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Discussion Starter #1
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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Midwest Puddle Pirate
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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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Telstar 28
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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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Sea Slacker
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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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Telstar 28
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Exactly what I was talking about. :)
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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██▓▓▒▒░&
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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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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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Telstar 28
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Looks like an interesting solution, but you really should have something over the top lip of the tube to protect the cables from the metal edge. :)
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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It’s not obvious looking at the posted pictures but the edge on top of the tube is well rounded as you can see on this illustration.

 

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Telstar 28
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Thanks for clarifying.. that is a nice design. How much was it??

It’s not obvious looking at the posted pictures but the edge on top of the tube is well rounded as you can see on this illustration.

 

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Here's Nauticat's way of handling the Seldon mast wire exits with a similar "dorade box" type setup. I don't know who makes it though :eek:

 

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Sea Slacker
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It’s not obvious looking at the posted pictures but the edge on top of the tube is well rounded as you can see on this illustration.

This is the design I had on my boat before switching to the swan neck. It worked ok until water level around the mast got high enough (mostly when a big wave would come to visit, but also when pooling from rain and such). When that happened - it would leak a bit. (There was also a leak inside wire jacket which made it look worse than it is, but I found that one only after replacing the fitting :) ).
 

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This is the design I had on my boat before switching to the swan neck. It worked ok until water level around the mast got high enough (mostly when a big wave would come to visit, but also when pooling from rain and such). When that happened - it would leak a bit. (There was also a leak inside wire jacket which made it look worse than it is, but I found that one only after replacing the fitting :) ).
Perhaps putting neoprene foam (1/2") variety at the top of the cover would cover that. pressure of the foam against the wires when the cover is bolted down would compress around and at least slow down the water ingress, in this set-up....
 

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Sea Slacker
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Perhaps putting neoprene foam (1/2") variety at the top of the cover would cover that. pressure of the foam against the wires when the cover is bolted down would compress around and at least slow down the water ingress, in this set-up....
Actually, compression of wires was one of a reasons I replaced it. It did help to keep the water out but it was also breaking and chafing the wires at the point where they were pressed against the edge. It could probably be remedied with a smoother edge design too, but really swan neck seems like a more elegant solution to me.
 

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I used the Blue Sea Cable Clams for my 5 wire bundled cable and another one for my VHF coax. No leaks and i don't have to worry about green water or a hose nozzle washing the deck.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks to all for your input. You have certainly given me many good ideas to work with! It will probably not be done until mid-may, but I'll post pics of how it turns out. - r
 
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