was secured using Weld Mount fasteners. I've talked about them before but cannot say enough good things about that system. It is expensive up front but the amount of time and frustration saved throughout the wiring process is worth the expense 100x over. No drilling holes for screws that could compromise core material; no dealing with self-adhesive fasteners that fall off on the first hot or cold day. Simply put the adhesive on the base, press onto the surface, and wait. The fittings don't sag or droop after they're applied, and in 15 minutes they're cured. They make a couple different sizes of cable tie holders and many, many other types of fasteners including studs, strap holders, and all sorts of things. I bought their largest kit, which was about $275, which was far more than enough for this entire project and probably the next. They do offer more affordable kits which would be great for a smaller job. Personally, I'll never do another electrical job without them. (Not affiliated in any way, but I recognize an excellent product when I see one.)

The NMEA network is mounted to the overhead in the console. The branches are the engine data cable, the fuel flow sensor, the Simrad MFD, and the ICON tachometer gauge. All the cables run up from the main wiring bundle, between the switch panel and the throttle binnacle, along with the wiring for the console light as can be seen in the picture above. I needed to extend the factory cables for the engine data and the fuel sensor, which I did by means of a 6' NMEA extension cable with the connection covered in shrink wrap. Any extra cable was coiled up and secured to the overhead aft of the NMEA tree. I'm not super happy with the placement of the cable tie mounts used to secure the loops of extra cable; next time I break out the Weld Mount kit I'll add some extras but for now they're secure, if a bit messier than I'd like. The console light has it's own internal switch and can be either white or red LEDs. I'm not sure why I waited until almost last to install that; I would have gone through a lot fewer headlamp batteries!

In the lower part of the system, there is a Powerpost used to limit the number of connectors on the battery negative posts to no more than 4 as per ABYC requirements. This Powerpost has one terminal in from the House battery negative, one line out to the console negative bus, one line out to the bilge negative bus, and the green bonding wire for the fuel tank. The tank bonding wire was upgraded to 8ga wire per ABYC, and was also extended up to the fuel fill deck fitting from the tab on the tank.

Because of the amount of circuits located in the bilge, for pumps, lighting, etc., I elected to locate an additional negative bus in that area. Normally, I would want to place this in an aft battery box or the like, but this boat is simply not equipped that way. So, high up on the forward bulkhead of the bilge is the place that made the most sense. This also allows for easy replacement and troubleshooting for pump components.
Bilge Ground Buss.jpg
This also gives a close up of the Weld Mount fasteners, and the wiring labels.

Finally, since the batteries were relocated from the starboard aft corner to the console, the outboard harness needed to be lengthened. I chose a Blue Sea Dual Powerpost to accomplish this. This allows the original cables from the outboard harness to mate up to the longer 2ga cables coming from the battery switch/start battery negative post in the console. I shortened and reterminated the factory harness cables to the correct length, using marine grade tinned battery lugs. The Dual Powerpost comes with colored rubber boots that allow the cables to come in from opposite directions, 180 degrees apart from each other. However, in my case, I wanted both cables to come through from the same direction, so I could mount the block up as high under the covering boards as possible. So, I swapped the stock boots out for larger Blue Sea ones ordered from Jamestown Distributors. The edges needed to be cut out slightly so as to fit the raised portion of the block, but upon final installation it works like a charm:
Outboard Harness.jpg

Pardon the mess overall, and there are a few small details that are left to complete (protective caps for the start battery automotive terminals, put that cap back on the circuit breaker output, general cleaning, etc.) but overall the electrical work is 99% done. I'm not super happy with how the spiral wrap worked out with the large cable bundle; I may switch that out for split loom, but it works for now.

It feels very nice to have the electrical part of this project wrapped up. A few smaller things here and there, and she'll hopefully be running by years end!
 

