Rewiring my Mac 26X

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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Rewiring my Mac 26X

Post by Bennkat81 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:33 pm

Hey Ya'll,

I got to looking at the wiring job the P/O did on Neaux Clew just before I purchased it. Most of the Required lights don't work. As I checked the wiring I realized that he had used Honeywell 4 strand signal wire and not marine grade wire. (Unless Honeywell signal wire is marine compatible). So since I am going to have to trace wires and figure out how the routing was done I figured I may as well replace the wires with marine grade wiring. So my question is where can I get the best price on wire for this project. I will be going from the top of the Mast down!

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Re: Rewiring my Mac 26X

Post by Starscream » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:52 am

Rewiring is a necessary part of owning an X, I think. The factory wiring was done in a very "economical" way, using the cheapest wire possible. Mine looked like it had been done with household extension cords! I've heard some people describe it as "lamp wire".
My insurance company requires a marine survey and the first thing the surveyor said was to get rid of all the factory wiring and replace it with marine grade wire.
I purchased all the wiring on Amazon: they keep Ancor wiring in stock in rolls of almost any size you want and all the gauges. I have had no quality issues at all with this brand of wire.
Rewiring could have been a fun project, except that there are so many inaccessible places that it ends up being an exercise in cursing. I still haven't been able to replace some of the wires: the panel to the mast base is still original, as are the bow light and stern light, and also several of the cabin lights. But they'll have to be done some day soon, I think.

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Re: Rewiring my Mac 26X

Post by ris » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:01 pm

For sure use marine tinned wire. I found that you could buy 14, and 16 gauge wire in protective covering as cheap as buying red and black wire separately. (the wire i bought looks like romex house wire but it is anchor tinned wire) Some places you might have to use individual wires. Also buy wire connectors that you crimp and the plastic ends are shrinkable and have glue in them. You will never regret buying a dedicated connector crimper, small electric heat gun for the shrink coverings and a good pair of wire strippers. We removed all the little hole coverings in the cabin ceiling to make pulling the wire easier. Also removed some of the square panels and Styrofoam in the aft area under the cockpit to pull wire. We rewired everything including new a/c 120 panel and 12 volt panel. Only the wire to the red and green light on the bow and the white light on the rear that are required when moving at night were not replaced. Its also a good time to install LED bulbs in the fixtures or replace the entire fixture. ... connectors ... JFDSGWXWHH ... Btool&th=1 ... pping+tool

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Re: Rewiring my Mac 26X

Post by paul I » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:19 am

I have used this supplier and have been very happy with the product. Have a look:

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Re: Rewiring my Mac 26X

Post by Chinook » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:55 pm

I've employed several tricks in pulling new wire. You can't always count on simply attaching to the old wire and pulling. It usually gets hung up between layers. I use several different thicknesses of wire for pushing between access points. A neat trick, which has helped me in some tough situations, is to take a medium washer (regular steel, not stainless), and tie a fine nylon thread to it. Stuff the washer into an access point, and then take a strong magnet, strongest you can get, and slide the magnet along on the inside surface of the liner while gently feeding thread into the starting point. With luck, you'll be able to get the washer all the way to your next access point. Once you have the thread all the way from start to finish, pull a stronger string through (I like using wax coated string, which is quite strong and doesn't tend to hang up). Then you can use the string to pull your wire. Also, it's a good idea to pull a spare pull string through along with your wire. You never know when you'll need to pull a new wire along that route. Another suggestion is to use 1 inch or 1 1/4 inch pvc pipe to make wire chases for those wires which need to get from the head liner down to the battery box in the galley area. It's very difficult to get wires pulled along the side of the cabin, and those pvc wire chases are very inconspicuous, and also very handy.

As mentioned by Starscream, when I rewired my boat I was unable to pull new wire to the bow and stern running lights, so those wires remain stock. All the rest is new, and I've been very pleased with the result. It's a great opportunity to install a good quality breaker panel and nicely organized negative terminal bus bar. Good luck, it's a worthwhile project.

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