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am getting surge interuption on start of downriggers, and rope lights i.e rope lights interupt radio' downriggers interupt spreader lights. i used 10 gauge 4 the downriggers about 20' and 16 gauge 4 rope lights. 2 separate fuse boxes with 10 gauge from battery to box. not a electrician, have no clue. am thinking i need heavier wire gauges or a battery isolator? would a third battery help? or am i thinking in the wrong direction? sorry 4 my ignorance and thanks 4 input in advance.

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I might be misunderstanding a little bit but if you are running wires for the downriggers 20' 10 gauge probably isn't enough because of the high current riggers need. Also, 20' is a long way to run power for the riggers, it might be a good idea to move the battery closer. Are you running the riggers off a house battery (same one that starts the motor)?

As far as the rope lights, I'd be very surprised that you would see a surge interruption from turning them on. However, when running power from my batteries to the front of the boat for lights I used 12 gauge, which was the minimum recommended for that distance.

Hopefully this helps, I've always hated electrical work for this reason :)

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Run a temporary line to the spreader lites right from the battery and then check to see if the riggers still interrupt them. I agree with Ben that it sounds like you're light on power. The 20' plus you have a length from the battery to the fuse box and it might be not quite enough. Plus you may be using other current to other things from the fuse box. I'd at least bump up the available current to the fuse box with heavier wire and shorten the runs to the riggers if possible.

Not an electrician so just my thoughts

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your problem sounds like a week ground to me, but I'm not an expert

Ive rewired all three of the boats I have owned, here is what I have found works best.

I like the blue sea systems fuse blocks, mount one in the back, if needed one in front. the auto style blade fuses are easy to find and having them all in one place is nice for troubleshooting

power and ground to stern fuse block is big gauge, I'm running canon mag 20 downriggers which have a 30 amp fuse each so I have 4 gauge running from my battery switch to the fuse block. if you don't have a battery switch it can be ran directly to the battery.

those fuse blocks can handle 120 amp total draw, so you would be able to run your spreaders from it as well, check the current draw rating on them and run appropriate gauge wire from there. I have 10 gauge to mine, but that's actually a little overkill as mine are a low draw LED style.

I have another of the fuse blocks ran up front with 8 gauge and run my gps, vhf, 12v plug, and auto pilot from that one. still have a dedicated line directly to battery for the sonar, and can isolate that battery with the switch for when I'm looking for max clarity on the sonar (only really worry about that when looking for perch on the bottom or in very deep water)

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My boat has the batteries in the center console. To avoid multiple heavy gauge wire runs to the downriggers I have one heavy gauge wire (4 Ga) running to a pair of distribution posts the stern. From the two posts (+ & -) I then have 10 Ga wire going to the rigger outlets. I also have 30a resettable circuit breakers between the posts and the wires going to the outlets. The single run of 4Ga is a lot cheaper than 4 runs of 8Ga that the length of the runs would require and my main run is about 12', not the 20 you need.

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I am not an electrician but I do some electrical work in the HVAC field.

I agree with two statements above.

1. I believe the wire gauge is too lite for the load.

2. I also believe you have a grounding issue as well.

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