Making the electrical panel
When something needs to be done on Clipper it is DIY. When we discover something that needs fixing we research or ask someone how to do it and then do it. Take your time and make sure it is right and to keep the cost down as much as possible without compromising quality. One big advantage of DIY is that we learn how Clipper operates. So when something goes wrong you have a good idea of what and where the problem is.
I am fixing the electrics and as I do it, I learn a lot about the electrics. I am sticking with the 12 volt system for Clipper as you need an electrical licence to work with the high voltages. But you still have to be very careful how you do the work.
The mercerator pump I am fitting to the sink draws 12 amp. This exceeds the capacity of the circuit breaker. Rather than replace or install another more expensive higher rated panel, I am using inline relay switches to use a lower current to activate a higher current the pump needs. Also using high gauge and quality wire the pump needs to run without burning the boat to the water line.
I am making the electrical panel to be fitted above the map table in Clipper. I epoxy the marine ply to protect it and to give it a varnished look. Over time epoxy is not as good as varnish as it does not fade evenly and you can end up with a splotchy look. But we have purchased the epoxy in bulk making it cheaper and will give an acceptable look as it out of the UV radiation from the sun. Giving it an acceptable life span over the time we intend to voyage on Clipper.
If you have a sailboat your are renovating or maintaining as a live aboard we would love to hear from you. Contact us and share your story here.