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Minnesail 04-29-2019 07:21 PM

Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
This article in Practical Sailor says that as long as your crimps are watertight you don't need to use tinned wire.

It also says:
Quote:

the vast majority of production boat builders still use un-tinned wire in their electrical systems
Is this true, do boats come from the factory with automotive wire?

What do you all use?


Tinned Wire Myth Busted

boatpoker 04-29-2019 07:40 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnesail (Post 2051599136)
This article in Practical Sailor says that as long as your crimps are watertight you don't need to use tinned wire.

It also says:


Is this true, do boats come from the factory with automotive wire?

What do you all use?


Tinned Wire Myth Busted

every wire is exposed at the end. Ring terminal, spade connector etc. Corrosion can (will) creep up the conductor from there. How important is corrosion resistance to you. Me ..... i'll happily pay the extra for tinned and do the job only once.

pdqaltair 04-29-2019 07:41 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnesail (Post 2051599136)
This article in Practical Sailor says that as long as your crimps are watertight you don't need to use tinned wire.

It also says:


Is this true, do boats come from the factory with automotive wire?

What do you all use?


Tinned Wire Myth Busted

a. The crimps won't fail if they are tight. That was the real point. Tin won't help if they aren't. Use ratchet crimpers and adjust them to the wire. However, if you try to repair the wiring, you may find corrosion up under the insulation unless it was very well sealed.
b. USCG does not require tinned wire. ABYC does, but it is a voluntary standard.
c. Your should REALLY try to keep wiring away from moisture, particualry salt water. Even tin won't help if the exposure is chronic.
d. The source article and testing referred to THHN wire only, which is more coarse stranded than SAE automotive wire. This makes a difference. Non-tinned SAE wire, required on high vibration applications, like engines, does not hold up very well.
e. It depends on where in the boat we are talking. In the bilge or to exterior lighting, tinned wire is a bargain. But if the area around your main panel and in the cabin is so damp that there is a difference, you have problems. A lot of things will fail. Yes, many of the appliances in a boat are pretty much household inside. The AC unit or heater, for example, will use all non-tinned wire internally and non-waterproof components. Except for bilge pumps, this is quite common.

The smart answer is to use tinned wire, but don't buy it at the chandlery:wink. They kill you. Buy a full spools of several colors and gauges on-line and figure it will last for years. And buy name brand tinned crimp fittings.

pdqaltair 04-29-2019 07:45 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatpoker (Post 2051599144)
every wire is exposed at the end. Ring terminal, spade connector etc. Corrosion can (will) creep up the conductor from there. How important is corrosion resistance to you. Me ..... i'll happily pay the extra for tinned and do the job only once.

And the problem isn't just the wire! It looks like a lot of plain steel parts. The screws need to be stainless and the terminal strips and buss bars should be tinned copper, even if the wire is not tinned. It's more critical.

The other thing that helps is a smear of waterproof grease. Keeps the water out.

john61ct 04-29-2019 07:45 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
And use the right crimper for the fitting

colemj 04-29-2019 07:56 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
I agree to some extent that tinned wire is not necessary. Pretty much all European and South Africa boats use untinned wire.

We presently own two boats - one with tinned wire since build in 1998, and the other with untinned wire since build in 2005.

The 1998 boat has no wire corrosion or connection issues at all. Surprisingly, it also has almost no heat shrink terminals or covering on any of it. Even butt joins. When I do need to remove and reinstall a terminal or butt connector for whatever reason, the wire has always been in good shape. At worst, in the wet anchor or deck locker, I have had to cut back an inch or two to get good wire.

The 2005 boat has a lot of corrosion at connectors. Even the sealed ones. It doesn't take much to breach a sealed connection, and end connectors (ring terminals, etc) are almost impossible to seal fully. I am changing a lot of the terminals and wiring for other reasons, and in the driest places, when I remove a terminal the ends have a lot of black on them. Probably 50% of the strands are black. I usually need to cut the wire back several inches to find non-black strands, or at least only 20% black strands. In the wet areas, like the anchor and deck lockers, things are much worse. I have had to cut feet off wires to find shiny wire. In fact, I am rewiring all of these wetter areas just because I'm finding so much wire corrosion. Most of these have heat shrink terminals and tubing on them.

