If you own a boat, the odds are high that you’ve had to add, fix or replace some part of your boat wiring systems. If you have not, you’ve not owned your boat for very long.
Wiring in new components or cleaning up bad connections is not hard, other than reaching them.
But like any job, the proper tools and those little tips from experience make the job go so much easier.
Many times the wiring has to fit in a pipe or be pulled through an already wire-packed run. If this is the case, it helps to keep your butt connector splices as low profile as possible.
Boat Wiring Tips
- Use quality heat shrink connectors with epoxy
- use good crimpers and wire strippers made for the job
- A heat gun is the tool for shrinking the tubing or connectors
Always use heat shrink butt connectors and if the situation allows, I like to have a piece of heat shrink tube that fits over the entire connection once the butt connectors have been shrunken. Don’t forget you have to put the heat shrink tubing down the wire first.
If you lay out your wires to be spliced and measure the connection so that the butt connectors are staggered in their placement so that they are not stacked up, they will be more streamlined once the splice is made.
Crimp the butt connector with a quality crimping tool that is made for electrical connections. There is usually a notch for heat shrink that won’t puncture the coating. Make sure you squeeze hard to get a good connection and then pull on it within reason to make sure you got a good crimp.
Here the connectors are staggered so that the final product is more streamlined than if they were connected in the same spot. This helped me feed the wire into the pipe on my poling platform.
Of course the measure twice and cut once theory applies to this too.
Check out Capt. Scott’s Offshore Academy column for many more how to tips for boat maintenance, tackle rigging and more.