Andy

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Part 5: Secondary electrical distribution system

As shown above, the electrical system in the boat is based around the two batteries moved into the console, the BEP battery switch, and the custom switch/dash panel. However, I still needed the following components:
-A fuse panel for powering electronics, lights, and other internally-switched components
-A ground bus for grounds terminating in the console
-A ground bus for grounds terminating in the bilge
-A Dual Powerpost to extend the outboard harness.

Due to limited real estate inside the console, most of the electrical components ended up being mounted on the inside face of the "glove box". I didn't take a lot of pictures during the installation, since for the most part as it was all coming together it just looks like a particularly disorderly plate of spaghetti. However, here's some pictures of the final product:
View attachment 26672
View attachment 26675
View attachment 26678
View attachment 26680

It's a little tricky taking pictures inside the console, but I think these get the idea across.

I went with a Blue Sea 12-circuit ATC fuse block with negative bus for the console distribution. As you can see, there's not a ton of real estate in there, so a compact solution was necessary. I knew I didn't need 12 positive circuits, however a lot of the circuits with breaker protection that are powered from the switch panel have grounds that terminate in the console. The 12 circuit block gave me 12 negative circuits, plus room to expand for further electrical additions. Hindsight being 20/20, I probably could have gone with a smaller fuse block and an independent ground bus, but this one serves the purpose barring any major future changes.

The switch panel had all of the positive leads terminated on the terminal block shown above to the left of the fuse block. I highly recommend this if you're having a panel built. I added an extra 2' to the length of the leads to make the rigging and panel installation easier. This way, if the panel or terminal block ever need to be removed, I have some slack to play with. The extra length can be seen coiled up just below the panel.

Generally speaking, I tried to keep the wiring flow such that positive wires come out from the fuse panel/terminal block on the bottom edge of the glove box, and negative wires come in on the top edge. Obviously this wasn't possible in all cases, but overall it worked out ok. The positive wires are all of a distinct color and striping, which indicates their purpose. Gray wires with colored stripe for lighting, brown for pumps, orange for electronics, red for panel feeders, etc. Additionally, each wire is labelled at it's panel termination with a brother label beneath clear heat shrink identifying it's purpose. The custom panel was ordered with an additional set of heat shrink labels for the other side of the wires, which came in handy.

All of the wiring throughout the boat was secured using Weld Mount fasteners. I've talked about them before but cannot say enough good things about that system. It is expensive up front but the amount of time and frustration saved throughout the wiring process is worth the expense 100x over. No drilling holes for screws that could compromise core material; no dealing with self-adhesive fasteners that fall off on the first hot or cold day. Simply put the adhesive on the base, press onto the surface, and wait. The fittings don't sag or droop after they're applied, and in 15 minutes they're cured. They make a couple different sizes of cable tie holders and many, many other types of fasteners including studs, strap holders, and all sorts of things. I bought their largest kit, which was about $275, which was far more than enough for this entire project and probably the next. They do offer more affordable kits which would be great for a smaller job. Personally, I'll never do another electrical job without them. (Not affiliated in any way, but I recognize an excellent product when I see one.)

The NMEA network is mounted to the overhead in the console. The branches are the engine data cable, the fuel flow sensor, the Simrad MFD, and the ICON tachometer gauge. All the cables run up from the main wiring bundle, between the switch panel and the throttle binnacle, along with the wiring for the console light as can be seen in the picture above. I needed to extend the factory cables for the engine data and the fuel sensor, which I did by means of a 6' NMEA extension cable with the connection covered in shrink wrap. Any extra cable was coiled up and secured to the overhead aft of the NMEA tree. I'm not super happy with the placement of the cable tie mounts used to secure the loops of extra cable; next time I break out the Weld Mount kit I'll add some extras but for now they're secure, if a bit messier than I'd like. The console light has it's own internal switch and can be either white or red LEDs. I'm not sure why I waited until almost last to install that; I would have gone through a lot fewer headlamp batteries!