Having said all of that, I still don't think tinned wire is the end-all and be-all of boat wire, and that good untinned marine wire is fine. I would probably always use tinned in wet areas, but then none of the bilge pumps, switches, shower sumps, holding tank pumps, etc that I buy have tinned wire on them. So using tinned wire on these is not helping anything.

In the US, there really isn't many choices for suitable marine untinned wire. I think that is why it gets such a bad rap - people are using unsuitable or cheap wire and not differentiating between applications. I suspect the costs are similar for good untinned wire and tinned wire.

Mark

boatpoker 04-29-2019 08:02 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 2051599146)
b. USCG does not require tinned wire. ABYC does

ABYC does not require tinned wire.

Don L 04-29-2019 08:33 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnesail (Post 2051599136)
This article in Practical Sailor says that as long as your crimps are watertight you don't need to use tinned wire.

It also says:


Is this true, do boats come from the factory with automotive wire?

What do you all use?


Tinned Wire Myth Busted

I don't worry about tinned wire and fee the connection is more important.

I my mind wires cars in the NE and other snow areas see a lot more corrosion conditions than the inside of my boat.

paulinnanaimo 04-29-2019 08:56 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
I respect boatpoker's opinion on these matters and I'm staying out of the debate. However, in this case, I think his photos are very misleading; those awful connections would not be any better if tinned wire had been used.

skipmac 04-29-2019 09:20 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Don't think it is necessary. I have a 35 year old boat and none of the original wire is tinned. I've replaced a lot of the lights, pumps and other boat bits and only found one wire that showed corrosion. That being said, when I add new wire I always use tinned wire.... well almost always.

boatpoker 04-29-2019 09:46 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by paulinnanaimo (Post 2051599172)
I respect boatpoker's opinion on these matters and I'm staying out of the debate. However, in this case, I think his photos are very misleading; those awful connections would not be any better if tinned wire had been used.

The point I was trying to make was that corrosion creeps. It will creep and do more damage to non-tinned than tinned.

colemj 04-29-2019 10:28 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
I don't see anything in those pictures that has anything to do with the wire itself, and no sign of wire corrosion - or even what type of wire is being used. They really don't have anything to do with the tin/non tin discussion.

Mark

boatpoker 04-29-2019 10:34 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colemj (Post 2051599184)
I don't see anything in those pictures that has anything to do with the wire itself, and no sign of wire corrosion - or even what type of wire is being used. They really don't have anything to do with the tin/non tin discussion.

Mark

Wow, I thought my point was simple and clear. I guess not.
You win.

jephotog 04-29-2019 10:35 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
When I rewired my old boat a 74 Ericson. I found so much corrosion in the old wires. So when i did the rewire I did everything up the highest standard I could, knowing the wiring would outlive the boat. It seems the real cost of a rewiring job is in the labor whether you are paying someone to do it or not paying yourself to do it. Why take any shortcuts?

pdqaltair 04-30-2019 12:39 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colemj (Post 2051599156)
... In the US, there really isn't many choices for suitable marine untinned wire. I think that is why it gets such a bad rap - people are using unsuitable or cheap wire and not differentiating between applications. I suspect the costs are similar for good untinned wire and tinned wire.

Mark

Stranded THHN wire is the most common industrial wire in the US and is stocked by Home Depot, Lowes, and every electrical supply house. It is what is pulled through conduit. People may not know to look for it.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwir...5858/203401697

boatpoker 04-30-2019 01:52 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 2051599202)
Stranded THHN wire is the most common industrial wire in the US and is stocked by Home Depot, Lowes, and every electrical supply house. It is what is pulled through conduit. People may not know to look for it.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwir...5858/203401697

ABYC standards cover much more than what has been discussed here, wire type, strand size, oil resistance of the insulation, temperature rating and voltage loss among others. I don't know if Home Depot conductors would meet those requirements.

