Wiring up Sooners DC: Part 4 – New breaker panels

Sooners old breaker panel for the DC was old and not actually wired up to anything (the fridge etc was all wired directly to the batteries) so after removing the old one the first thing to do was figure out what I was going to do for new ones.

Using an combined AC/DC panel like I did on Gudge was out, as I had already done the AC a while ago (and besides, it was nice not to have to worry about accidentally touching some AC when doing DC wiring) and in fact I went one step further and further divided the DC panel wiring into two smaller panels.

This was mostly done for space reasons, but in the end I split the breakers in two – I had the ‘house’ loads (such as the fresh water pump, fridge, lights etc etc) on one panel and all the ‘sailing’ loads (radar, AIS, VHF etc) on a different one.

Installing the ‘house’ one was fairly easy as I just cut a hole in panel behind the companionway stays (and the whole thing hinges out as the hot water tank is behind there so wiring it up was a snip)

The second panel position was a bit trickier as I didn’t have many good places for it – I ended up mounting it in the face of one of the cupboards over the nav table.

This involved removing the door, cutting out the front and then mounting it over it before reattaching the door.

I attached a lockbolt on the inside to hold it closed as the original catch was broken.

Note in the pics it’s a 6 breaker panel that’s turned magically into an 8 one by the end – this is because I originally installed a 6 breaker, before trying to buy another one for my nav light panel and finding them twice the price of an 8 breaker! So I ended up getting an 8 breaker and swapping it out, the 6 breaker will be installed when I do all my nav light stuff.

While I was there I added a 12v charge panel from Blue Seas that had two USB chargers and a 12V cigarette lighter and had it’s own breaker built it.

So above the nav table in order I have the 12v USB panel, then the 12v sailing panel, and next to it the 120AC panel (which I built over the hole left by the old panel with the help of some wood I stained a teak colour that I talked about here when I did it)

Final nav table looks like this

Not too shabby and a big improvement!




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