Recently I purchased a used boat and I’m really excited to get it ready to fish. It is a relatively simple vessel, a 16′ Fin and Feather that has been partially redone. The hull has been refurbished, and most of the systems are in place, but the plumbing and wiring had yet to be run.
Any boat, regardless of size, has tight spaces and out of reach runs.
Here are a few tips to help pull both wires and hoses to their required destinations.
First, study the most likely route for the new run. Are there chase tubes? Are they full? Here are some basic tools that will make the job much easier. Essential to the project is a fishtape of some sort. This stiff wire will help you probe the recesses and find a run. You will also want some heavy string, electrical tape and wire lube or soap.
First step is to work the fish tape through the run until it pops out the desired location. Make sure it does not weave through other wires and such as the next thing you pull will be much larger. Tie a heavy string to the end of the fishtape or multiple strings if you are pulling more than one item. Pull the fishtape back out of chase, pulling the string with it.
Next, attach the string to the hose with a series of half hitches over a span of a few inches. This will prevent the string from coming loose if you have to pull hard. Make the last half hitch near the end of the hose.
Now secure these half hitches with tightly overlapped electrical tape. Wrap towards the end where you can use the tape to smooth over the edges of the cut hose.
Now tape on another string, so that when you pull the hose, you will also pull a spare string for the future. Then lube up the leading end of the hose with wire lube or some dish soap. The tighter the run, the more lube you will want. (Messy, but important)
Often the next step can benefit from two people, but you want to pull the string gently on one end.
At the same time, push or feed the hose from the other end. If you hit a snag or tight spot, pull back a few inches and try again. If you hit a stopping point, you may need to re-fishtape through a different spot.
Success is sweet when the hose emerges from the darkness.
Now clean up the lube and peel the tape.
Don’t forget to always tie off your spare string while your working because it is so frustrating when you trip on the end and pull it out. Then when the project is over, find an out of the way spot to tie it off and leave it for the future.
More tips from Capt. Scott