Author Topic: Center Console Boat Wiring  (Read 1058 times)

Offline Tomtom

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Center Console Boat Wiring
« on: December 20, 2021, 11:47:30 AM »
Please forgive me for asking these questions on the Tolman Forum when I am not a Tolman builder and feel a bit like an imposter - but I admire Tolmanites for tending to keep things simple.

I have a 21 foot center console that I am wiring and would like to find a simple and practical way of doing it that is safe. I am not looking for overly complex solutions. I do want it to be safe.

I am in two minds about one or two batteries.

I want to be able to run at least 4 750 GPH bilge pumps and a 1500 GPH bait well pump - whilst I am slow trolling and have bait in tuna tubes. I do not need to run these without the engine running.

I have a Yamaha F150HP 4 stroke.

My boat can sit for months on end in a shed and I am worried that two batteries just means twice as many that wear out over time.

Here is what I am thinking…

Ok - please excuse the fact that it is a bit messy… but here is my initial wiring diagram.

I want:

1) one switch panel at the console to do VHF/ GPS/ cigarette lighter/ Usb and Nav lights (which will be mounted on T Top.) Anticipate 2 m run for everything except Nav lights which may be 4m total.

2) An independent bilge pump that is fused and wired direct from battery (under console) to bilge. For when boat on mooring. This will not be shut off my battery disconnect switch.

3) a second switch panel under rear gunwale that will operate wash down pump and tuna tube pumps. Before anyone asks why so many “bilge pumps” - I want to run each tube with its own pump from a live well (to avoid air bubbles).

I also want a spare bilge pump which can be switched on here at transom end. And maybe some underwater lights.

If I fuse this section with a 30 Amp fuse off the main cancelling (that in theory will also power the engine starter) will that be enough to protect the main cabling?

4) Is it sensible/ appropriate to send 2 big cables to the junction at the transom and pull the engine starter cables off here? Or should the engine start be an entirely different cable/ circuit direct from the battery?

This probably won’t be fused - though I have now entered a rabbit warren of opinions on both sides of this discussion. I see nothing is quite as straightforward as first appears! I can’t find the rating of a Yamaha 150F starter motor so am guessing this would need to be at least a 200 amp fuse?

Offline barrelroll

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Re: Center Console Boat Wiring
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2021, 10:09:01 PM »
Lots of questions, I'll see if I can answer a couple. Bluesea systems is the go to for decent quality marine components and should help keep it clean

-Size your wire accordingly for the maximum load. If you are connecting a 200 amp fuse to a wire running to a junction block/ fuse panel the wire should be able to handle 200 amps. This page/ chart should help.

-For the dewatering bilge pumps I'd wire them directly to the battery pre disconnect on an auto switch with a manual bypass switch wired to the dash fuse box. My understanding is this should be the only fused component pre switch. Blue sea has a nice battery mount fuse block

-With your pump load I would seriously look at 2 batteries, 1 house, 1 starting with a blue sea ACR. Even if the pumps run your battery down to nothing you'll be able to start your motor to get home. If you don't do an ACR a minimum voltage disconnect might be a good option to give you enough juice to start if the pumps run your battery down.

-Something like this fuse block might be handy Go from your 200amp MRBF to this block, 1 fuse to the motor, 1 to the dash/ counsole fuse block, 1 to a fuse block at the transom for all the pumps or you could even run all your dash loads off this block as well. I've used the cheap individual fuse holders and had issues with them. The blue sea blocks are cheap and good quality. I personally would keep the motor on it's own dedicated run though don't see why you couldn't do the junction block, just make sure all wire is rated for 200 amps till it goes through a fuse. Bluesea also has fused switch panels. I personally don't like my GPS and VHF switched because it's just another thing to break and not really necessary.

-For a USB I've used a bluesea 1045, they are 4.8 amps and charge phones very quickly. I'm going to try a ROKK wireless charger in the dash of the new boat. It should cut down on a different phone cord for each guest spaghetti mess on the dash.

Offline KenB

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Re: Center Console Boat Wiring
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2022, 07:14:07 AM »
I used these guys to build panels for my whaler projects. A little pricey even if you just buy the parts and wire up yourself, but you can get to install a 'low beer alarm' or 'tikiman' switch:
- they have very helpful diagrams and reference materials. Great customer service. Cheapest contura prices I found.

These guys are great for pre-made battery cables:

I have also found really good premade panels with fuses from greatlakes:

In terms of your wiring diagram, everything looks great and should work fine. My personal preference is to have only one busbar, post, etc, which means extra long wiring for the bilge pumps (e.g. I would delete your trasom busbar,  just another chance for corrosion to short your batteries).  I like to run one pump through the panel; this is the 'main' pump, and then run the second pump on an isolated circuit directly to the house battery leads, with its own inline fuse. This is the back up. Should never run, and if it shorts it only kills the house battery.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2022, 07:29:27 AM by KenB »

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