Relocating the 120 VAC Electrical Panel

marine boat Electrical Panel

New electrical panel in it’s enclosure mounted high on the hull in the aft port quarter

As part of the engine re-power I decided to relocate the 120 VAC Electrical Panel to give better access to the engine compartment since the original panel blocked engine maintenance access.

The boat originally came with a custom 120 VAC Electrical Panel located next to the engine compartment, the custom box also held the VHF Radio and Stereo.  The location of the VHF radio made the radio virtually useless unless someone was sitting below and the layout of my boat is not friendly to a remote speaker.

My boat’s 120 VAC system is very simple which made moving the electrical panel easier than on a traditional cruising boat.

I purchased an 8 inch by 8 inch by 4 inch electrical enclosure from Stone Way Electric in Seattle.  I painted the box white to match the color inside the hull in the aft port quarter.  An 8 by 12 inch mounting panel was made from 1/4 inch marine plywood and also painted white.

The mounting panel was mounted to the inside of the hull using Weld Mount 1/4-20 glue on studs so no holes were required to be drilled into the hull.

Boat marine electrical enclosure, Electrical Panel

Electrical enclosure showing the mounting panel attached to the inside of the hull and the Weld Mount tie wraps inside and outside the enclosure.

Slots were cut in the bottom of the electrical enclosure for wire access and the cover of the enclosure was cut out for the panel with the circuit breakers and voltmeter.  Weld Mount tie wrap mounts were placed inside and outside the electrical enclosure to anchor the AC wires.  The cutout worked well but the panel with the circuit breakers was about 1/16 inch too tall for the top and bottom screws for the enclosure.  A rat tail file removed about 1/32 of an inch from the top and bottom of the circuit breaker panel relieved the panel enough for the enclosure screws to be used.  The enclosure has a gasket to keep water out in case of condensate or or a deck leak, the bottom slots allow the enclosure to breath so no condensate can be trapped inside the enclosure.

boat marine, electrical enclosure, panel

New electrical panel showing improved engine and aft quarter access. The entire area below the flashlights was blocked, making access to the fender and anchor storage area difficult, as well as making engine access very difficult.

I use the aft quarter area for fender and anchor storage. The fuel tank is translucent and holds about 1 gallon of fuel per inch of height, the ability to see the “fuel gauge” easier will also make fueling safer and easier.

Marine, boat, Electrical enclosure, Electrical Panel

The original enclosure, while looking nice, was 11 inches wide and 12 inches deep. The back of the enclosure overlapped and blocked about 1/3 of the engine access panel.


Thanks for your interest in and support of boating safety.

– c / m –

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