In the lower part of the system, there is a Powerpost used to limit the number of connectors on the battery negative posts to no more than 4 as per ABYC requirements. This Powerpost has one terminal in from the House battery negative, one line out to the console negative bus, one line out to the bilge negative bus, and the green bonding wire for the fuel tank. The tank bonding wire was upgraded to 8ga wire per ABYC, and was also extended up to the fuel fill deck fitting from the tab on the tank.

Because of the amount of circuits located in the bilge, for pumps, lighting, etc., I elected to locate an additional negative bus in that area. Normally, I would want to place this in an aft battery box or the like, but this boat is simply not equipped that way. So, high up on the forward bulkhead of the bilge is the place that made the most sense. This also allows for easy replacement and troubleshooting for pump components.
View attachment 26684
This also gives a close up of the Weld Mount fasteners, and the wiring labels.

Finally, since the batteries were relocated from the starboard aft corner to the console, the outboard harness needed to be lengthened. I chose a Blue Sea Dual Powerpost to accomplish this. This allows the original cables from the outboard harness to mate up to the longer 2ga cables coming from the battery switch/start battery negative post in the console. I shortened and reterminated the factory harness cables to the correct length, using marine grade tinned battery lugs. The Dual Powerpost comes with colored rubber boots that allow the cables to come in from opposite directions, 180 degrees apart from each other. However, in my case, I wanted both cables to come through from the same direction, so I could mount the block up as high under the covering boards as possible. So, I swapped the stock boots out for larger Blue Sea ones ordered from Jamestown Distributors. The edges needed to be cut out slightly so as to fit the raised portion of the block, but upon final installation it works like a charm:
View attachment 26686

Pardon the mess overall, and there are a few small details that are left to complete (protective caps for the start battery automotive terminals, put that cap back on the circuit breaker output, general cleaning, etc.) but overall the electrical work is 99% done. I'm not super happy with how the spiral wrap worked out with the large cable bundle; I may switch that out for split loom, but it works for now.

It feels very nice to have the electrical part of this project wrapped up. A few smaller things here and there, and she'll hopefully be running by years end!
Beautiful job! Well done, neat and organized....
 

Puck-n-Fish

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Very nicely done! Your project will provide some inspiration for me next spring as i tackle some overdue electrical upgrades.
 

pelagic2530

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Part 6.1: Tackle Center

One of the issues in any boat of this size is a lack of storage space. Specifically, the boat as purchased had no dedicated storage space for tackle. I dislike having tackle boxes sliding all over the deck, getting wet, and causing a tripping hazard. Similarly, I didn't want to have a bunch of tackle all tangled up in a bucket in the console, or tools strewn all over the place where they're never where you need them. So, I started looking into installing a tackle center. I wanted one that had enough space for a few Plano-type boxes, but also some drawer storage for pliers, knives, dehookers, etc. I also wanted it to have a locking latch, just to make stealing my stuff maybe JUST hard enough where it's not worth it. The rough idea being to keep frequently needed tools close at hand, and have space for frequently used tackle and/or seasonal rigs without having to bring a ton of extra boxes or bags on board.

I ended up finding a unit on BoatOutfitters.com that fit into the space I had available. Word to the wise: when measuring the space you have to work with- LOOK AT WHAT'S INSIDE THE CONSOLE. I came very close to purchasing a unit that would have fit wonderfully into the available exterior space, only to look inside... and notice that the throttle, control and steering cables protrude a good couple inches into my new storage unit. DUH... look on both sides. In the end, I found a different one that fit the space I actually had. I ordered it in the Fish White color to match the other Starboard fittings on the boat, with a custom locking latch keyed the same as my anchor locker door and console door. Again, they're proud of their stuff but their quality is top notch. The only thing that I had to change (and it's my fault for forgetting about it when I ordered it) was to specify mounting holes on the front to mount through the face of the frame, rather than into the sides from inside the unit. That problem was easy enough to fix on my own.

