View Full Version : Fuse block wiring

09-14-2005, 12:19 PM
My new to me used boat had a poor job done on additional accessory wiring. Its just a mess. I am going to take it all out. I want to put in a fuse block. I believe I want to use an ATC fuse block rather than one for glass fuses.

My questions is... How do I wire this block?


I would guess that I attach the hot from the battery to the bolt on the block. Each accessory hot is plugges into a tab. I should then add a grounding strip and attach each accessory's ground wire. Is this correct? Is it recomended to bring the hot from the battery to the block or can I bring a hot from the accessory panel's master power switch on the dash?

Any additional tips?

09-14-2005, 12:28 PM
When I added my fuse block, it was for a majority of things that were in the back of the boat. *I mounted the block on the transom, just above the battery with a 8 ga. wire to both terminals of the battery. *If you are running very low voltage accessories off of this block, you might get away with running a jumper from you primary fuse block, not one of its fuses but a cable from the primary feed.

My block had both a positive and negative "bolt". Does that block only have one bolt?

09-14-2005, 01:00 PM
Yeah it has only one bolt which I didn't expect. I haven't purchased it yet. But this is typical of what I have found.

09-14-2005, 03:29 PM
I see the blocks you are talking about with the ground bolt and tabs on the block. I am going to keep looking for one of those. Thx!

09-14-2005, 08:03 PM
Fishcrazed * West marine has both types. One with the ground and fused section all in one. They also have a bunch of different types of ground blocks if you decide to go separate. *I re wired my last boat and it was pretty easy. How you described it was the way to do it. West marine has marine wiring also. Be prepared though. It can be expensive. I bought my fuse block and ground strip from Sunny's *marine. *I remember him telling me that there are a couple different types of fuse blocks that he does not like. More prone to problems. Never got the brand names though.

Good luck.

09-15-2005, 09:14 AM
These blocks without the grounding are very popular. *Having a hard time finding one with ground. *May have to go with a grounding strip. *West marine is too far and always a few dollars more. :-/

09-15-2005, 09:38 AM
You really don't want a ground strip on a small boat. That's the reason most of the newer fuse blocks don't use them. They encourage voltage leaks in a moist environment. They are used on larger boats (and ships) where it is not convenient to run both + and - leads to each piece of electronics. Take the hot lead off the fused panel and ground everything to the negative pole of the battery (or battery switch). *You can use another non-fused block for that to cut down on the number of wires going to the battery or switch.

Here is a link with some books related to boat wiring and marine electronics:

http://www.sevenseas-mn.com/index.cfm?pageid=2000 I recommend any book by John C. Payne (such as The Fisherman's Electrical Manual, $17.95). He wrote the Bible on marine wiring.

Here is some on line information of boat wiring:


I'm hesitant to give you any more specific advice on how to wire your boat without seeing what you are actually up against.

09-15-2005, 11:03 AM
Some times we need to be able to just think outside the box about our boat parts. I got my 2 pole fuse block at the Auto Parts store, I believe it was Kragens or Pep Boys.

09-15-2005, 02:21 PM
Thanks doc I will check those out. *I am really not rewiring everything. *The built in electronics (live well, lights, bilge and flasher) were all done well. *Just the accessories were not done well.

I am adding the fuse block to get rid of this bad wiring and provide a way to easily add accessories. *I dont want multiple wires to the battery either.

I looked up grounding strip. *This is not what I meant. *I was intending on using a busbar.

Hindrid, I have been looking mostly at auto parts stores. *Seems, like doc said, this is the newer type.

09-19-2005, 08:03 PM
Check your e-mail. I sent you a picture.

09-20-2005, 08:12 PM
Yes you did and quite the picture it was. I am very impressed. I just finished mine. Not as pretty as yours, but it is way better than the 2 bolts run through a piece of plywood hanging loose. I did use good wire and used the heat shrink tubing. I used the single pole blick with the quick connect tabs I posted above. I attached that and a grounding bar from a light socket as the ground. I post a pic sometime later.

Thanks for your input.