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gdallas
04-30-2007, 10:01 AM
I need to put a new electrical panel in NYACHILWA. I will need 8 switches/circuit breakers, so I will fit 10 so as to have a spare or two. I really dont want to use a modern off the shelf black plastic unit.
Does anyone know either of a source of nice looking 12v/24v panels, or of a source of nice looking switches or circuit breakers. If I can source the switches I can make up a panel out of wood or maybe brass.

Thank you

Graham

Dale R. Hamilton
04-30-2007, 11:37 AM
Graham- I needed the same thing for my mahogany runabout. What I did was buy marine push/pull switches (West Marine) and a push type horn button, then replace the cheapy round knobs with a round chrome drawer pulls from Home Depot- same size screw on threads. Then I made a panel out of 1/4" polished aluminum, located and drilled out my switch holes- and then I sent the panel to my local trophy shop. They engraved "Running light", "Horn", etc under the appropriate switch hole. You can added fuse holders behind the panel. Anyway, it looks very very vintage, simple to make- will last forever.

Dale

Thad Van Gilder
04-30-2007, 01:24 PM
I have done the same thing with a sheet of thin bronze plate.

-Thad

pcford
05-01-2007, 01:02 AM
Not necessarily to anyone in particular...but if the shoe fits. Hardware which does not match that which was original may look fine to a new restorer. However, in a few years, with exposure to other similar boats, one's boat with non-original hardware will look mighty odd. Vexing is the realization that it has looked odd to others since you put it in.

A similar error are those that "dress up" a straightforward boat with polished brass do-dads which would have never appeared when the boat was new. Some people hang all sorts of shiny metal stuff on their boat. It reminds me of the guy, every town has one, that hangs all sorts of accessories on his bike...usually an American bike.

Looks at best silly.

The Bigfella
05-01-2007, 04:52 AM
I'm not sure what style your boat is - but I'm happy with my Blue Seas panels

Don Z.
05-01-2007, 08:10 AM
Not necessarily to anyone in particular...but if the shoe fits. Hardware which does not match that which was original may look fine to a new restorer. However, in a few years, with exposure to other similar boats, one's boat with non-original hardware will look mighty odd. Vexing is the realization that it has looked odd to others since you put it in.

A similar error are those that "dress up" a straightforward boat with polished brass do-dads which would have never appeared when the boat was new. Some people hang all sorts of shiny metal stuff on their boat. It reminds me of the guy, every town has one, that hangs all sorts of accessories on his bike...usually an American bike.

Looks at best silly.

While I agree that hardware that does not match that which was original... The non-grounded AC and unmarked fuse DC on my Chris Craft (1959) could either kill me, or set the boat on fire. So, should one die for the sake of originality, or is it better to update to electrical codes that would at least be up to code in the 1990s?

pcford
05-01-2007, 01:41 PM
While I agree that hardware that does not match that which was original... The non-grounded AC and unmarked fuse DC on my Chris Craft (1959) could either kill me, or set the boat on fire. So, should one die for the sake of originality, or is it better to update to electrical codes that would at least be up to code in the 1990s?

DonZ. I wasn't clear. I'm mainly a speedboat restorer and one of the posters spoke to an installation he was doing on his runabout. I guess I was speaking in regard to that type of boat.

In ACBS judging guidelines, I believe it is true that safety equipment is not to be penalized. On a cruiser, I do not think that even a quite modern fuse panel would be a problem to me. It shows that the owner is thinking of wiring. Wiring is, as DonZ said, an issue that likely was not well done when the boat came out of the factory and has most likely only gone downhill since.

On runabouts....a much more simple wiring situation...I install a fuse panel under the deck mounted on underside of deck beams...usually roughly a 9"x 12" plywood rectangle with fuse holders and circuit IDs. Maybe a voltmeter/state of charge if I am getting all fancy. Thus the original appearance is maintained and safety considerations are improved.

