Wharram Builders and Friends

A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts

Firstly, is there such a thing? I hope to do the wiring soon as the boat approaches its launch date.I plan to use two 6volt trojan batteries to power the basic requirements at the moment and will at a later stage add more power/storage with additional solar and batteries. i would like to power the following initially;

led nav lights

cabin lights




I have two small solar panels that are rated at 20 watt ea. This is hardly enough to recharge the batteries but will have to do for now.i hope to install more solar to about 200 watt eventually for extended voyaging.I plan to wire the boat so the additional kit will be able to be in place with not much more work.

your thoughts and ideas will be appreciated.

all the best


Views: 2263

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have a liveaboard friend with one 45 watt panel. He keeps it "simple" [steel WYLO 11] and his biggest drain is the laptop at approx 40 watt [one amp-hour every 15 min. or so]. He tells me he has plenty of power in Spain or further south but would need four of them in Ireland !!  No he does not sail with all [or any] elec. running eg. fishfinder etc..

For a searchlight I use a rechargable LED charged at home - 10 hours continuous or months of occasional use. If need be it can be charged on board with inverter. Same for my handheld GPS.

Apologies if you already know the following but not everyone does --

For a 12v system calculate battery drain [by the day] by taking the rating of each appliance in watts and multiply by the number of hours use. Divide this by 12 to get amp hours used [ by 6 for 6v or by 24 for 24v ]. Repeat for each appliance and add up the total. Multiply this by 2.5 [or more!!] to get a Minimum battery size. This is because a 100 ah battery will only give out about 40 ah. before the voltage falls below where it is of any use to you.

So that laptop for instance -- say 40 watt x 3 hours =120 ...120 /12 =10 ah....10 x 2.5 = 25 ah battery minimum.

All these "systems" seriously gobble up elec. and your pocketbook.

 LED nav lights use approx 1watt per bulb interior LEDs as little as 0.1 watt.

Best of luck mate...



Good onya Galway, I tell you it is hard to get just basic wiring set ups these days i have a few books and the interwebs of course which are helpful,but you are right the more systems you have in place the more spendy.

all the best paul.

just be sure to use "tinned" wire!

On Vaea, I have led nav lights by hella (port, starboard, and stern light: coastal sailor), Standard Horizon VHF w/AIS receiver, led cabin lights(half-installed!), Bora fans(one in each hull), and 2 12v outlets: one for charging, and one for running the handheld gps by wire if need be.  84 amp-hour Lifeline battery powers it all, with a 50 watt Kyocera photovoltaic panel to keep the battery up to snuff. I have a Blue Sky mpss controller to manage the charging system (overkill for my small system: I have since learned about way cheaper controllers). I have one 6 circuit Blue Sea panel, and a Blue Sea 30 amp breaker/main switch to turn on/off the system.

Definitely use all marine grade tinned wire, and the best crimping connectors you can get. I bought a ratcheting crimper that is the cat's meow for getting good crimps. The connectors I used come with heat-shrink with glue inside: as you heat them, you can see the glue ooze out at the wire: mo betta!  Blue Sea makes cable glands for waterproofing cable entry/exit holes that work.

BTW, get multi-conductor cable, and get it ROUND instead of flat; makes life much easier!

Kim, this exactly what i am looking for,thanks

You sir,  are the dogs bollocks.

All the best paul.

Peace also uses the ratcheting crimper and it brings joy.  Thanks for the tip re the glue inside the heat shrink.  Never heard that one.  Us big boats gotta learn from you little boat guys.  X

Learn to solder guys & gals it creates a far superior join every time.

About to start electrics also, LED Mast head light, 4 scavenged solar panels off a repair giving me 150 watts.

Will run AGM battery haven't decided wether to run 1 or 2 yet.

LED strip lighting in both hulls this stuff is so cost friendly and very effective.

Stood the mast last night for the sailmaker to come and measure for sails, his price beat Hong Kong and was 3/4 the price of Jeckylls......Maybe have sails for christmas.

Photos soon.

keep up the good work all.

Lee & Sabrina

Here's the link to the great connectors: Sailor's Solutions  

This shop has great marine cable as well: manufactured by Berkshire Wire. They do not have the ratcheting crimper, though. These crimpers go from $70 US to over $200 US for the best. The expensive ones are for hard, daily use by those who earn their money as professional electricians. I have the one at the top of this page: Wiring Products crimpers

I paid about $40 US less than the price listed at this site: search around.

Lee, experience from old hands says crimping is superior to soldering. I used to think soldering was best, but that was due to using the wrong tools for good crimping. Vibration is apparently the death knell for soldered joints, and there is plenty of vibration on a boat. . .

Thanks Kim for the link, I have  just ordered some of those connectors.

I have had very good service from Peter at www.batteryvalue.com.au He answered all my questions promptly and matched a battery with two panels.Also made up some leads for the panels.

95ah agm battery with 2x 40 watt panels plus leads came to au$ 369.00 which is pretty dam good considering some of the quotes i received, I also get the feeling this bloke will stand by his product. 

i have no affiliation blah,blah but only that i am a happy customer.

cheers paul

check these guys out... watch some of their videos... I'm sold


a good review video


Excellent,this may be the way to go for puters on my boat without having to upgrade the whole system.i like this very much.

thanks Brandon.

Reply to Discussion


© 2024   Created by Budget Boater.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service