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Old 03-30-2010
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Ok, I have said this before and will say it again: do not solder on boats, people.

B oat are not houses. They vibrate. The vibration works a crack in the solder. The crack causes heat (and corrosion if not heat shrinked). The heat causes more resistance. The resistance causes more heat... and it turn into a vicious cycle.

I posted a lot of pics on Sailnet about 2 years ago as we pulled a lot of wiring off of dads boat (a tayana 42). Tayana makes very good boats, but the previous owner was a firm believer in solder. All of the solder joints, especially those outside of the cabin, were either corroded, failed, or on the way to failing. THe wires on those showed heat failure on the wires and the casing.

None, zero, zilch of the Tayana original crimps showed failure, though the ones on the outside (none of it was tinned wire) showed corrosion on the copper wire. Also of interest was that none of the copper (again non-tinned) wire on the interior showed corrosion unless it was soldered.

Crimp everything. Heat shirink the areas that are exposed to sea spray. Use tinned wire everywhere - though I personally believe you do not have to down below in protected areas. I think it verges on a waste of money down below as none of it showed corrosion after 20 years. If you use non-tinned wire on the outside in a salty environment, it will corrode. If you solder anywhere on the boat, it will fail, eventually.

I am not trying to act like an expert on this. I am not. But I have owned and been on enough boats over the years to give you a factual account and real life experiences. Ande as I mentioned above, and I know this drives Mainesail an dothers crazy, but I am not convinced you have to use tinned wire down below in most applications (bilge areas and wet areas the exception). We noticed no difference between the two.

My thoughts...

Brian
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1987 Tayana Vancouver 42, Credendo Vides, (Mom and Pops boat, F/T Mobile Live Aboards in Puget Sound)

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