Of course many have no use for ABYC Standards. To each his own.

celenoglu 04-30-2019 02:31 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
The cover of wire is osmotic. If you pass the wire from the bilge, water will osmotically pass to the wire and cause crevice corrosion. It is best to use tinned wire.

colemj 04-30-2019 08:27 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 2051599202)
Stranded THHN wire is the most common industrial wire in the US and is stocked by Home Depot, Lowes, and every electrical supply house. It is what is pulled through conduit. People may not know to look for it.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwir...5858/203401697

Here is HD's price for 100' of THHN - $28.37: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwir...5884/204868304

Here is 100' of tinned marine wire - $27.50: 12 AWG Primary Wire Marine Grade Tinned Copper Black 100 ft

Going with untinned wire in the US is not for cost reasons. Outside the US, it most likely is. I suspect anyone using untinned wire in the US, and having problems with it, is using cheaper stuff than THHN.

Mark

colemj 04-30-2019 08:33 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by celenoglu (Post 2051599210)
The cover of wire is osmotic. If you pass the wire from the bilge, water will osmotically pass to the wire and cause crevice corrosion. It is best to use tinned wire.

I'm pretty sure this is not true. At least not on less than glacial time scales. Likely, any issue with water will be one of wicking from a penetration, and not osmosis. Could you point to a reference regarding this? If osmosis and crevice corrosion is a concern with marine wire, tinned wire won't prevent it.

Mark

hpeer 04-30-2019 08:58 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
My 2006 Yanmar wiring harness has untinned wire.

What about the engine in your boat?

MarkofSeaLife 04-30-2019 09:00 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Re-ran a bit of wire yesterday. Had the choice in my cupboard of tinned or untinned.

The run was from the bow nav lights through the anchor locker and into the forrard head connecting under the sink.

I went tinned :grin :grin :grin

RegisteredUser 04-30-2019 09:04 AM

Id rather repair sewer lines than run wiring in a boat

Don L 04-30-2019 09:06 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
And there there's the cruisers. When you need to replace a wire you have to use what is available. But I've personally never had to replace a wire, just a fitting on it. Unfortunately replacing a terminal lots of times becomes splicing in a new section of wire. I bet the cost of all the spare wire on the boat in my electrical bag is like $50. But the cost of the wire terminals etc. in the bag is at least $300.

Now I do run wires for new equipment on the boat. I think I tend to get that wire from a marine store just because there's one near me when I decide to do it. I also tend to oversize the wire.

SanderO 04-30-2019 09:57 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
My OEM wiring is not tinned as the boat was made in Holland. Some of the smaller gauges show corrosion... I discover this when I might want to replace a pump for example. So I simply change the wire to tinned... especially since there is not enough length to cut back to the shiny non corroded wire. I maintain several spools in different gauges and colors for this purpose. The entire main 12v wiring from the batts to the busses was all changed to tinned wiring when I upgraded the batteries.

I assume that corroded wire connections offer more resistance/less current or lower voltage will pass. Most of the loads are low enough that there is no danger of fire from heat. But 110v is another story.

colemj 04-30-2019 10:03 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hpeer (Post 2051599242)
My 2006 Yanmar wiring harness has untinned wire.

What about the engine in your boat?

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of things on boats with untinned wire. I just replaced a brand-name bilge pump, a brand-name switch, and installed an expensive brand-name shower sump pump, and a waste pump. All of these are in wet places, and none of them came with tinned wire. In these cases, using tinned wire runs to them doesn't help much. Put the money into quality connectors and adhesive heat shrink instead.

Mark

colemj 04-30-2019 10:05 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RegisteredUser (Post 2051599246)
Id rather repair sewer lines than run wiring in a boat

Having done both of these things in the past week, I disagree. Personal preference, of course.

Mark

Captain Canuck 04-30-2019 11:50 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
I've recently ripped out a significant percentage of the wiring in my boat for the electric motor conversion. Not a bit of it was tinned. However, some of it was so well wrapped that even at 25 years of age in a marine environment it still was free of damage, and my multimeter showed it was still well within spec.

