It all started when we looked at the map…

The F36 building plans are pretty succinct about wiring the boat for electrical service – get a qualified electrician. We bought time with a marine electronics planner to do overall schematic and equipment selection work. But in the spirit of truly knowing one’s own boat, like everything else so far it’s bear down, learn it and go for it. After numerous sketches and notes over months, a circuits plan got down on paper to match the 18-breakers slot BlueSea panel.

The diagram has 14 twelve volt branch circuits from the 100amp panel, a 70amp dedicated service up to the windlass and a bilge pump circuit with 10amp fuse wired to the battery switch. Additional cabling runs handle the remote windlass switch, the propane danger sniffer, VHF antenna, radar cables and sailing instruments. Primary wiring chases are on the starboard side of the boat.
Detail hounds will note the mast isn’t even mentioned; Keith will be happy to hear all wiring was stripped during the mast refit. VHF and anchor light and deck lights are on the stern tower. Steaming light will be near the bow.

The 110volt system will be completely separate, with its panel in the equipment room and cabling along the port side of the hull. We’ll see that next week.

First up was preparing spaces. All bulkhead pass throughs got PVC liners. These helped the cables slide thru like little greased pigs!


Then a scramble when we realized the electric cabinet face hadn't quite been finished before the holidays:

Then uncover dusty boxes to bring up on deck the goodies we’d stashed under work tables. That’s a 500′ spool of 12AWG cable. (How could the boat possibly take 500′?! Hold that thought…)

We set the spool up on a spinning pole in the cockpit and started pulling. Probably the smartest trick done on the boat in 2015 was writing directly on the cable cover with an ink pen every 3′ as it came off the spool which circuit number we were snaking through the boat. The entire afternoon of laying in 18 cable runs had zero confusion about what was what as you can see the branch circuit numbers everywhere. Here’s 1a, the forward running lights on their way.

And this is about four hours later


Late on Sunday we had run out of large-bore PVC bulkhead liners and decided to keep wiring anyway. So a few days later some backtracking pulled that bundle of cables backwards and through the piece that still had to get cemented in place.

The panel slid home nicely, up above the chart desk.

Not going to show the panel back yet because the cables aren’t connected; there’s a big box of many sizes needed of various cable end terminators / connectors coming from Defender. That’ll be weekend fun. Meanwhile there are lots of components that need installation now that we can see placements dictated by sensible cable routes. Here are the main battery switch and windlass circuit breaker / cutoff placed under the sea berth just forward of the chart table.

While we wait for that box of 300-ish various connectors we’re doing similar prep work on plumbing. And watching the skies for signs of painting season. Still too much rain for that now…

By the way, 450′ of that spool have been swallowed up.

2 thoughts on “It all started when we looked at the map…

  1. If, for any reason you get stuck on which run is which, pick up a tone generator from Home Depot or even Amazon (as cheap as $20)…it will allow you to quickly trace out each run in about 20 seconds.

    I don’t envy you on the wiring (I’ve done my fair share), but it is gratifying in the end.

    Happy wiring!


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