To install the tackle center, I cut a frame out of Starboard that exactly matched the inside dimensions of the tackle center frame:
Tackle Center Frame.jpg

The cutout in the console was accomplished using a jigsaw, with a paper grocery bag taped on the inside of the console to control the mess. This worked for ALMOST the entire cutout, until I got near the forward end of the console and didn't have enough clearance inside of the grab rail to use the jigsaw. A bit of work with the oscillating multitool, and the cutout was finished. I then mounted the frame inside the cutout in the console with flat head screws countersunk into the console fiberglass.

Tackle Center Inside2.jpg
Tackle Center Outside.jpg
(In the first picture, you can see the clearance issue with the throttle body. It's basically directly inboard from the upper grabrail mounting bolt... not too much more space to spare.)

Then, I mounted the tackle center, marked the holes, and drilled pilot holes through the fiberglass/starboard for the screws to hold in the tackle center. I had initially installed the frame with only the two top/bottom screws securing it to the console, but while dry fitting the tackle station without sealant the screws had a tendency to push the frame away rather than biting in. Adding the four additional side screws to the frame eliminated this issue. I then ran a bead of LifeCalk sealant around the outside, and tightened the screws.
Tackle Center Closed.jpg
Tackle Center Open.jpg

The purpose of the inside frame was twofold: primarily, it provided a thicker overall mounting surface to support the weight of the tackle center. However, a secondary purpose behind installing the tackle center was creating another opening in the console through which to access the rigging on the inside of the console. For this reason, I wanted to make it so that the tackle center could be easily removed in the future should I need to access the rigging again. Using the internal frame inside the console opening creates a sufficient thickness of mounting surface so that the tackle center can be mounted using screws, as opposed to thru-bolting. As originally mounted, the console door was thru-bolted, and removing it was significantly more difficult than I expected. This way, all that needs to be done is to loosen 10 screws, break the sealant, and it's out. To reinstall, clean and apply new sealant, reinsert the screws and it's back in place. The console door will be remounted in a similar fashion at the end of this project.

Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out. It uses all of the available space, and sacrifices very little usable space inside the console. Being located high up in the console and directly behind the controls, it wasn't really an area in which anything could have been securely stored anyway, and now serves (hopefully in the near future) hold a whole bunch of tackle! Stripers are coming!
 
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tomc585

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Nice work so far. Did you consider adding a light inside the console and bilge? Thats on my to-do list. I plan to use the switched circuit from the deck lights since they will be LED the current will be very low. If any light escapes and is a nuisanse I'll use a seperate switch.
 

pelagic2530

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Nice work so far. Did you consider adding a light inside the console and bilge? Thats on my to-do list. I plan to use the switched circuit from the deck lights since they will be LED the current will be very low. If any light escapes and is a nuisanse I'll use a seperate switch.
tomc, I did add a console light. It’s not on a panel switch; it has it’s own red/white switch on the fixture itself. Made it so I didn’t waste a switch (although I had a spare), and also I can turn it on while I’m already rummaging around in the console :LOL:

Haven’t considered a bilge light, but it probably wouldn’t be that big a deal to add one if I want one in the future. Just one wire to run back to the console, the ground can go to the bilge bus. We’ll see if it turns out to be something I can use. I like the idea of using the deck light switch since the extra power draw would be minimal.
 

pelagic2530

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Side project: Rod holder replacement

When I bought the boat, it was equipped with the standard 4 rod holders in the aft covering boards. Two had obviously been replaced at some point, while the two others appeared to be original, and were a little bit beat up. Given the state of the rest of the fittings on the boat, I wanted to pull these out anyway and check to make sure they were properly sealed. However, I managed to scoop up a set of four Parker branded rod holders from another member on this site (thanks rbella!). While I was going to be pulling them anyway, I figured that was as good a time as any to replace them.

