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Thread: "Advise On The Main Switch Panel"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Advise On The Main Switch Panel

Jay Bietz

I am looking to replace the existing DC switch panel and looking at the Blue Sea PN 8084, AC and DC panel. I will check the fit this weekend but I would like to have the panel flip forward for maintenance but the size and location may prohibit.

I like this panel as it seems to have about the right number of switches and has master switches for AC and DC circuits.

Any words of wisdom from those who have also upgraded there electrical panel?

It does seem a waste to use multiple breakers for navigation light switches.

I am also reading Nigel Calder 2005 edition of Mechanical and Electrical Manual -- it's seems to be a good read.

Jim Focha and Julie Gwin

Jay, this is the project I've just finished. I don't remember the part number but I used the Blue Seas panel with 22 breaker, main breaker, anolog volt and amp meter. I mounted the panel on white plastic from Tap plastics. It hinges from the bottom to open. The back of the panel is boxed in and covered with sound insulation.

I have used one breaker for multiple devices such as navigation lights. But for the nav lights I installed a seperate fuse block. On the others I use a junction block for multiple wires and one breaker. As long as the breaker is sized for the smallest wire in the circut, it's not a problem. Good paractice is to never have more than one wire to a breaker.

I didn't want the A/C & D/C on the same panel so I installed another panel in the quarter berth just like the first one. This panel has the MPPT solar regulator, A/C panel, blidge pump swith, battery selector switch and lastly switches for wind generator, SSB, refrigeration and engine.

Calders book has everything you need to know.


Dave King

Ahoy Jay, Another option is to have a panel custom made, IF you live near a business that has the capability to produce one. Saraband's panel is custom made and the cost was less than a prefabbed one. The cost will be determined by the number of holes. One huge advantage of going this route, of course, is that you have everything you want and aren't paying for something you don't want. Also, the layout will be determined by your preferences and not by Blue Seas.

Jay Bietz

Thanks for the replies. The more I read Calders book the more work there is to do!!

I like the idea to have seperate fused switches for the nav lights -- saves room for future DC devices.

I plan to measure the area available carefully this weekend and hopefully the 8084 will fit in the area. I'll also need to isolate and insulate the back of the panel as the current panel is open to the engine room.

Jim: what kind of insulation did you choose?

Thanks again

Jim Focha and Julie Gwin

Jay, Dave has a good point. I couldn't find anyone in our area, but Paneltronics builds custom panels. I was lucky and Blue Seas had exactly what I needed.

I boxed the back of the panels with plywood and covered the outside with engine sound liner.


Jay Bietz

The panel is finished and no smoke yet!!


Middle of the page for photo's.

Thanks for the advise.

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