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Old 02-10-2014, 10:22   #1
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Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

Hi,

I just mounted a 50 watt solar panel on my Tartan 27 and now I need to wire it to the controller, battery, etc. The solar panel is rated 3 amps, so I am planning on either 5 or 10 amp wiring.

Should I use an electrical connector, or just put a thru-hull that I run the wires through and RTV the empty space--or other method?

Either way, make/model numbers and distributors would be helpful if it's fresh in your memory.

Thanks.

Alan
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:40   #2
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

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Originally Posted by agilmore View Post
Hi,

Either way, make/model numbers and distributors would be helpful if it's fresh in your memory.

Alan
What you need is a "water tight cable pass-through". Defender has these: Marine Cable Pass Throughs on Sale

Through hulls are generally things that are below the waterline. Your pass-through will be above it. There are also simpler devices. The minimum would be to create a drip loop in the wire that causes water on the wire to drop off the bottom of the loop with the penetration above it. The hole would be sealed with silicone and SeaDog maks a little stainless fitting that covers the penetration like a shingle.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:45   #3
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

Do you ever envision removing it? Or adding another?

You can do whatever your requirements drive - i.e. A mushroom thru-hull full of goo is likely the cheapest thing.

I needed to be removable (we only have solar on when out at the island)

I installed a removable 180W panel on the stern. I went with Marinco® ConnectPro® Plug/Receptacle Kit for Trolling Motors | Bass Pro Shops There's other connectors designed for trolling motors too. The key thing with these connectors is they're designed for high current.

It's waterproof, holds up to the current easy, and was simple to install.

If you're ever going to expand, put in bigger wire.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:47   #4
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

Drill hole and seal around wire and make look nice with one of these.

Attwood Corporation 66399-3 1-13/16" Stainless Steel Clamshell Vent https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000AYGZ9..._Ecylub04T9GZW


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Old 02-10-2014, 16:11   #5
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

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Originally Posted by St. Elsewhere View Post
What you need is a "water tight cable pass-through". Defender has these: Marine Cable Pass Throughs on Sale

Through hulls are generally things that are below the waterline. Your pass-through will be above it. There are also simpler devices. The minimum would be to create a drip loop in the wire that causes water on the wire to drop off the bottom of the loop with the penetration above it. The hole would be sealed with silicone and SeaDog maks a little stainless fitting that covers the penetration like a shingle.
This is the correct way to go. Just a hole and sealant won't last long and will start leaking do to the wire moving and vibration, uv breaking down the sealant, etc.
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Old 02-10-2014, 17:50   #6
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

Drilling a hole through your deck is lunacy.

Idiot mate of mine two weeks after buying his boat had drilled 17 holes!

In 6 years I have drilled 1.

See if theres any way you,can avoid it. Is there any other wiring you can team up with? What about the stern light? Stern shower nozzle? Lazarette hatch? Shore power cable socket?

If you really can't find another way then you may have to drill...




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Old 02-10-2014, 18:15   #7
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

I don't know what you mean by "5a or 10a cable".... I would probably run 10awg

bluesea makes nice deck glands too.
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Old 02-10-2014, 19:44   #8
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

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I don't know what you mean by "5a or 10a cable".... I would probably run 10awg

bluesea makes nice deck glands too.
Sorry, 5 amp or 10 amp cable.

What is a deck gland?
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Old 02-10-2014, 19:46   #9
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

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Drilling a hole through your deck is lunacy.

Idiot mate of mine two weeks after buying his boat had drilled 17 holes!

In 6 years I have drilled 1.

See if theres any way you,can avoid it. Is there any other wiring you can team up with? What about the stern light? Stern shower nozzle? Lazarette hatch? Shore power cable socket?

If you really can't find another way then you may have to drill...




Mark
I am on your side. In three seasons, this will be the first hole I've drilled. We both have the same disease :-)
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Old 02-10-2014, 19:52   #10
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

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Drill hole and seal around wire and make look nice with one of these.

Attwood Corporation 66399-3 1-13/16" Stainless Steel Clamshell Vent https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000AYGZ9..._Ecylub04T9GZW


Gary
Gary and BoatyardBoy,

Yes, I have seen these on other boats and wasn't sure if they were good or bad. I see that both Amazon and West Marine sell them. About $3 each, I think I can afford that

Thank you,

Alan
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Old 02-10-2014, 19:58   #11
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

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Originally Posted by The Garbone View Post
Drill hole and seal around wire and make look nice with one of these.

Attwood Corporation 66399-3 1-13/16" Stainless Steel Clamshell Vent https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000AYGZ9..._Ecylub04T9GZW
Hey, BTW, what do you think I should use to seal between the stainless steel clamshell vent and the boat? 5200?

Alan
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Old 02-10-2014, 20:30   #12
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Gary and BoatyardBoy,

Yes, I have seen these on other boats and wasn't sure if they were good or bad. I see that both Amazon and West Marine sell them. About $3 each, I think I can afford that

Thank you,

Alan
I was not agreeing with the drill a hole, clamshell and seal it method, it is not the best way to do it. That will leak once the wire moves around and the sealant is separated from the wire and/or the clamshell/hull. I think you should use a proper wire pass thru. You SHOULD however seal the base of the pass thru with proper sealant like Life caulk, which can be acquired from a hardware or West Marine store.

Here are some from Defender

http://www.defender.com/category.jsp...986&id=2289996
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Old 02-10-2014, 21:31   #13
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

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Originally Posted by agilmore View Post
Hey, BTW, what do you think I should use to seal between the stainless steel clamshell vent and the boat? 5200?

Alan
5200 is an adhesive. It is not intended for sealant use. As others have said, use a deck gland specifically designed for cabling, or the Marinco trolling motor connector if you need it to be removable.

You'll be happier over the long run by doing it right. Don't skimp.

Sent from my XT1060 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:41   #14
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Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

Hmm,

I would just run the wire down the outside if the inboard stanchion. Zip tie it and drill my hole just outboard of the station base.

Run the wire down the hole and applying a liberal amount of life caulk to the penetration and put the clam shell over the top before it sets up.

My guess is the fiberglass in that location is not cored so no worries about water ingress.

You could invest in a "proper" fitting but sometimes simpler can be better. I had the a proper fitting on my last boat. It was a few years old and guess what, it leaked.

One other thing to consider the fact that the proper fitting exits vertically and will result in a loop in a high traffic area, unless you lay it flat pulling it which stretches the top seal and zip it to the stanchion to immobilize it.

Either way you go you have a hole filled with life caulk. Both will need to be checked for a leak at regular intervals.


As for not wanting to drill any hole, that is the better option of course unless the run will be a hazard or just plane ugly. Marine text epoxy is your friend. I have filled a quite number of holes the POs of my boat have drilled.

Gary
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:19   #15
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Re: Electrical thru-hull for solar panel. Suggestions?

You can run the wires through a deck gland, a round fitting with a very dense rubber center that the wires go through. I just installed panels rated total of 360 watts into a 500 watt controller and used protective tubing on the wires exposed to the sunlight above the deck gland fitting. They keep the ice cubes going in the refer and the autopilot running.
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