Lew Barrett
05-01-2007, 05:30 PM
You can make your own panel using whatever switches meet your fancy, but in the end, I agree that it's better to have a boat properly wired to modern standards than to stand on ceremony and the fabric covered practices of the past.
I know a lot of guys that take great pride in their knife switches (which I admit have the benefit of simplicity and reliability), fuse panels and generally period machinery and vintage looks. and there's no denying; an old panel in great repair, and even more especially, vintage instrument clusters and controls, add a great
charm that the modern stuff just doesn't touch.
When we repowered, it was with a great deal of reluctance that I abondoned our existing control pedastals and switches. However, the reliability and ease of maintanance have gone a huge way towards my feelings of confidence where it really matters; when we are using the boat.
I agree that it makes a difference if you are rebuilding a judged runabout or a vintage cruiser. In my view, a cruiser needs to work as a boat above and beyond anything else when it comes to defining the mechanical and electrical package. If that can be done without altering the original equipment's look, then bravo, but I can say from experience that such a quest often adds expense and difficulty that won't necessarily be returned as a monetary payout later.

gdallas
05-01-2007, 05:57 PM
Its a fair point about safety over 'authenticity'. But I have no intention of compromising on safety, or compliance with regulation/best practice. I just would like to have something that looks more in keeping than the usual plastic panel, and would be happy to build it using modern (but good looking) gear. But thank you everyone for the pointers.
Graham

gdallas
05-01-2007, 06:04 PM
I just had a look at Blue Sea - looks interesting. Thank you

Lew Barrett
05-01-2007, 09:57 PM
I'll put up a pic of a custom panel a friend made for my boat that meets your requirements.

gdallas
05-08-2007, 08:09 AM
I'll put up a pic of a custom panel a friend made for my boat that meets your requirements.

That would be very kind. Yes, please

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-08-2007, 10:31 AM
I went for a different solution.

Mirelles insides are quite unlike what they were when she was young; as built she had the heads by the companionway, a rather poky cupboard to cook in, two settees in the saloon and a double berth in the foc's'le.

She now has a quarter berth, a bigger galley, a pilot berth with transom outboard and settee opposite, heads/shower and a built in berth and a child's pipe cot in the foc's'le. And I ain't going back, as it is much better. But I did try to keep things in keeping.

The switch panel, along with the plumbed in GPS, the log and the echosounder repeaters is in a shallow cupboard outboard of the chart table.

The panel is a modern one with all circuit breakers and diodes to show which circuits are closed. The red light from the diodes would be annoying at night were it not for the doors; as it is, when they are closed, there is no sign that there were ever any yottitronics aboard, and I can have a modern, practical, panel.

Bob Cleek
05-08-2007, 03:32 PM
I'll mention that there are many suitable classic and antique switches, gauges and other electrical parts available through automotive parts suppliers who specialize in classic restorations. Often, a lot of the old marine stuff was simply off the shelf automotive parts available at the time. Back then, they made decent car parts, unlike the crap that goes into cars today.

Check out: http://www.restorationstuff.com/Catalog/RSC%20Cat%202007.pdf

They carry both auto and marine items. Never did business with them, but their catalog is interesting.

gary porter
05-08-2007, 04:12 PM
You might want to just consider aircraft type switch/breakers, both units in one. They come in all manner of sizes and allows you to isolate individual circuits if needed. They are very well made and look good too. Its an on-off switch with whatever breaker size built in. I use one of a 20amp size for a front panel master switch. Everything after it has its own switch...just a thought.
Gary

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-08-2007, 06:01 PM
Second that - they are what I have - behind that oak panelled door!

carioca1232001
05-08-2007, 06:51 PM
I'm not sure what style your boat is - but I'm happy with my Blue Seas panels

Me too ! Excepting that the paint finish on my AC/DC Blue Sea panels (1998 model) is not salt-spray proof.

Current data sheets for AC/DC Blue Sea panels explicitly state compliance with a salt-spray environment.

