A friend of ours is rebuilding his boat.
Half way through the first internal fix, he’s coming up to the interesting part for me, the electrics.
Err, well sort of.
Little questions here and there, advice sought and given, and little instructional tips but now it all comes together and the grand wiring of the electrical panel is upon him.
Which is what I’m dreading will happen after today.
I sat him down and explained (very gently) that if he didn’t actually grasp what was meant by batteries in series of parallel, let alone that stripy red was a completely different colour and standard wiring use from a whole red, wasn’t it a sensible thing to attend a short course on marine wiring?
He actually saw the sense in that (phew, I pitched it just right) only courses were booked up solid for months. Someone telling him that here was only one training centre. (I must remember to thank his ‘friend’ for that gem of wisdom)
Then I picked up a brown wire marked as a negative / return wire.
So I stopped and asked him what colour wire it was. ‘Brown’ says he,’ like in the house wiring brown is the neutral wire’. (UK wiring, brown is mains live).
I flinched. “Got your book?”, said I and he hands me the electrical book with all the wiring colours in it. “Whoops”, and he blushed.
Main battery feed Positive Supply.
Control box to ignition and lighting switch (feed)
Compression ignition starting aid to switch.
Main battery feed to double pole ignition switch.
Alternator regulator feed
Dynamo ‘F’ to control box ‘F’
Ammeter to control box
Alternator to ‘no charge’ warning light
Alternator battery sensing lead
Starter relay contact to starter solenoid
Fuel shut-off (diesel stop)
Tomorrow we’re going though the 30 odd wires he’s marked as positive (and negative) to work out what goes where.
And I just hope I can sort out the mess!
The moral of the story is simply if you don’t know something ASK.
If there is no one around to ask, DON’T ASSUME or GUESS.
Don’t forget the only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask for fear of embarrassment!
And get trained BEFORE THE EVENT not after everything goes:-