Crimping versus Soldering - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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  #21  
Old 02-15-2008
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Nutz!. I've been soldering connections on the last two boats figurin' I was going the extra mile. This thread is going to save me some time and grief.
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  #22  
Old 02-15-2008
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Sometimes, the easier, cheaper, simpler way to do things is also the right way to do things.
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  #23  
Old 02-15-2008
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Regarding this thread, it has actually been a while since this was dicsussed. Bringing up these topics periodically is good for discussion because it allows others that did not follow the thread at the time or were not members at the time to enter into the debate. That being said, although I don't mind another discourse on soldering versus crimping, it was not why I brought this up. It was to point out a very specific example of what happens to soldered connections on a boat. THis is a first hand, twenty year old "beta test", on the effects of soldering: it does not hold up and does not last. Given that many of the other connections were original crimps, and they did not fail, I can see no reason to solder on a boat and feel ABYC should change from not reccomending to soldering, to flat out rejecting it.

If I recall correctly, and I do not have the rules in front of me, I believe it says something like, "The use of soldered joints is not reccomended on any vessel..."

I feel it should say, "The use of soldered joints will NOT be used on any vessel..."

Maybe my boat is only one example and not conclusive in determining the long term effects of soldering, but given the other testimonials, I feel it sure does not play in the favor of soldering joints, under any circumstances.

I will also point out that, although we had corrosion on either side of the joints (which I would almost guess came from "super heating the copper", though I cannot be sure), the most serious corrosion actually came from the joints themselves. THe solder had hairline cracks which had corroded and made the joint poor. In some cases, this joint had failed alltogether an you could bend the connection at that break.

Regarding liquid tape:

I have used it. THe term black snot comes to mind. I have used it to fill the back side of lugs that I have crimped to seal them off from air/moisture (the part that, after you crimp, would face the lug after you heat shrink... not sure if I am describing it correctly). I have also used it to paint on the threads of terminal connections as a type of electrical locktite to slow/prevent nuts from easily backing off. I think it does have its uses. However, I do not think it is in any way a substitute for heat shrink, and I absolutely cringe any time I have to pull it out. It makes a horrible mess.

Just my experiences.

- CD
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2008
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Ah, come on CD. We both know that soldering can save 1/10th to 1/2 of an ounce over a proper crimped connection on each connection, and on a racing boat all those ounces add up and slow you down. So, they only last twenty years, by then it is an old tired racing boat ready for the glue factory anyway.[G]

Kinda like those double-layer Sailnet burgees. Great concept, but way too heavy to be flown on any competitive racer![VBG]
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HS—

We're talking about CD and Catalinas... they're so slow the additional weight doesn't matter.

CD—

BTW, the real corrosion problems are probably caused by the different metals that are used in the solder and galvanic issues between them, rather than the heating of the connection area.
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  #26  
Old 02-15-2008
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I'll share with you a non boat related (but solder splice related) story. A guy brought his beautiful street rod into my shop. The problem was that the fuel pump would shut down intermittently. When I was finally able to duplicate the problem, I traced it back to a connection that he had very carefully made with a solder joint. The car hadn't been together very long and had very few miles, so vibration hadn't killed it. The solder joint looked very good, the wires were all tight and the solder was smooth and shiney. Every now and then, the current flow would just stop. I replaced the joint with a good crimp connector (I use the ones with glue filled heat shrink built on) and the problem has never been back.

So even if you do a REALLY good job soldering, it's still not as good as a proper crimp connection.
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Old 02-15-2008
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I'm wondering...

What causes a vibration so large that electrical wires would break off at the solder joint? Internal engine (which I don't have so I'm not too familiar with its vibration)? Sailing to windward for long stretches? Stuff banging into the wires? Seems like wires breaking due to vibration would be A LOT of vibration. Just wondering, haven't experienced this yet.
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Thanks for all this info everyone!
I was tought as a kid to use a non acid core solder..heat shrink tube . used this on heavy trucks ,machienery and trailers .Every trailer I ever built for light systems ..ect!

I have to rewire my mast and go with led lights for up grade ..might as well do it once ..Thanks

Liquid tape > we use on the bottom of back packs to save the bottoms from getting worn out prematurly . works very good and just touch it up when its gets worn.
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  #29  
Old 02-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Ah, come on CD. We both know that soldering can save 1/10th to 1/2 of an ounce over a proper crimped connection on each connection, and on a racing boat all those ounces add up and slow you down. So, they only last twenty years, by then it is an old tired racing boat ready for the glue factory anyway.[G]

Kinda like those double-layer Sailnet burgees. Great concept, but way too heavy to be flown on any competitive racer![VBG]
HS,

You crazy solar-sticker (my new name for you), real racers don't use wire at all. THey prefer the little hat with red/greenlights on top!!
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  #30  
Old 02-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulesailor View Post
What causes a vibration so large that electrical wires would break off at the solder joint? Internal engine (which I don't have so I'm not too familiar with its vibration)? Sailing to windward for long stretches? Stuff banging into the wires? Seems like wires breaking due to vibration would be A LOT of vibration. Just wondering, haven't experienced this yet.
Boat in general vibrate. Even sitting at the slip with a strong wind whipping through the rigging will cause vibration. Start that crack-pot diesel (which is probably mounted right on the stringers, with or without rubber feet) and it REALLY vibrates. Multiply that times hours, days, years...

It is not something that will happen immediately. It happens over time. THese joints were between 10-20 years old. HOWEVER, that does not mean it took them 10-20 years to fail. They were likely already at the point of failure some time back. My guess is that they were already showing a lot of resistance and V/A drop. I suspect a nice storm offshore or anything else to put a good stress on the boat would have taken its toll on them. And incidentally, that is exactly when you DON'T want them to fail. All the more reason to crimp.

- CD
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