Beginner's 12v Circuit Plan for Wiring a Sailboat... 2 Questions...

Thread Starter

JohnBisMe

Joined Mar 16, 2024
3
Hello, I apologize if this question is too basic for this forum. I am a refurbishing a sailboat that is currently unpowered, and am trying to add a 12v System with a single battery and multiple charging sources. I have little idea what I am doing, but am trying to educate myself. Attached is my basic plan to move forward with, provided I haven't completely messed it up. Given that I am working with only 12v and low amperage (except where shore power goes into my charger), my primary concern is just not damaging any of my equipment through mis-wiring. My two questions would be:

1) Does this look like a viable circuit or do I need to hit the books more (apologies for the non-standard amateur diagram)?
2) I don't have any circuit breakers/fuses here because I am uncertain where they may be needed. The DC Panel -does- have circuit breakers for its supplies/circuits.

Again, if this sort of question is too basic for this venue I apologize, and would welcome recommendations of where else I might go for assistance in learning how to do this right! Thanks! 1710573456503.png
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,453
The one obvious problem with the initial circuit proposed is that all three charge sources are connected in parallel. You should have a selector switch so that only one charge source at a time can be selected. Other than that, I suggest fuse protection for every load, as well as at the battery. That is because sailboats do sometimes experience water in places where it does not belong. And if the boat ever sees saltwater, know that it is the enemy of all electrical equipment.
 

Thread Starter

JohnBisMe

Joined Mar 16, 2024
3
Since I am using a LiFePo4 battery, someone suggested I forego the alternator entirely, so that may be leaving the plan (they said the battery can damage the alternator, and vice-versa). I've just added a switch that can disconnect the battery from everything else when connected to shore power, so hopefully that would work as my selector switch? And yes, it's going in Salt Water, so I'm doing my best to buy waterproof components and marine-grade tinned wire!
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,453
Certainly there should be modules available to allow charging without the risk of damage. But sincethe sources of damage are either excess voltage or excess current, regulators should be available to prevent that from happening.
 
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