The electrical distribution panel was a convoluted mess.  There were several different bus bars that each served as common ground, with jumpers connecting a dizzying array of switches and other bus bars.  The analog meters either didn't work or were missing a readout label.  The distribution panel was actually a combination of several different panels made by various manufacturers.  It was difficult to accurately trace just where, exactly, the hot and/or ground connections actually terminated.  I strongly suspect there were even a few circuits that were just hot loops without a load attached (e.g. the breaker for the water maker would immediately trip).  The old electrical distribution panels have been completely removed and a new distribution panel will be designed to meet the new electrical load requirements.

Blue Sea Systems has a great online tool for designing electrical distribution panels.  The panel wizard can be used to drag-and-drop various modules into a distribution panel.  Although the panel wizard page states that email registration is required, this is not true.  Clicking the "Try It" button opens the panel wizard with full functionality.  (Saving a design does, however, require registration).  There are a few missing features that make the panel wizard less than perfect (module details have to be examined separately, not all retail prices are listed, and there is no method to move a module without deleting-and-adding).

The wiring itself was covered in decades of accumulated grime.  Many of the connections are corroded and unreliable.  After removing a 15-foot section of 3-wire 12 gauge (a backbone for "Outlets STBD"), and cutting the wire into two equal lengths, corrosion was discovered to run almost the entire length of the bus.  If this is indicative of the rest of the wiring, it will all need to be replaced.  Spools of new marine-grade wire, in various gauges and lengths, were ordered from Best Boat Wire.  They have realistic prices on bulk wire and their prices for wire connectors can't be beat.

Project Status:

  • Electrical Distribution Panel is still being designed; circuit requirements are not fully determined at this time
  • Electrical Rewiring - materials have been obtained and rewiring is ready to begin