This week I got what I hope to be my last major shipment of wire from  I decided to order all the wire from them since I didn’t feel like buying the very expensive proper crimp/die set for heavy duty battery cable and these people only charge 1 dollar per lug that includes a crimp and heat shrinking.  Very nice.

Well equipped with several hundred dollars worth of tinned copper we set off to visit Sundowner again on what turned out to be a very beautiful and windy day.
Copper wire for rerouting the alternator wiring
The going was slow today as I set about the final major connections of the battery systems and routed the heavy wires around the top of the area directly behind the companionway.

I relocated the old 3 way switch we had to an out of the way place on the back of the bulkhead.

The hardest part of the whole ordeal was rerouting the alternator wiring.  This particular alternator had two B+ wires which I had to tediously cut out of a wiring harness and jacket that was routed along the underside of the motor.  It took me over an hour of upside down cussing to finally get the wires removed.  I connected them to a power post and then connected the new big gauge cable to the post as well.
Rerouting the alternator wiring
I’m happy to report that this time I didn’t accidently touch the ratchet between the pos+ and neg- while tightening down the connections to the engine.  That particular memory was invoked when I asked Dani to hand me the “nut that has a black spot” and also when I was upside down looking at the burn mark on one of the motor mounts.  Dropping a ratchet is bad business.  Disconnect batteries first!

Anyway, the Xantrex echo charger just got mounted in the companionway itself since it seemed the easiest solution.  It was the last thing I hooked up today and completed the linkage between the house and starting banks.
Echo Charger Mounting
Today turned out to be a really great day because the last of the “old battery cable” was removed from the boat and now the connections between all the batteries, the starter, alternator, and other systems is new, tinned, and oversized. I know a lot of this wiring still looks nasty, like its just hanging there.  But it is all very secure now.  More importantly, its in great condition, labeled, and I UNDERSTAND IT!
Speaking of wire conditions, here are two wires I pulled out today.  The black wire on the left was the ground between the BAT- and the engine ground point.  The one on the right was between the BAT+ and the starter.  You can see the corrosion on the negative cable obviously.
Badly corroded electrical wires
The pic doesn’t show it but the inside of the red cable was also eaten away with broken strands.  Hideous.  I had nightmares of these cables bursting into flames every time I started the motor.  I’m much much happier with the new cables installed.

With the cost of proper tinned wire and lugs so low, it only makes sense now to not use plain copper as these photos show the results.  These wires also weren’t correctly crimped or sealed by adhesive heat shrink.   I believe they still worked because they were 2/0 awg which can make up for a lot when you can’t have quality.  These plain copper wires are also a lot harder to bend and less flexible than the new wire, which makes routing them more difficult.
Thinking about those nasty wires being gone led to me happily enjoying myself.  Tate relaxing during a break
Of course this photo was taken after we started the engine first off of the starter bank and then off of the house bank and verified that the alternator was working correctly.  I also checked that the echo charger was indeed powering the starter bank.

Man it felt good to get everything hooked up like that.  I think tomorrow I’m going to take a “break” and go crew on a sailboat race.  But fear not, more to come… Our LED lights should be arriving this week and of course that means more fun and chaos from your fav 12v daredevils.

Peace and fair winds.

Tell me its shocking that I’ve made it this far.