The worst cables were corroded, but not so badly that they failed to work. I didn't find a single cable that wasn't well crimped. Whoever was in charge of wiring my Hunter originally definitely had an eye for detail.

boatpoker 04-30-2019 12:37 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Canuck (Post 2051599284)
my multimeter showed it was still well within spec.

How are you checking that with a multi-meter ?

If you are checking resistance by ohms, one intact strand can show 0.0ohms.

Minnesail 04-30-2019 12:43 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
My boat is only 22í and doesnít have a lot of systems, so there insít much wiring and the runs are short. The cost of the wire is negligible compared to the cost of fittings and the time consumed, so Iíve been using oversized tinned wire for everything Iíve replaced. Iím sure the wiring will outlive the boat, but thatís the case with most of the repairs Iíve done (like a bronze seacock on a 22í boat that will never see saltwater).

pdqaltair 04-30-2019 01:53 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatpoker (Post 2051599206)
ABYC standards cover much more than what has been discussed here, wire type, strand size, oil resistance of the insulation, temperature rating and voltage loss among others. I don't know if Home Depot conductors would meet those requirements.

Of course many have no use for ABYC Standards. To each his own.

Home Depot standards? Oh, for heavens sake. I'm guessing you ave no use for UL or ISO.

This is industrial wire from Southwire, which meets UL and ISO standards. It carries a second jacket to protect it from damage during pulling, is extremely oil resistant and heat resistant, and is used in refinery and steel mill applications you can't imagine.

This is apparently outside of your experience. It is common on ships.

pdqaltair 04-30-2019 02:04 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colemj (Post 2051599230)
... I suspect anyone using untinned wire in the US, and having problems with it, is using cheaper stuff than THHN.

Mark

That's the thing. The article ONLY referenced THHN, and the title was misleading. I've seen lamp cord and finely stranded non-tinned wire that was chewed up.

By the way, tinned is not perfect. I should have taken pictures. I was working in a refinery a few weeks ago, opened and old instrument (mercury switch) and found the tinned (marine) wire leads had been eaten back 2 inches by fumes that had leaked past a failed seal. The wire and the insulation were not damamged, they were gone. The THHN wire they were attached to with a wire nuts was still fine and I attached new instruments. It seems the fine strands have a lot more surface area and couldn't take it. I have never seen THHN wire fail in that way. And this is why the USCG approves it. But not just any wire.

And as you pointed out, it's not cheaper. You pay for quality.

Just sayin'.

Scotty C-M 04-30-2019 02:11 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
I recently did a lot of work in my son's bilge. He has a Mako 22' sport boat. I rewired the bilge pump and the aerator pumps (for the bait wells). The untinned wire showed a lot of discoloration. I did the re-wiring with tinned wire. I better get a lot of fresh fish!! (Yes, my son is very generous!!)

boatpoker 04-30-2019 02:18 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 2051599302)
Home Depot standards? Oh, for heavens sake. I'm guessing you ave no use for UL or ISO.

This is industrial wire from Southwire, which meets UL and ISO standards. It carries a second jacket to protect it from damage during pulling, is extremely oil resistant and heat resistant, and is used in refinery and steel mill applications you can't imagine.

This is apparently outside of your experience. It is common on ships.

Actually ABYC Standards are based on NEMA, ANS, NFPA, SAE and UL. These are mentioned right in their standard.
The difference is that ABYC uses the marine version of those Standards. Now if you can convince me that Home Depot also uses the marine versions I'll happily buy my conductors there.

Captain Canuck 04-30-2019 02:20 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatpoker (Post 2051599290)
How are you checking that with a multi-meter ?

If you are checking resistance by ohms, one intact strand can show 0.0ohms.

My Multi has a clamp. I ran power through the 00 cable to see if it was still good after the continuity test. The input amperage matched what the multi was telling me right up to the cut-off of 180A, so I assume the cable is still good.

Now that I think about it, I should have done a temperature test at the same time to make sure the cable wasn't heating up under load. I'll check that when I finish wiring the batteries into the boat.

Minnewaska 04-30-2019 02:23 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 2051599302)
Home Depot standards? Oh, for heavens sake. I'm guessing you ave no use for UL or ISO.....