I'm glad I decided to do this. When I pulled the two older ones out, they were "sealed" with an old, sticky putty-like product (Butyl tape?) that was no longer fully sealing the core. The ones that were replaced were pretty obviously hacked into the covering boards, and weren't sealed at ALL. They were also fastened in with screws, which I've never been a fan of where the opportunity to thru-bolt exists.
Rod Holder Unsealed.jpg

The holes for the new rod holders were slightly off from the existing ones, so I drilled out the old screw mounting holes, cleaned up the exposed wood core with a Dremel sanding wheel, and filled/sealed both with thickened epoxy. I then re-drilled the mounting holes for the new rod holders, which will be through bolted (different rod holder pictured).
Rod Holder Sealed.jpg
After that, a quick application of LifeCalk and tightening the bolts, and the job was done. I took the opportunity while the rod holders were out to compound and wax that area of the covering boards. The Shurhold system actually cleans up the nonskid gelcoat area pretty nicely.
Rod Holder Installed.jpg

Now I've got four matching, properly installed rod holders. It was a bit of a vanity project, I'll admit, but I'm happy with how they look now. It was an easy enough project to tackle, and it's one I'd recommend for anyone that is unsure of the integrity of their rod holder installation. I'm glad I checked, since I don't know how long it would have taken for the core in the covering boards to rot out due to the failed sealant. I hear that doing core replacement in a covering board is a real PITA.

Another thing of note: if you're going to have a high load on your rod holders, I highly recommend getting a purpose built backing plate. The way most traditional rod holders are designed, there's not much room for a big washer due to the proximity of the bolt hole to the rod holder tube. In my case, these are unlikely to see the kind of heavy load you'd expect from offshore trolling, deep dropping, etc. But if I planned to use these for that purpose, I wouldn't be that confident in the small washers and thru-bolts on their own. And I DEFINITELY wouldn't trust the screws.

I'm considering putting in a set of the combination rod/cup holders in the covering boards towards the bow. I know Parker has had issues with these in the past, if I go that route I intend to get the solid stainless ones. I think I'll use the boat a bit first to see if that's something I'd end up using, and if so where I'd want to put them.
 
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pelagic2530

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Side project: Horn installation

The horn that came with the boat was... "non-functional". As in, rusting off the side of the console non-functional. It was also one of the exterior mounted models that protruded out from the side of the console, getting in the way for no benefit. It was promptly removed.

I chose a piezo-electronic horn from Innovative Lighting to replace it. I've gotten sick of replacing the electric diaphragm ones every few years when they rot out or die due to water intrusion. This one, with no moving parts and built-in drainage, will hopefully last a bit longer.

After trying out a lot of locations, I picked a spot in the lower forward section of the side of the console opposite the door. My thought process was I wanted it to be in a location where it wasn't likely to get knocked around by things in the console and didn't obstruct any access openings. It also looks fairly natural there, I think.

Horn Holes.jpg
Horn Installed.jpg
Tackle Center Inside2.jpg

The install required a bit larger cutout than I would have preferred, 2 1/2" if memory serves. However, if this horn doesn't end up working out, most of the other flush-mount horns on the market should fit in the hole cutout with minimal modification. Two layers of painter's tape made for a clean hole.

The horn sounds... different. More like a very loud electronic buzzer/whistle, than a typical "horn" sound. But, it meets the requirement for having a "sound-signalling device" and I can't honestly remember ever needing a horn much in the first place. It also has a real stainless steel cover plate, as opposed to coated plastic which I think looks cheesy. Since I'll likely see this horn more than I hear it, I'm happy with the choice.
 

pelagic2530

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Adding a picture of the tackle station from the inside of the console. As you can see, the space that it eats up is pretty much wasted space anyway. You can also see how close the cables and control units come to the box. I sanded down the sharp edges on the inside before installing it to prevent any possible chafing of the jackets on the cables.
Tackle Center Installed.jpg

Also now realizing I need to clean up that negative wire run a bit more... :oops:
 

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