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Old 19-04-2010, 18:40   #1
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Sealing Cable Holes

I'm installing a few solar panels on the dodger...well and running new cable to replace the inadequate cable on my existing panels on the davits. What should I use to seal the spots where the cables enter the boat? Should I just go with 5200? Or is there preferred, better, longer lasting, etc. way to do it?
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Old 19-04-2010, 19:10   #2
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Don't know what it is through which you intend to run the cables - FRP, metal, wood, ??? but regardless, don't use 5200. You want something which isn't permanent and will stay flexible which are two characteristics of a lot of caulks and adhesives among which are some silkaflex types, urethanes and silicones but that has more drawbacks than advantages.

Go the WestMarine Advisor tab on their site and read up on the selection process.
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Old 19-04-2010, 21:42   #3
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Oops! Lets make that fiberglass.
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Old 19-04-2010, 23:19   #4
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You could always use a Cable Clam:
http://www.defender.com/images/252317.jpg
It's bulkier and not as cheap as sealant, but it works very well and lets you access the wiring as needed.
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Old 26-04-2010, 20:26   #5
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If you want cheap and easy use Dicor sealant. It's made for sealing penetrations through fiberglass and rubber roofs on RVs. UV stable and sticks like crazy and removable.
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Old 26-04-2010, 21:15   #6
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You need a fitting to do it right. The type you are looking for will be called a bulkhead fitting- cable grip. That is not exact, but rather words to include in your search. It will have seals in it. You can get them in UV resistant plastic. That means they will probably be black. Paint them if you want. You can even get them with oblong openings for the cable to pass thru if your cable is not round.
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Old 26-04-2010, 21:25   #7
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I used an old shore power cable to run mine. You find them getting thrown out when an end goes bad. I ran the individual panel wires to a project box, put a diode on each pos, then ran the heavy cable out the bottom and through glass.
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Old 26-04-2010, 21:37   #8
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Cable Sealant

Check out 3M 4000, similar to 5200 but UV stable and not as aggressive, also contains no silicone. Marine Adhesive / Sealant Fast Cure 4000uv
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Old 27-04-2010, 00:27   #9
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+1 for the Blue Sea Cable Clams
CableClams - Blue Sea Systems
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Old 27-04-2010, 06:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mi2ndWind View Post
Check out 3M 4000, similar to 5200 but UV stable and not as aggressive, also contains no silicone. Marine Adhesive / Sealant Fast Cure 4000uv
Why would it be bad to use something that contains silicone? Or even just silicone is self?

BTW - I didn't think of this before, but I'm going have to use sealant. The cable for the new panels run through the support rail on my dodger, and the hole for my existing panels is in a very tight spot. A gland won't work for either.
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Old 27-04-2010, 06:38   #11
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While silicone products would do the job, they are not paintable and leave behind a residue that is difficult to remove if you decide to paint or repair the opening later on.
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Old 27-04-2010, 06:52   #12
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Because silicone is a horrible adhesive and tends to peel away from surfaces under flex. Its really only a gasketing material, intended to seal only under constant compression forces. Also its modulus of elasticity is exceeded by other sealants and adhesives.
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