Having a bad day? BoatPoker said "I don't know if Home Depot conductors would meet those requirements." He did not say they didn't.

boatpoker 04-30-2019 05:07 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 2051599306)
I have never seen THHN wire fail in that way. And this is why the USCG approves it. But not just any wire.

And as you pointed out, it's not cheaper. You pay for quality.

Just sayin'.

Ok, Your post #3 proves you have never read the ABYC Standards .... You stated they required tinned wire..... they don't

This post proves you have not read the US Regulations as they are laid out in Code of Federal Regulations Title 33 and 46 not in any USCG regulations. Neither these regulations nor USCG "approves" any wire.

If you have a citation that states otherwise please show it.

Don L 04-30-2019 05:29 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
It's 1 leg ass kicking contest time. Got get them fellas.

boatpoker 04-30-2019 06:04 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don0190 (Post 2051599340)
It's 1 leg ass kicking contest time. Got get them fellas.

Just the Facts Mam. :)

Don L 04-30-2019 06:43 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
This is the City.....................


even for me this is a old one

and before the mods get into it (you hear me Mark) it's about being stiff, like a wire, and that's on topic

:captain::pirateraft::spam

pdqaltair 04-30-2019 08:18 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatpoker (Post 2051599338)
Ok, Your post #3 proves you have never read the ABYC Standards .... You stated they required tinned wire..... they don't

This post proves you have not read the US Regulations as they are laid out in Code of Federal Regulations Title 33 and 46 not in any USCG regulations. Neither these regulations nor USCG "approves" any wire.

If you have a citation that states otherwise please show it.

The wire I posted is dual rated as THHN/THWN and is listed as an acceptable classification in 183.430.

I simply responded to the OP's question and am not interesting in a pissing contest.

boatpoker 04-30-2019 08:31 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 2051599376)
The wire I posted is dual rated as THHN/THWN and is listed as an acceptable classification in 183.430.

I simply responded to the OP's question and am not interesting in a pissing contest.

183.430 is a requirement for marine conductors to meet SAEJ378 and SAEJ1128.It is NOT an approval of THHN/THWN and it is not listed there nor anywhere else in Sub part 1.

Now if you can show that THHN/THWN do meet SAE1128 and SAEJ378 you are on to something.

pdqaltair 04-30-2019 08:41 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatpoker (Post 2051599378)
183.430 is a requirement for marine conductors to meet SAEJ378 and SAEJ1128.It is NOT an approval of THHN/THWN and it is not listed there.

Now if you can show that THHN/THWN do meet SAE1128 and SAEJ378 you are on to something.

This is from a USCG publication:
This section allows alternate choices of conductor requirements for circuits less than 50 volts.Conductors for circuits less than 50 volts may be used if they:(a) meet the requirements of SAE J1127 “Battery Cable” or SAE J1128 “Low Tension PrimaryCable” and the insulating material temperature rating requirements of SAE J378 “MarineEngine Wiring” such as those designated:GPT, HDT, SGT, STS, HTS, and SXL, or(b) are classified as moisture resistant and flame retardant in Article 310 of the NationalElectrical Code, such as those designated:THW, TW, THWN, XHHW, MTS, or

I'm sure I could be wrong, but this seems clear.

john61ct 04-30-2019 08:43 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
So to reduce the ad hominem background static,

could those who would not consider using home-style wires on a boat,

but do **not** think stringent marine standards ABYC nor tinned wires are important,

please specify what you **do** consider accepta ble,

Don L 04-30-2019 09:32 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Someone got kicked in the ass, but the person doing it fell over in the process and landed on their back knocking themself out.

Hard to tell who ďwonĒ

colemj 04-30-2019 10:02 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by john61ct (Post 2051599384)
So to reduce the ad hominem background static,

could those who would not consider using home-style wires on a boat,

but do **not** think stringent marine standards ABYC nor tinned wires are important,

please specify what you **do** consider accepta ble,

Anything that gets the job done for another few years when your choices are limited to whatever is lying around in an old shed on a small island.

