Re-wire /Repair W-32 cabin overhead wiring

  • October 01, 2011 9:59 AM
    Message # 713084

    Does anyone have experience with or knowledge of the cabin overhead wiring in a W-32.  Some of my lights have failed.  The fixtures are definately OK.  It looks like the wiring comes from the panel and through a "gutter" along the cabin side and coach roof.  I can see some wires routed that way through a small gap in the paneling with the trim removed.  I have tested wiring and found some red/black reversed.  The red wire was open to +12 and ground and the black wire was connected to +12.  Go figure.  From what I observe and drawings in the Westsail construction manual the lights appear to be wired in a sort of series-parallel fashion.  It looks like a feed wire runs along the cabin side/coach roof gutter and each light is tapped off that pair of wires.  It also looks like the wires from the gutter to each fixture are run behind the plywood that makes up the overhead liner. 

    I plan to use a Dremmel tool saw to open up the gutter for a few inches to verify that the wires are accessable.  If I can gain access to the main wire run I will attempt to repair or replace the wiring.  I'll try to document my findings with a few pictures.

    Any advise is appriciated.  Walt from W-32 #506 ORION

  • October 05, 2011 6:51 PM
    Reply # 716117 on 713084
    Deleted user

    I'm not sure how the original factory wiring was run.  I think on the kit finished boats you'll find wiring runs under many of the coachroof trim pieces.  I was lucky (I think!) that my boat was never properly wired, and what little there was was accessible (and needed to be ripped out).  Bud Taplin can tell you more and I suggest you email or call him.   If you don't have the original factory schematics he can provide them.

    Tom Koehl
  • October 07, 2011 11:46 AM
    Reply # 717439 on 713084


    I discovered the location of my starboard side cabin light wiring while installing a set of rope clutches on the cabin top. Drilled right through the red lead. The red and black wires are laid into a groove set into the cabintop plywood along each side of the boat.

  • October 08, 2011 1:46 PM
    Reply # 718071 on 713084

    I'm not sure how all of the factory boats were done, either. Our boat was a "kit", but finished by factory crews off the clock and after hours. We completely rewired our W32 in 2008 (click here for all the photos), and all of our cabin wiring was under the 3/4" tongue/groove fir headliner (only ONE light worked...) It wasn't practical for us to remove the headliner, so we cut the wires off and left them under it.

    Then we ran all new wiring under the teak trip along the edges of the cabin top where the headliner butts up against the coach sides. For each leg that powers a light, we used a surface-mounted plastic wiring conduit to run out from the trip and to the light. There are a couple photos at the links below (the best I can find to show this.)

    New wires coming out of trim

    Wiring race surface mounted, leading from trim to light.

    The benefit to doing it in this way is it's very easily to access all of the wiring and none of it is hidden beneath the headliner. We've decided not to put anything below the headliner; all of the backing plates and wiring are on the surface; easy to see and maintain.

    Hope this helps somewhat!

    Aaron N.
    Last modified: October 09, 2011 7:55 AM | Anonymous member
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