The word "dielectric grease" is in fact a NON conductive, insulating grease, used only to seal out moisture. It is better on the outside of a connection, rather than IN it... although with enough pressure, you still get a connection. I also use an electrically "conductive" grease, called JetLube. It has copper powder in it, accentuates the connection, and seals
out moisture too.
On my own boats, and in my work, I have seen thousands of crimps over the years, many are decades old. "For those willing to go to the trouble", as I do on my own boat, here is the best, "lifetime of the boat" connection procedure.
Use NEW or otherwise shiny, finely stranded, tinned wire. To crimp on an eye, you first remove the sleeve, and toss it. Then you put 2" of adhesive
lined heatshrink on the wire. Slide it out of the way.
Now do a firm crimp, in 2 or 3 places, depending on size. This is your permanent physical connection.
Next do a SMALL solder on the outer (eye end) of the eye's sleeve. With a mini tourch, and super fine solder, this single
drop is easy. YOU DO NOT WANT TO FILL THE ENTIRE SLEEVE AND GO DOWN THE WIRE! Otherwise you get a hard spot, down the wire. This procedure, correctly done, creates a permanent "welded" electrical connection, AND the open end of the eye's sleeve, is now sealed as well.
This is followed by putting in position and shrinking down the heat shrink, until it oozes well..
This connection can now be relied on for over 40 years. (Of coarse, every wire on the boat should run through conduit, or be fastened every 8" or so. This way it NEVER flexes).
The common practice of crimping only, and using eyes with open sleeves on their "eye end", results in good performance for 10 or 15 years only. After this, the wire has wicked moisture up inside, through these openings, and starts to turn black with corrosion IN the crimp's interior
interface. This causes resistance and lessens the connection a bit. With a thousand of these on a boat, it starts to add up to a far from efficient electrical system
. = use & charging
losses... 95% of marine
electricians do this "crimp only" ANYWAY, because its the only way to make a living. (Unless you work for time & materials, like I do). This has a financial down side too! Not as much work.
With crimp only / open sleeve, At 20 years old, you start getting outright failures, and at 30, the entire boat needs an entirely new wiring harness, as the old one is shot!
What I suggest avoids this entirely. I have cut open my connections after decades, and they're still shiny inside!
For important big connections, like the windlass
, or particularly the battery...
I crimp the large eye, then solder, then heatshrink. It is sealed and a 100% connection to the eye. Then to bolt it to the battery, I put the previously mentioned JetLube in the interface, and bolt it tightly. Next I wipe off ALL of the JetLube that is outside of the interface, with mineral spirits. Finally I coat with 5 coats of Liquid Lectric Tape. (Vinyl dip) I coat this cleaned up connection, from 1" up the wire, to 1" onto the battery top.
This way, I have a perfect, 100% connection, with "0" maintenance
, until I change out the L-14 Trojan batteries 12 or 14 years later. After opening up the connections, they're still shiny inside!
These ideas are strictly for folks that plan on keeping the boat, and will go the extra mile for a "good trip" further down the road. For many, its just too much hassle.
What you don't want, is to have to re-wire an entire boat. It is more work that you would imagine!