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post #1 of 10 Old 06-03-2007 Thread Starter
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'quick snap' marine electrical connectors??

I'm faced with connecting the mast wiring to the boat wiring. The mast is deck stepped, but has a hole leading down through the compression post and out the bottom into the bilge, where it meets the boat wiring. I'm wondering if there is the equivalent of a 'quick snap' automobile electrical connector, so I can just solder the mast wiring onto one end, and the boat wiring onto the other, so when stepping/unstepping the mast I can just snap/unsnap them. A six pin or something would be nice so I could just have one connector for all of them.

The VHF cable is gonna be led outside the mast at the step and go down through the cabin roof via a screw on fitting as usual because I don't want to route the VHF all over the place, just wanna to straight to the unit.

After I get all these new holes drilled in the mast I'll be amazed if it stays standing, new rigging or not. lol.
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-03-2007 Thread Starter
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-03-2007
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I'm wondering if there is the equivalent of a 'quick snap' automobile electrical connector, so I can just solder the mast wiring onto one end, and the boat wiring onto the other, so when stepping/unstepping the mast I can just snap/unsnap them. A six pin or something would be nice so I could just have one connector for all of them.
If you are using decent wire there is no reason that you can't use that connector. It's sealed and will probably last as long as anything else. An awful lot of marine equipment is sold with regular connectors attached.

The one thing that you want to avoid in your wiring is using solid strand household stuff. The tinned marine wire is pretty well a necessity in salt water. In fresh water you can sometimes get away with multi-strand untinned copper in DRY locations if it is very well sealed.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-04-2007
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Three things:

1) Make sure you seal the connector-wire connection as thoroughly as possible.

2) Make sure you setup the strain relief properly and use a mechanical as well as a soldered connection for the wires.

3) Use a anti-corrosion spray on the contacts themselves, as I doubt that they're tinned, like marine-grade purpose-built connectors would be.

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post #5 of 10 Old 06-04-2007
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Dept. of Over-Engineering Dept.

You can even use the cobbled together, but thoroughly effective, method od enclosing the automotive connection in a plastic bag, taping it shut with good 'ol Scotch 88 electrical tape (good for under water) and then go totally over the top by coating the seal with Liquid Electrical tape. And you will still be able to tear open the bag for service or inspection with ease. This advanced, and highly sophisticated, method of joining your wires together is only recommended for the trained professional able to conceal his handi-work in the bilge. And tenuki, you qualify. After all, you're an AFOC-stand up straight, stick your chest out, man.

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post #6 of 10 Old 06-04-2007
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connectors

Since your connections will be above deck, note that the connectors you linked to are "sealed against moisture", not "Waterproof".

Here are a couple of alternatives you might consider.
Sure Seal Connectors Are Sealed Connectors
Geo-Marine®Interconnect Solutions Catalog - Glenair, Inc.

Both of them have 10 pin or more available. There are a lot of others on the market, so you should be able to find something that will really meet your need. A circular (cannon plug style) bulkhead connector to receive a mating plug from the mast wiring might be nice.

Not saying the plugs you mentioned wouldn't work, but these guys are rated to take immersion in salt water at 6 feet for 24 hours, plus exposure to gasoline, diesel fuel, and antifreeze. If you need more waterproof than that, you've got bigger problems on your mind than mast wiring.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-04-2007 Thread Starter
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sure seal looks like exactly what I need (except for the proprietary crimp tool, ?!?!), unfortunately I'm doing the work right now, gonna use a soldered trailer connector filled with dielectric silicon sealant. bah.

Last edited by tenuki; 06-04-2007 at 02:25 AM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-04-2007
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Probably not the best way, but I would use screw on terminals with a small screw block. Reason I'd do that is to count on corrosion happening and then not worry about it. When the terminal gets corroded enough that it has to be replaced, just snip the terminals off and solder new ones on and replace the block. Easy to fix while underway, accessible, easy enough to disconnect to unstep mast, etc.

*OR*

If stepping and unstepping only happened like 2 or 3 times a year I'd just solder the thing and cut it whenever I needed to unstep the mast. Then resolder it when I stepped the mast. I'd do that if it was less than about 10 wires, but obviously do something else if it was more than about 10 wires.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-04-2007
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Wind Magic-

That's not such a great idea... eventually you run out of wire to snip off. And don't even think about just soldering connections on a boat... not a good idea...especially if it is a high-amperage connection.

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post #10 of 10 Old 06-04-2007 Thread Starter
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10 watt steaming light is all that goes up there for now.
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