through-deck mast plug installation - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-29-2009 Thread Starter
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through-deck mast plug installation

Hi everyone,

I have an Aqual Signal Waterproof Plug Connector that I plan to use for the mast light connections.

The problem is that the screws to mount it are really tiny, 4 of them, surrounding a larger hole that the wires pass through. There's a rubber gasket on the bottom of the plug that gets pressed against the deck to keep water out.

How do I go about sealing this so water doesn't intrude into the core? The big wire holes, I can route out the core between the skins around the hole and fill with thickened epoxy. I'll chamfer the edge of the hole as well, although it seems pointless since the plug won't be putting any pressure around the hole to squeeze any sealant into the chamfered area.

The 4 tiny screws are a bigger problem, do I drill out & fill with epoxy, and then drill small pilot holes halfway thru, chamfer & just screw into the epoxy itself?

Finally what's a good sealant for this? Presumably the sealant goes between rubber gasket & tiny screws. Would I load up the hole the wires go through with sealant as well?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-29-2009
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LFC—

In theory, you shouldn't need a sealant, since the gasket should act to seal the connection. I'll be back down in the south coast area later this week, and can take a look at it for ya.... give me a shout on my cell or PM with when you'll be down there.

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-29-2009
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Same connector

I picked up the same connector (Defender.com - 29.95) I was looking how to seal it this weekend also. I am leaning towards 4200, both as a sealant in the deck hole and some on both sides of the gasket. Additionally, putting some on to each screw. 4200 would also serve as an adhesive to help the screws hold everything in place.

In the deck hole, I would smear it around the inside of the hole, allow to dry for a day or so, to seal the core material. After the connector is mounted on top, I can still access the hole through the cabin. I may fill the bottom of the hole with silicone with the wires running through it. I can then tape it closed until the silicone fully cures.

I know there are more complex ways of doing this but you have to balance what will effectively work vs how much time and trouble you want to invest.

I look forward to other thoughts.




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Originally Posted by LookingForCruiser View Post
Hi everyone,

I have an Aqual Signal Waterproof Plug Connector that I plan to use for the mast light connections.

The problem is that the screws to mount it are really tiny, 4 of them, surrounding a larger hole that the wires pass through. There's a rubber gasket on the bottom of the plug that gets pressed against the deck to keep water out.

How do I go about sealing this so water doesn't intrude into the core? The big wire holes, I can route out the core between the skins around the hole and fill with thickened epoxy. I'll chamfer the edge of the hole as well, although it seems pointless since the plug won't be putting any pressure around the hole to squeeze any sealant into the chamfered area.

The 4 tiny screws are a bigger problem, do I drill out & fill with epoxy, and then drill small pilot holes halfway thru, chamfer & just screw into the epoxy itself?

Finally what's a good sealant for this? Presumably the sealant goes between rubber gasket & tiny screws. Would I load up the hole the wires go through with sealant as well?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-30-2009
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The problem I see with using 4200 or some other adhesive sealant is that they can make adjusting or removing and re-installing the piece very difficult. Also, some plastics can be attacked by the solvents used in the PU-base sealants.

The reason the fitting comes with a gasket is so that you don't have to load the hole up with sealant, which makes future maintenance and wire installation/removal almost impossible.

Sailingdog

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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #5 of 6 Old 07-08-2009 Thread Starter
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So I've got everything drilled out, routed out, filled with epoxy, ready for re-drilling and actually attaching the plug.

I emailed Aqua-Signal on how they would do it, and got this reply:

"I would use a sealant like a 3M 5200 for the screw holes only. This is only to protect your deck from water intrusion/absorption."

Well I'm loath to use 5200 anywhere on my boat, that stuff is horrendous. I'm not happy at relying on that rubber gasket though - it would effectively prevent water from migrating through the main wire hole, but what about wicking down the screws themselves? If I through-bolt, that water would get into the cabin, and if I just screw in, I don't know if I'll put enough pressure on the gasket. Or do you think through-bolting would press rubber against the screw enough to prevent water entry?
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-08-2009
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Pat—

If you're worried about the screws wicking water down below, put a tiny bit of butyl tape on them. However, IMHO, if they're not sitting in a puddle of water, then the risk of any significant amount of water wicking down the threads of the four tiny screws is very unlikely.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 07-08-2009 at 06:41 PM.
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