Cheap switches/fuse panel?

Trolling motors, Fish Finders, GPS, Batteries, anything Electrical, post it here.
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flatbottomman
Posts: 20
Joined: 06 Apr 2019, 20:13

Cheap switches/fuse panel?

Post by flatbottomman » 04 Aug 2019, 21:42

I'm currently outfitting a 1442 tin boat. The "spirit of the build" is to do everything as inexpensively as possible. As such, I a looking for an inexpensive way to have switches and fuses for a bilge pump, fish finder, and nav lights. Any advice? All the options I have seen have been quite expensive.

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LDUBS
Posts: 2564
Joined: 14 Aug 2016, 22:25
Location: Clayton California

Cheap switches/fuse panel?

Post by LDUBS » 05 Aug 2019, 01:40

You could buy the switches and fuse holders individually and build your own panel. If you are anywhere near a TAP Plastics you could probably get a thin piece of black plastic out of their cut off bin for a few bucks. Or use a project box from Radio shack, a piece of aluminum, or whatever suits your fancy. I learned here on TB that a switch is not needed for the fish finder because it is already switched. So for that appliance all you need is a fuse holder. If your bilge pump has a float switch then you would want a 3-way switch (on-off-on) so you can turn it on manually, turn it completely off, or turn it on auto for the float switch.

Alternatively, I see some relatively inexpensive options available from Attwood or Sea Dog brands. You can get a 3 or 4 gang switch panel with fuse holders for under $25. I personally can't say anything good or bad about these brands. However, you probably would spend more than that buying the individual components.

I'm adding a couple of switches to my boat. I have a dash, so am just adding individual switches by drilling holes in the dash. Brand I'm using is Blue Sea Systems. Right now there are in-line fuse holders for individual appliance circuits under the dash. Kind of hard for me to get to because I"m not as bendable as I used to be. So, I'm thinking about redoing things so the individual circuit protection fuses are in a more accessible place. Just another thing on my list of "nice to haves".

PS: I agree with your "spirit of the build" concept.
Have Rod - Will Fish

Wyota
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Joined: 02 Aug 2019, 22:35

Cheap switches/fuse panel?

Post by Wyota » 05 Aug 2019, 23:21

What size/type of battery are you using? Unless you have a leak, you may likely rarely run bilge. Fishfinder and led nav lights use so little power that a full size Marine battery is overkill if you are not running a trolling motor.

If this is the case, switches can be built onto the battery box itself. Did mine when I had a kayak, and now have it on my tin, was pretty economical overall.

lckstckn2smknbrls
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Joined: 05 Oct 2008, 12:14
Location: Algonquin Il

Cheap switches/fuse panel?

Post by lckstckn2smknbrls » 06 Aug 2019, 07:51

I made my switch box out of a water proof plastic electrical switch box. Drilled holes in the cover for the switches and the fuses are inside.
1971 14' Ward's Sea King Jon Boat / 1983 Mariner 25HP

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wmk0002
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Joined: 17 Apr 2014, 15:39
Location: Cullman, Alabama

Cheap switches/fuse panel?

Post by wmk0002 » 06 Aug 2019, 10:05

lckstckn2smknbrls wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 07:51
I made my switch box out of a water proof plastic electrical switch box. Drilled holes in the cover for the switches and the fuses are inside.
This is probably the best route if you want to keep it low cost. Any pre-made switch panel that is weatherproof and worth a lick will be pricey. But if you have a weatherproof box to house the fuses and connections, you can simply put cheap individual weatherproof switches on the outside or contain switches and everything in the box if you have one that is a quick open vs having to remove screws.

I bought a junction box to insert a Blue Seas Systems switch/fuse panel into the cover. Mainly to keep from having to cut a switch panel hole in my boat but also so I could tap in some other stuff like 12v outlets, usb chargers, etc.
2016 Alumacraft 1648 NCS - 1992 Johnson 9.9 HP Tiller
http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=40764

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1960 yellowboat
Posts: 199
Joined: 24 Apr 2019, 08:04
Location: Homosassa Florida

Cheap switches/fuse panel?

Post by 1960 yellowboat » 06 Aug 2019, 15:38

How about a switch panel off a junk yard car? Would that work?

Wyota
Posts: 10
Joined: 02 Aug 2019, 22:35

Cheap switches/fuse panel?

Post by Wyota » 06 Aug 2019, 19:21

I think the possibilities are endless. As long as you have battery that is at least twice the size in amphours as your total amp load multiplied by your expected run time, a fuse appropriate for your power draw switches, appropriate gauge wire, and some sort of way to ensure all items can withstand the weather elements they will be exposed to, then all is good.

As for my power box and switch setup, even though the switches were rated waterproof due to rubberized covers and o rings, I still gooped everything just to be sure

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