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post #1 of 36 Old 04-02-2009 Thread Starter
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Through the Deck

Can anyone suggest a specific device to waterproof the wiring harness as it goes through the deck from the mast into the cabin? I don't really like the option of drilling a big hole and then trying to keep the water out with of some kind of pliable sealer. It seems to me that this would be a leak waiting to happen.

I will need a pass-thru approximately 3/4" in diameter. So far I have found the Blue Sea Cable Clam, but that seems to be designed for a single wire, as in VHF. Has anyone successfully used one for a multi-wire harness?

Also would be interested in a source for a waterproof wire connector that will work without external splices, as in an automotive trailer connector. I've found many on the web, all available in quantities of 100 or more. My boat is not that big ;-)

Sorry if this is redundant. I Google searched SailNet and found nothing. Thanks in advance for sharing your collective wisdom and experience. - r

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post #2 of 36 Old 04-02-2009
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These are from BlueSea Systems:


Link:CableClams - Blue Sea Systems

Depending on the number of wires - check Napa for harness connections or an computer supply store for power supply connections (cut and splice)...

Or just use a bus bar to connect...(simplest actually)

-- Jody

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post #3 of 36 Old 04-02-2009
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I had the same questions and concerns about 2 years ago before my first launch. I ended up going with a flat 4 trailer connector. You can buy these at any auto parts store. You should get a set with a male and female connector with a short length of wire on them. Also buy a small tube of silicone sealant such as permatex ultra black. Blue or clear are unacceptable. One end of the connector is a no brainer, just splice it to the wires on the mast. The other end was my big concern. I drilled a small hole in the cabin top and fed most of the wires through first. Then I shot silicone sealer into the hole with the wires making sure to get sealant all around each wire and in between the wires. I let the sealant set up overnight. Then simply splice your wires together inside.

I did this and haven't had any leaks or other problems for the last 2 years.


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post #4 of 36 Old 04-02-2009
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Why not use a standpipe with a u-trap at the top. That's probably the easiest way to run multiple wires through the deck and prevent water intrusion. A 1-1/2" pipe will handle a lot of cables fairly easily, and most connectors would fit through it as well.

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post #5 of 36 Old 04-02-2009
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I use a "swan neck" fitting. I had mine custom made, it really makes things easy and no water intrusion is possible.

Looks like this:


The tube projects for about 1" downward from the flange, which makes it sit pretty strongly in the deck.
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post #6 of 36 Old 04-02-2009
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Exactly what I was talking about.
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Originally Posted by brak View Post
I use a "swan neck" fitting. I had mine custom made, it really makes things easy and no water intrusion is possible.

Looks like this:


The tube projects for about 1" downward from the flange, which makes it sit pretty strongly in the deck.

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post #7 of 36 Old 04-02-2009
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Went through the same thing five years ago and found connectors from an outfit called Buccaneer (I may be misspelling that) sold through electronics houses--not chandleries. They'll take up to two dozen separate lines with reasonable power and come with o-ring sealed caps to cover them when disconnected. Your VHF can run separately with a "bulkhead" type dual-female extended connector simply glued into the deck with 5200 or epoxy, as you choose.

While they aren't common, connectors like this ARE used commercially and they ARE out there. Why the small craft business refuses to admit that, I just don't know.

You will need to solder each of your wires to a pin in the connector, the pins in turn are cast and sealed into place.
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post #8 of 36 Old 04-03-2009
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I've been using this one from Catalina Direct.
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post #9 of 36 Old 04-03-2009
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I use this solution called cableport.

I like this solution as it is easy to add more cables later and you can pass plugs through the opening.

Picture with top off


Picture with top mounted


Pictures from the producers web site found at Elvabro AB Marine
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post #10 of 36 Old 04-03-2009
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I'm considering this idea: Pearson Triton #381 Glissando | Stepping the Mast. Found a 1" stainless throughull with a hose barb end. Similar to the old gooseneck concept, but no risk of catching a line.
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