Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Where Do The Buses Go?

Jeff and Anne continue their full refit of s/v Pilgrim. Living around and on boats for a long time, with a solid engineering understanding of what makes a good one (and a bad one...) has really informed Jeff's work on the boat. If you'd like to see how a boat *should* be wired, here's a glimpse into the work.  But you'll need to read the rest of Jeff's posts to get the full picture.
In September 2015, I posted to updates about converting Pilgrim’s 12V Positive Bus into a custom ANL Fuse Block...

Over the winter we installed the custom 12V positive fuse block and the corresponding 12V negative bus.

For those out there asking what is an electrical bus? An electrical bus is simply a distribution or consolidation point along the path the electricity takes to the device the user wants to power. If the electrical wires are like train tracks snaking around a country side then the electrical buses are the train depots that allow people on the main line to switch trains and take side trains to smaller communities and vice-versa on their return trip. The fuses ensure that the outbound trains (positive wires leading away from the batteries) to not become dangerously over crowded with passengers.

Consolidating the electrical wiring components around the nav station is a priority for us.. Installing the buses below the electrical panel offered a centralized location that provided plenty of room for the large gauge wire runs.

Installing 12V primary wiring and components at Nav Station
Pilgrim's 12V Primary Buses installed below the electrical panel.

Early on in our refit we chose to eliminate the M382’s quarterberth in favor of additional storage space. Eliminating the berth allowed us to create a seat back at the nav station. The middle two panels of the seat back are removable. The outboard seat back panel is fixed. We installed the negative bus on the fixed vertical seat back panel and the positive fuse block / bus opposite along the original nav station structure.

To prevent accidental shorts in a busy area, I fabricated starboard and plexiglass covers for the two buses.

Primary DC Fuse Block Installation
12V Primary Positive Bus / Fuse Block with plexiglass cover.

Progress on Pilgrims nav station.
12V Negative Bus at lower right in image.

The final step was to create a functional armrest to house the unsightly wiring runs and electrical components.

All the pieces in place but need to refinish the fiddle and teak trim prior to final assembly
New arm rest at nav station.
The armrest has a removable panel to allow for storage and quick access to the fuses.

Storage space and access to DC Primary Fuses & Neg bus via removable section.
Removable panel in arm rest allows for easy access to fuses and storage space. 

If additional access is necessary for repairs or upgrades the armrest is designed to easily remove the vertical wood panel via four screws.

Additional photos and notes can be found in our on-line albums.

Re-wiring Pilgrim Photo Album

Nav Station Refit Photo Album

Will post more updates on Pilgrim’s electrical system soon.

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