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 gauge wire - will 12 work for 1000watt amp?
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Author Previous Topic: What battery to buy? Topic Next Topic: walter v drive 1976  


RO# 8713

Posted - May 14 2018 :  20:25:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
so working on best friends boat over the last few days.........he didn't have an easy connection for added 'toys' on the dash, he just had basic gauges...nothing else.

He bought a new radio/speakers, amp, gps/depth, LED lights.

He didn't have anywhere to connect them to so I ran some 12gauge from the batt switch house #1 positive post on the batt switch and bat 1 neg post to two bus bars under his dash.

The distance from the switch/battery to under the dash is 18 feet.

Off the bus bars....GPS connected OK, LED's work fine off a work.

Reading the install instructions for the says used 8 gauge or heavier (1000 watt amp)
Should I change the 12g I ran to 8g and run the amp to the bus bars or leave the 12 in place and run the amp 8 gauge back to the batt and batt switch like I did with the 12g?

Problem is getting a ring connection for 8 gauge wire to connect to the Blue Seas bus bar...the wire terminals aren't big enough for 8 gauge wire.

any ideas?

Just another day in Bermyland

Homeport: Berrmooda

destination unknown

RO# 12619

Posted - May 14 2018 :  21:34:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't take this wrong but your getting ready to burn your buddies boat down.

What you need to do is run new lines to the helm from the battery switch.

Run 6 ga red with an appropriate fuse within 18 inches of the battery switch. directly to the amp. Then Run a 6 Gauge black directly back to the battery.

Amps pull lots of power.

Then run a 8 gauge red wire to a Blue Seas fuse or breaker panel. Use appropriate fuse for each electrical device that you are going to connect to the fuse / breaker panel.

Then run a 8 gauge black cable directly to the battery to a new grounding bar under the helm for the grounds.

What ever you do do not use under size wire. it will heat up and if not fused correctly will start a fire.

Have to use proper size buss bars and breaker panels for what you are installing.

There are several good books on marine wiring. Also there are some good wire gauge calculators on line to calculate wire gauge based on amp pull and length.

I ran just installed two 1000 watt amps in my fly bridge, amps required 6 gauge but due to the run the main cables had to be increased to 2 gauge to prevent voltage drop and heat.

Homeport: Anchorage Yacht Club Lindenhurst, NY Go to Top of Page


RO# 12220

Posted - May 14 2018 :  23:32:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Probably better to mount the amp by the battery and use a short 8 ga run. Much easier and safer to run audio around than power.


Homeport: Leesburg VA Go to Top of Page


RO# 9708

Posted - May 15 2018 :  06:16:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I cannot imagine a 1,000 watt amp on a boat. A good sized auditorium would be the appropriate place for that. I imagine that that is a peak power rating that would never be achieved in reality.


If you are not boating or golfing you are wasting your day.

Homeport: EAFB Yacht Club Go to Top of Page


RO# 36

Posted - May 15 2018 :  07:27:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Additionally make sure many strand wire is used. No solid wire should ever be used on a boat.

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RO# 32487

Posted - May 15 2018 :  17:26:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not to mention getting a BIGGER alt too
That type of sound system should be outlawed on marine vessels

aka Bt Doctur

Homeport: nj Go to Top of Page


RO# 12212

Posted - May 16 2018 :  08:52:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Even if it wasn't for the amplifier 12ga to feed a subpanel isn't enough. I don't use less than 8ga for that application even for light loads. You never know what will need to be connected in the future

And that feed needs to be protected. I don't like fuses... for this I would use a resettable heavy duty breaker.

And I would power that amp on a separate circuit with the recommended wire and another breaker

At the helm, a bus bar is fine for the negative but for the pos I d use a small breaker panel So much better than inline fuse.

And obviously marine tinned wire with quality heat shrunk connectors.

1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page


RO# 4575

Posted - May 16 2018 :  16:37:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hope he's got good batteries. That amp will draw a lot of amps. (no pun intended)

"How many amps does a 1000 watt amplifier draw?
Watt = Volts * Amps so if the amp is putting out 1000W RMS and uses a 12V supply then it requires 83 Amps. There are two other factors to consider. The amp is not 100% efficient so assume 50% efficiency and you have 166 amps. Then because the 1000W is peak, derate to 1/3 of that giving you about 55 Amps."

Homeport: 1000 Islands, NY Go to Top of Page


RO# 36

Posted - May 16 2018 :  16:40:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is probably peak load anyway. If they listen to that wound out all of the time they will need hearing aids and a 2000 watt amp in no time.

Homeport: Go to Top of Page
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