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Old 04-02-2014, 14:31   #1
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Wire thru deck seal

How do I seal 6 ga duplex wire thru deck from solar panels to controller.
Does anyone know of compression seal for flat duplex wire?
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:58   #2
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Similar problem

I thought I'd bring this to the top and see if anyone has any new or better solutions. My problem is similar. I have three "holes" in my deck at the base of the mast, for all of the cables that run up and down the mast. One of them has a Blue Sea Systems "cable clam" Blue Sea Systems CableClam. The other two have seals that were obviously part of the original boat construction (Schoechl Yachts, Sunbeam 37). The problem is that there are multiple cables running through these and I believe that the seals are really only designed for one cable each.

This year was a very wet and rainy one in Puerto Rico and I'm getting some leakage through these seals. I'd like to replace them with something that will allow more than one cable per deck seal and I'd really not like to drill more holes. I hate drilling holes in the boat and if I have to put 5 or 6 seals in this area they will be very close to each other and very intrusive on the deck.

It's going to be a major job to replace these because I'll have to drop the headliner and move cables in the cabin. I will probably install plug connectors just below the deck so future servicing will be much easier. So, any suggestions for plug connectors would also be appreciated.

Defender lists a whole bunch of different "cable clams" Defender.com Search Results: cable clam

I'd prefer something that is UV resistant because the boat is in the tropics with very high sun exposure but I could replace them every few years, if that's the best answer.

Here are a few other threads that have addressed this issue:
Running electrical wires through the deck?
Sealing Cable Holes
Through Deck Waterproof Cable Fittings

And in this one some users recommend "coax seal".
sealing a wire hole in stainless tube arch and bow pulpit
Does anyone have any comments about using this in combination with a standard cable clam? I'm sure I'm not the only one with this particular problem but the wires go "up" so in rain or heavy spray the water will just run down the wires and through the seal if it doesn't seal really well. This is different from some of my other cable feed throughs that are vertical.

Anyway, thanks for any comments or help on this.

Bill
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:21   #3
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Re: Wire thru deck seal


20mm Swan Neck - Stainless Steel | Marine Equipment


Elvabro AB Marine
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:24   #4
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Re: Wire thru deck seal

For flat cables, such as Ancor #6, make two measurements. The thickness and the width. Drill two holes, whose outside circumferences are slightly larger than the cable sheath width, and whose diameter is slightly larger than the thickness of the cable sheath. Make a razor cut through the rubber seal that passes from the outside, through one hole and into the second hole. With the razor, trim the two triangles of rubber that separate the two holes (open up the rubber seal and lay it out flat to facilitate the trimming). Now assemble the Cable Clam with the flat cable and you have a water-tight seal. The picture shows two separate cables, but the principle is the same. Don't separate the cable into two wires, though, because the sheath will protect against UV degradation. Sorry, gremlins are preventing my uploading the picture.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:48   #5
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Re: Wire thru deck seal

Another try to upload pic:

Rats! Anyone know what causes this message?
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:52   #6
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Re: Wire thru deck seal

Third (and last) try:
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:06   #7
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Re: Wire thru deck seal

Have been researching, best found so far, Scanstrut cable clam from Defender, looks as thought it will take multiple. Will be what I use, so the wires stay in the outer cover.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:21   #8
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Re: Wire thru deck seal

Actually, the Elavbro "Cableport" looks ideal for my application. But I'm having a bit of difficulty finding a way to buy one in the US. I just sent the manufacturer an email (Sweden) and will report on response. It's a bit expensive but a lot cheaper than deck work due to leakage and may be as cheap as 3 other types of cable clams with replacement every few years. And...if I'm going to invest a couple of days in tearing things apart and replacing wires, putting in connectors, etc. Then the dollar cost of the item gets amortized pretty quickly.

Bill
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:31   #9
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I would just use butal rubber. It will save you a lot of work and allow you to use existing hardware. Its like pre chewed chewin gum just wrap around the wires put the hardware back together and scrape off the excess.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:43   #10
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I use plastic through hull skin fittings with barbs for all my cables through the deck. Install the skin fitting with sika 291 or similar from the inside so the barb is upright and proud of the deck. Run cable or cables through it then fill with sikaflex 291. I have never had a leak with this system and am able to remove cables if required later by picking away the sika around the top then pushing and/or pulling the cable down which breaks the seal inside the plastic fitting. Plastic fittings with barbs both ends and two clamp nuts are available too (designed for through bulkhead plumbing).
I use utilux cable joiner strips inside adjacent to each fitting. The large diameter VHF cable is joined with a standard joiner (a male and two female screw thread stainless) and passes through the bulkhead type fitting.
I adopted this system after frustrations of leaky and expensive deck glands
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Old 12-02-2014, 13:58   #11
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Re: Wire thru deck seal

Sparrowhawk: I'm a big fan of butyl rubber sealer for most deck mountings but I used it in my cable through fittings and it didn't work. They leaked all winter. I'm not quite sure why but I've decided to go ahead and do a more complete installation.

Ambler: May I ask why you put the skin fitting with the barb up? It seems that results in an application with more potential for tripping and if you kick it (by mistake) aren't you likely to break the seal between the fitting and the deck allowing for leakage later? Although I suppose that the barb protects the cable from getting kicked and broken.

I'm not familiar with Sikaflex but they have pretty good online documentation. Is it similar to 3M 5200? I find 5200 a real pain to work with and damned near impossible to remove when making repairs. They are both polyurethane based.

Bill
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Old 12-02-2014, 14:06   #12
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Re: Wire thru deck seal

Bill E
Stumbled onto the butyl cure a couple years ago, what great stuff!
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Old 12-02-2014, 14:18   #13
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Hi Bill,
The barb is up to protect the cable from a hit and also is flush underneath to allow the cable to do a 90 degree turn to run between the cabin liner and cabin top or to enter the conduit run to the switch panel. All mine except the mast cable are positioned in a location protected from getting kicked such as adjacent to the pushpit uprights. The mast one is almost under the boom with a black flexi cable cover over the wires between it and the mast entry.

Sikaflex I have heard is inferior to 3m but it is freely available in Aus. Check that you can push the cured 3M plug out of the plastic screw on applicator on you caulking gun. If it comes away from the plastic cleanly then it should work the same as sika.
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Old 12-02-2014, 15:44   #14
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Re: Wire thru deck seal

take a piece of flat teak. Draw a line down the middle. Drill a hold on the line for each cable the same size as the cable. Cut the wood at a 45-degree angle down the line, making sure to cut through each hole. Cut a hold in the fiberglass. Put the cables through the teak, epoxy the teak back together, and mount it onto the fiberglass using your favorite gasket and your favorite mechanical fasteners.

Cost you almost nothing and will work as well as any off-the-shelf model as long as you make the holes the correct size.
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Old 12-02-2014, 15:48   #15
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Re: Wire thru deck seal

I use the same method as Ambler, but attach a length of flexible hose to the tail of the thru-hull.
If you bend the hose in a gooseneck and tape it to the body of the thru hull, you will not need to seal around the cables.
I have found that plastic thru hulls are not UV stable so will need to be taped or painted.

Regards,
Richard.
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