Surprisingly, tinned welding wire is available in the most unlikely out-of-the-way places (and inexpensive). I have literally found this for sale in grass huts. I have had very good luck using this for battery cables and other high-current usage. Enough so that I question why I ever do buy expensive marine battery cables.

Nobody prat on about thin strands, etc - I've had years of experience with this stuff and am no longer listening. Even though my recent purchase of battery cable was Anchor tinned 4/0.

Also surprising is just how long really bad wire will function well if a bit of thought goes into its installation. I swear I could get cheap lamp zip cord to last 10yrs in a wet bilge.

Mark

boatpoker 05-01-2019 12:03 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
For anyone interested in the facts here are the references required by Law in the US.
None of these support the position of the other poster.

Code of Federal Regulations Title 33, Sub Part 1, 183.430 (which has no list of "approved" products)
As required by CFR Title 33 SAE J378
As required by CFR Tirle 33 SAE J1127
As required by CFR Tirle 33 SAE J1128

And of course ABYC E-11 which is voluntary and does not require tinned conductors.

All of these are available online for anyone who is interested.

pdqaltair 05-01-2019 12:26 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatpoker (Post 2051599410)
For anyone interested in the facts here are the references required by Law in the US.
None of these support the position of the other poster.

Code of Federal Regulations Title 33, Sub Part 1, 183.430 (which has no list of "approved" products)
As required by CFR Title 33 SAE J378
As required by CFR Tirle 33 SAE J1127
As required by CFR Tirle 33 SAE J1128

And of course ABYC E-11 which is voluntary and does not require tinned conductors.

All of these are available online for anyone who is interested.

183.435Conductors in Circuits of 50 Volts or More.(a) Each conductor in a circuit that has a nominal voltage of 50 volts or more must be:(1) A conductor that has insulation listed and classified as moisture resistant and flame retardant in Article 310, NFPA No. 70, National Electric Code; or

THWN is one of the permitted alternate conductors in article 310.

Without question, it's convoluted. I've followed the path as best I can.

makobuilders 05-01-2019 12:51 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Those photos that Boatpoker pasted at the beginning of this thread are obviously showing neglect by the owner. I think some preventive maintenance such as liberally applying dielectric grease (or good ole Vaseline) would help. I had a custom boat build here in the Persian Gulf and even in this highly corrosive atmosphere, my cheap wiring help up great. I love D-grease almost as much as JB Weld!

ReefMagnet 05-01-2019 10:19 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
When I rewired my 30+ year old boar recently, the original wiring looked like figure 8 lamp cord. All still worked, but some was horribly corroded for a considerable difference from the ends whereas others were as pristine as the day they were installed. The thing with this old wiring though, was the insulation. It was as tough as nails (and not as in hardened with age) compared to the new stuff, of which some has such soft insulation I am actually cautious in using it in locations where even the remotest chance of chafe is possible.

Anyway, I digress. I was so impressed with some of the original wiring that I repurposed it and used dual core, double sheathed tinned wire of various capacities for the majority of the rest of the wiring. However, I do notice, as was mentioned earlier, that engine wiring - even outboards - is untinned and so is most likely all electronic's wires including some which are incredibly thin. With this in mind, I had no hesitation in running standard un-tinned automotive wiring (including trailer multicore!) when I needed colours other than the standard red black/white or wanted to run a multicored wire. I figure it will last 20 years inside the boat.

I tried to use waterproof crimp connectors, but with hundreds to do, I ended up just using the regular style for most connections with occasional heat shrink (which I think can be a double edged sword). Multi pin connectors and stuff with potential exposure to water were coated with either silicon or lanolin grease. All wires going to the outside of the boat are tinned, and connectors used externally are waterproof automotive types pumped with silicon grease for added protection. I even coat the MC4 solar panel connectors in silicon grease for protection, too.

So in summary, horses for courses. Some locations are not going to be a problem with corrosion and others are. The problem areas would be those connecting to exterior devices or those in runs that would make "servicing sewer pipes" preferable.

riggy001 05-10-2019 12:53 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Screw government regulations! Those are unconstitutional, but that is a topic for a different group. Ray's Regulation 104.27.173.225 (my website, personalprotection-usa.com) says "bare copper wire exposed to salt air will eventually turn green. Solder will not.

