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drynoc 08-14-2006 08:19 AM

Through hulls
My boat has three sensing through hulls - two of the spinning type for a speed sensor (or the like - what else would there be?), and one of the other kind for a depth sounder. The problem is that all three of them have been disconnected by cutting the wires at the through hull. The through hulls appear to be some sort of wax like substance with the wire passed through the wax to a connector beneath. What are my options? Can the wax substance be removed to get at the connector with the boat in the water? Or do I have to haul and pull the whole thing? The boat is a 1980 Santana 35. None of the through hulls leak.

sailingdog 08-14-2006 09:17 AM

If you have the dummy plugs, it would probably be wise to pull the transducers, rather than try to repair them in situ. I don't know if the waxy substance can be removed without damaging the underlying electronics.

One thing you might want to do is see if there are replacement transducers available. Who made the instruments. Airmar makes many of the transducers, for several of the manufacturers.

hellosailor 08-14-2006 12:52 PM

Usually an instrument fitting in a throug-hull consists of a PLUG which is inserted into the through-hull and then secured down by a locking collar. You unscrew the locking collar and remove the whole instrument "head", and replace it with a dummy plug, when you want to pull the head and seal the hole.

If what you have doesn't have locking collars and doesn't come out...You may have a bozo job.

The wires coming out of those heads usually have had a sealant (could be wax but usually is a permanent sealant) poured in to keep bilge water out of them. They are not designed to be repaired, but if you can chew out the sealant (X-Acto knife or Dremel too) you can probably solder or crimp new wire to it. But I'd guess if the wires were cut, the instruments didn't work, and usually new instruments will come with (and often need) new senders. So you may do a lot of chewing out sealant then wiring and testing and finding out the old senders don't work anyway.

If it IS wax, you can soak them in a pot of scalding water and the water will usually melt and lift off. That will let water in...but if you are completely disassembling them, that won't matter, they can be dried out by pouring in a little alcohol, blowing them out, and letting the air dry.

camaraderie 08-14-2006 01:27 PM

Note...cutting the wire on a depth transducer and then attempting a re-splice will cause totally unreliable readings. My guess is that you need at least a whole new depth transducer & wire harness.

drynoc 08-14-2006 01:46 PM

Through hulls
Thanks for the replies. Each of the fittings does have the locking collar that you describe (a form of wing nut that is supposed to be hand tightened). I was looking into the possibility of repair since I am boating on a budget, but it is highly likely that the wires were cut for a reason. I'll probably have to dig up my wallet in the backyard and install new ones the next time I haul out.

Gary M 08-14-2006 01:47 PM

I am sure that when you boat in on dry land you will be able to unscrew the locking nut and remove the existing transducer and it's through hull. If the wires are cut you can bet it will not work.
You can get the receiver checked out and if it works possibly buy a new transducer assembly.

However speed and depth systems are not expensive and it is likely much simpler to just repalce them. Most through hulls are a standard 2 inch hole so it should be an easy change out.


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