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Old 03-06-2015, 09:23   #1
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"Pretty" cable passthrough

I'm planning my electronics refit and it includes multiple new instruments at the helm. I've decided that at least 1 of the new instruments (plotter or AIS) will be bracket mounted, instead of flush mounted. With bracket mounting, I now have the cables to deal with. Particularly where they pass through the bulkhead.

So my question. How do I pass the cables through the bulkhead in an "attractive" manner? Keeping in mind that the AIS requires at least 3 fairly large diameter cables. I have looked at the Blue Sea cable clams, but they are not really attractive. Just a lump of white plastic. Any other suggestions?
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:03   #2
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Re: "Pretty" cable passthrough

Sea-Dog : Quality Marine, Industrial and Rigging Hardware


I use these a lot. cut hole. pass through cables. cover hole with this. cables come out sideways.
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:15   #3
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Re: "Pretty" cable passthrough

We just hide things as best we can. You can use a wood circle of teak or another hardwood that you will varnish or paint. Through the varnished teak, you can have each one in it's own little stainless steel fitting. You can also take a gander through the really nice plumbing supply places -- look at the fittings that go on walls under sinks for the feed pipes and drain pipe to go through-- they're rings that match whatever plumbing that they're sold with. Look at high quality plumbing hardware/fittings -- you might be surprised by what you find that you can adapt to your purpose. Fair winds.
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:45   #4
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Re: "Pretty" cable passthrough

I've used the vent for some cables. With the cables covered in split-loom it looks ok.

Another idea, if you have, say an old instrument hole in the bulkhead, is to install a suitable size small enclosure. The cables can enter via the bottom with an internal seal instead of protruding glands and pass through the original bulkhead hole now hidden by the enclosure. Advantage is you can use an old hole and not have to cut new holes. If you go this way, make sure that you by an outdoor enclosure made of non yellowing plastic. These are normally marketed as architectural enclosures or something like that.
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:13   #5
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Re: "Pretty" cable passthrough

See ➥ https://www.google.ca/search?q=water...w=1348&bih=591
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:02   #6
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Re: "Pretty" cable passthrough

Gord's link is a good summary of all the possibilities. You can also see grommets, thru-deck seals, and offset pass-thru's on WM's site.

For single round cables exiting at the bottom of a pod, a hole with a tight-fitting grommet, and some strain-relief (and maybe a squirt of sealant) behind has worked well.

Where the cable bundle is irregular and the exit is on the side or top of the surface, one of the offset or cable-seal type is necessary to prevent water ingress. I like the offset or right-angle kind because the cable exit is better protected than if it just sticks up perpendicular to the surface.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:34   #7
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Re: "Pretty" cable passthrough

The main problem I have is most of the solutions are designed for a single cable. Most of the multi cable solutions are not designed, or would not look good at the helm station.

I have attached a picture below to show my issue. The new chartplotter will be mounted to the bulkhead (with a bracket) next to the wind/depth gauges. The 2 wires will pass through the "dash" at the upper RED arrow. It would also be possible to pass the wires from behind. Either location will be pretty visible.

The second blue arrow shows a custom dash piece made to fit the current chartplotter. I'm thinking very seriously about ditching this piece for 3 issues. 1. It has not access from the back, just a small hole drilled in the existing bulkhead behind it. 2. I would need to fiberglass and refinish the face to fit the AIS 3. Being flat, it makes a terrible viewing angle on any device mounted there. It should have been tilted up to allow a better view.

If I loose the dash piece then the AIS will be mounted with a bracket and tilted up. In that case, I need to pass 3 largish (antenna, NMEA 2000, power) cables through the bulkhead in an attractive manner.

So far, this is the leading contender!
Scanstrut Cable Clam / Deck Seal

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Old 04-06-2015, 14:48   #8
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Re: "Pretty" cable passthrough

Turns out I'm making a bigger deal than it needed to be. I made it down to a marine store and actually looked at the Blue Sea Cable Clam. They won't look bad at all and should match nicely with our white gelcoat. After looking at them, I have %100 confidence they will not leak.
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Old 04-06-2015, 14:58   #9
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Re: "Pretty" cable passthrough

If you really wanted to reuse that box without fiberglassing, you could put a square of Starboard over the face, and then cutout the correct size for your new, smaller instrument. To make it angle correctly, just recut the back edge. Fiberglass cuts easily with a finish saw.
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Old 04-06-2015, 15:25   #10
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Re: "Pretty" cable passthrough

I only wish it was that easy to change the angle. Its custom fit and wedged on the top and bottom. Simply cutting the back edge will not change the angle. You would need to cut the back and bottom, thus leaving a gap at the top. The only way to adjust the angle is to adjust the face or remake it.

Another option would be to get thick starboard and use a belt sander to "bevel" the whole piece. Then attach that beveled piece to the front.

In the end, I think I will just ditch that piece and bracket mount the AIS.
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