When we first saw the wiring onCarina Vela, one question came to mind: "Does anything electrical work on this boat?" The mass of tangled wires that were led every which way around the cabin were corroded, cut, crimped, and some weren't even connected to the lights and batteries. The only thing that worked when we put the batteries in was the bilge pump (only on manual; the float switch wasn't wired correctly.) Literally nothing worked. This was our indication that we needed to rewire the entire boat. In the following weeks, we ripped out every piece of wire in the boat. When placed together, all of this useless wire took up an entire garbage barrel.
With 500 foot spools of red and black 14 guage tinned wire in hand, dad went to work roughing in the wiring. To make identification of the wire effortless, self-adhering wire labels were permanently laquered on. All of the wire was nicely concealed where possible (#114 doesn't have a head-liner) and was routed to 2 or 6 gang terminal blocks. To ensure that no corrosion was going to occur at the connections, terminal fittings were crimped to mil. spec and soldered. After being roughed in, all of the wiring was tightly bunched and hung with wire clamps.
The next problem was what to do with the antiquated fuse panel that came with Carina Vela. Seeing as every fuse was corroded, we quickly decided to buy a new panel. Custom ordered from Bass Electronics, the new panel had eight switches, each with an LED indicator light, and custom nameplates (these will not be installed until we attach all of the wiring to the panel). In the galley of the Alberg, there is a open section of about 20 by 10 inches behind the countertop. This is located a little off-center under the companionway and is about two feet from the engine. It was decided that the previous wiring being led through that hole, up the countertop and into the fuse panel looked very shoddy, and we wanted a cleaner appearance.
A box of the dimensions to fit that hole was made out of 1/2 inch ply-wood and painted with white Eurathane to match the projected appearance of the cabin. With this accomplished, four 1.25 inch holes were drilled through the bottom of the box to feed the wiring/ battery cables. For the front of the box, a piece of 1/2 inch teak plywood was cut to size. Using a jig-saw, we cut out the holes for the new electrical panel and the battery switch (we may also install the stereo in here). When the box is set into it's spot, it looks like an integral part of the boat, with the galley trim nicely wrapping around the base and the white nicely offset by the teak face. Before final installation, both sides of the teak face will be varnished for water resistance and aestetics.
Up in the v-berth, all of the wiring for the masthead light, spreader lights, and anchor light has been led to a six gang terminal block. Once the boat is uncovered in early April, we will install deck connectors for these lights. We have also roughed in new wire for the entire length of the mast, and will make all the connections when the weather gets better. As for cabin lighting, we are planning to buy a few low-profile lights for the v-berth which will be located under the shelving. Berth lights will be placed in the head and hanging locker, as well as in the main cabin. We are expecting to need approximately eight lights to provide ample light to the entire cabin.