Preview: Boat Wiring, Part 3 – Wire & Electricity

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Don presents a clear way to determine the proper type and gauge of wire to use on your next boat wiring job as well as the basics on amperage, voltage, and resistance in this video on proper boat wiring.

Watch Boat Wiring, Part 4 – Making Good Connections or…

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7 Responses So Far to “Boat Wiring, Part 3 – Wire & Electricity

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    Robert Taffet says:

    Is there any downside to using a lower gauge (wider diameter) wire than the one specified in the ABYC specs other than price?

    • Avatar

      Don Eley says:

      Thanks for the great question.
      The ABYC wire gauge standards are designed to minimize voltage drop in a conductor, based on the voltage, amperage and the length of run of the circuit. Using a larger gauge wire (smaller number) than required will not only increases cost but also increases weight and takes up more space. In a large complex system these factors can be substantial. So typically the smallest gauge wire (larger number) that meets the ABYC standards is used.
      However the maximum ampacity of a conductor must also be taken into consideration. An over-current protection device, such as a fuse or circuit breaker, must be installed as close to the power source as practical in order to protect the wire from current above its ampacity rating (a major cause of electrical fires onboard).
      ABYC E-11 provides the tables for both the appropriate wire gauge based on voltage drop (Table 9 and 10) and maximum ampacity (Table 6A-E). These tables are typically available in books dealing with marine electrical systems as well as on several websites.

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    Mary Richter says:

    As a beginner in marine electronics I found this series very informative!
    I look forward to video #4 :)

  • Avatar

    James Costello says:

    Great information ,I can’t wait to rewire my bilge pump

  • Avatar

    Jon Arcuni says:

    Great discussion. I can’t wait for the discussion on connections. Boat connections are the bane of my life.


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