Lew Barrett
05-09-2007, 12:36 AM
I apologize for not yet getting a photo organized. I've been too busy to get down to my boat. My panel was fabricated from switches, breakers and gauges sourced from Hardware Specialties here in Seattle. Once I get some photos up, you can tell me if it does the trick.

Nicholas Carey
05-09-2007, 02:14 PM
Depending on your electrical needs, one could make the panel out of NEMA XX or CE phenolic laminate (XX is paper, CE is fabric).

Depending on the age of the boat, it is Period, and it looks good.

As far as visible wiring goes, you might want to consider Sundial Wire (http://www.sundialwire.com/). They make reproduction fabric-covered wire. The stuff is actually modern PVC-insulated wire with a cotton or rayon cover:

http://www.sundialwire.com/ProductImages/18g_gold_rayon_twist_300.jpg

pcford
05-09-2007, 02:25 PM
Depending on your electrical needs, one could make the panel out of NEMA XX or CE phenolic laminate (XX is paper, CE is fabric).

Depending on the age of the boat, it is Period, and it looks good.

As far as visible wiring goes, you might want to consider Sundial Wire (http://www.sundialwire.com/). They make reproduction fabric-covered wire. The stuff is actually modern PVC-insulated wire with a cotton or rayon cover:



I think that Y n Z has a broad selection of cloth covered wire for marine use. I use it in a runabout restoration. Frankly, I'd consider it a bit anal if used in a cruiser restoration.

bvv
05-09-2007, 10:38 PM
Would that type of wire pass a survey? A bummer to install it all through your boat and have the surveyor recommend or require its replacement.

I didn't see marine wire in the Y n C catalog.

Lew Barrett
05-12-2007, 05:00 PM
Finally, images of the panels.
Here's the panel that mimics an old style unit. This was made from parts and gauges sourced at Hardware Specialties in Seattle. They carry a broad range of these items. The panel itself is nothing more than a box with the breakers and guages mounted as desired where they can be reached by the pilot. This was not fabricated by me; made by a talented friend with a vision.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid225/p03fc8bb1248717d8be8ee9e2a793a505/e98bfa50.jpg

Lew Barrett
05-12-2007, 05:07 PM
Here's a newer style of panel, probably of the type that you are hoping to avoid.;)
I had a local company make this panel when we repowered our boat. To make an effort at a more acceptable look, I specified old style toggle switches, but let's face it; it doesn't have that 1938 look of the first effort as shown above. At some point, the strictest adherence to esthetics gave way to a desire to move the project along and get it over with. There were some electrical features I wanted to incorporate (ability to entirely disengage the direct wired bilge pumps, the requirement to incorporate modern mains switches and a master switch for the windless and so on). Frankly, it's a great benefit to have modern switches that work each and every time and meet all the ABYC codes.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid225/p78111d34b47c1ac6b8796aab41ac976a/e98bfa4a.jpg

Lew Barrett
05-14-2007, 06:03 PM
Bump: Catch this gdallas?

gdallas
05-17-2007, 06:27 PM
Thank you for those pictures, I am going to print the older style photo and see what can be sourced here in UK. I really appreciate the effort. I will also have to see what can be achieved by me/tradesman/available gear, but that is a good piece of work

paladin
05-17-2007, 06:43 PM
You can make the panel from 2024 aluminum sheet....take it to a shop that does zinc chromate and get it done....zinc chromate is a conductive finish, do not anodize, anodizing is an insulating finish....then to get the gray hammertone effect, go to an electronics supply house that caters to hams and old restoration folks and buy the paint in a spray can...works fine.....then when it's dry, coat it with Nyalic clear finish for salt spray proofing....

Lew Barrett
05-17-2007, 09:13 PM
The hammered finish paint Chuck refers to is called "Hammerite" here, but I wouldn't know if it's available in the UK. It's a very durable, useful and entertaining product, available in a range of colors, and also sold in both spray cans and as a brush on finish. The spray cans give me better results than brush on. Hammerite is definitly an "ol-timey" finish worth knowing about.