Use your best judgement as to exposure and either tin your tips or don't. I would. It can never hurt, and flux core solder is dirt cheap.

S/V Sperantza - 1973 Columbia 41 CC

john61ct 05-10-2019 02:07 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
No one's talking about "tinning" anything ourselves, but purchasing boat wire that's already been tinned along the whole length each strand as part of the manufacturing.

Doesn't even cost more per foot than the same grade cable untinned.

And forget solder full stop, proper milspec crimping shop here. . .

SeanM26 05-10-2019 02:50 AM

So twisted lamp cord wrapped in duct tape is bad...

colemj 05-10-2019 08:30 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by riggy001 (Post 2051601046)
Use your best judgement as to exposure and either tin your tips or don't. I would. It can never hurt, and flux core solder is dirt cheap.

Actually, tinning tips can be harmful. I recently installed a few pieces of gear where a trimmed wire end is inserted into a clamp terminal and the terminal tightened down on the wire end. In all cases, the instructions had a separate warning section in bold type that said DO NOT TIN THE WIRE ENDS.

Besides, what good is tinning the tips if the rest of the wire can corrode?

Mark

pdqaltair 05-10-2019 09:52 AM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colemj (Post 2051601070)
Actually, tinning tips can be harmful. I recently installed a few pieces of gear where a trimmed wire end is inserted into a clamp terminal and the terminal tightened down on the wire end. In all cases, the instructions had a separate warning section in bold type that said DO NOT TIN THE WIRE ENDS.

Besides, what good is tinning the tips if the rest of the wire can corrode?

Mark

The specific problem they are referring to is that with certain terminal types, the solder can soften with vibration and repeated heating/cooling, causing the connection to loosen. Thus the common admonition to not tin wire ends. This is quite distinct from using tinned wire, which is good practice.

SeanM26 05-10-2019 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by colemj (Post 2051601070)
Quote:

Originally Posted by riggy001 (Post 2051601046)
Use your best judgement as to exposure and either tin your tips or don't. I would. It can never hurt, and flux core solder is dirt cheap.

Actually, tinning tips can be harmful. I recently installed a few pieces of gear where a trimmed wire end is inserted into a clamp terminal and the terminal tightened down on the wire end. In all cases, the instructions had a separate warning section in bold type that said DO NOT TIN THE WIRE ENDS.

Besides, what good is tinning the tips if the rest of the wire can corrode?

Mark

A properly crimped connection actually creates a metal-metal colloidal bond at the surface between the wire and the terminal. If you tin the end that will connected you prevent the strands from arranging themselves correctly and from actually contacting the connector directly.

svinshallah 05-11-2019 03:41 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
With ABYC screw-down connections, there is supposed to be a small plate in the connector that the screws tights on. The plate then compresses the wire. If you tin the end of the wire, it becomes solid which prevents the plate from compressing the wire. Iíve occasionally ďbunch tinnedĒ about 1/16Ē on the very end of small wires to make sure that I donít get loose strands pushed back when the wire is inserted. With most types of mechanical connections, soldering only makes things worse.

Minnesail 05-13-2019 12:40 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
It is my understanding that you really shouldn't solder anything on a boat. If you feel like you're getting loose strands aren't you doing something wrong?

Anyway, we're talking about tinned wire. Nothing to do with solder.

svinshallah 05-13-2019 01:04 PM

Re: Is tinned boat wire necessary?
 
In general, Iím in agreement with Minnesail: itís almost always better to do a proper crimp connection with the appropriate terminals and tools. But Colemj made a point about not using solder on the ends of wires that are inserted into screw-down terminal blocks. Heís right, you usually donít need or want it. My point was that sometimes, where itís difficult to see that there are no loose strands pushed out of the wire when itís inserted into a block, one can use a little bit of solder at the very end of the wire just to hold the strands together. Itís a sometimes-useful technique when you canít see to insert the wires.


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