Date: 1 July 2018. Attaching Wires
to the Bulkhead.
battery banks on a neighbor's yacht needed replacement. Like all
boat jobs it expanded a bit. Most of the Might-As-Well and
While-We're-At-It items were as as a direct result of me. One issue
was some of the wiring had fallen off the bulkhead. I had a low-cost
(free!) solution. Here is how I fixed those wires.
The Problem: CABLE HOLDERS
had broken and the WIRES WERE DOWN/UNSUPPORTED.
When wires are not
supported they become stressed. The PLASTIC
CABLE TIES ↑ had broken. This is not entirely unexpected. All
become brittle over time. Once the first breaks the next in line will have
more weight on it. Then that one will snap. A cascade effect
follows, with each brittle support failing sequentially.
The danger is
abrasion. We don't want wires rubbing against each other. Boats
underway vibrate which exacerbates this chafing problem.
Fortunately I had a solution.
A few days ago I had hauled Algae out of the water for some repairs. I
store a cheap life jacket in the dinghy so I'm legal. After about a
year or so the fabric cover of the life preserver will deteriorate.
My life preserver had a tear, making it unacceptable as a life
strap however was a-okay. I cut the striped strap off the jacket,
throwing away the rest. A quick trip through the washing machine and
I had a nice belt for something. Frankly I wasn't sure what I'd use
it for, however it was too good to throw away. I kept it.
When I saw
those wires in the bilge I knew I had my answer.
The belt would easily secure the wires to the bulkhead.
My assistant cut the strapping into a 1' piece. Then he burned the
edges using a lighter. I did not want the webbing to become frayed. I had some #6
half inch long screws in my stash. With a washer to prevent the head
from going all the way through the webbing, I was ready to mount the
I ran into my first problem. The wires are HEAVY. They were too
weighty for me to support and attach to the bulkhead so I had to
improvise. To hold the wires up, position the webbing, and then screw the
whole thing to the bilge bulkhead was
not going to happen. I needed to lift those cables somehow.
webbing belt was available so I used it to temporarily hoist the wires. It
wasn't pretty, but it worked.
Once the wires were supported it was *easier to secure
them to the bulkhead.
*Note the word chosen is easier
versus easy. Holding the wires, strap and a screwdriver all at the
same time was an exercise in perseverance. I did succeed,
STRAP secures the batch of wires to the bulkhead.
In the above picture you can see I follow the advice
found in the
Stacking Battery Cables article.
The wires are better now that they are raised.
straps support the weight of the wires.
Though these are simple life jacket webbing straps, they work well
to hold the wires safely. The cost was free. Thus I was able to add a
few extras where needed. This isn't a gosh, stop everything and do it
immediately job. It is a solution worth considering, especially
since the plastic things eventually become brittle.
As for me, I've still got
more of the strap from that old life jacket. I tucked it into
my stash of stuff aboard Seaweed. Frankly I like this better
than the plastic supports. Because the wire bundles were so
large, this was easily adaptable for the correct diameter.
Best of all this is free.
Should I need or want to mount something to the bulkhead down in
my bilge, I've got an easy way to do so. The fabric webbing will
Not all solutions have to come from a retail store. Often we see
boaters asking for lists of necessities and spare parts for their
intended journey. With a bit of thought and the correct
circumstances you may be able to make do with what you've already got on hand.
used up what they had. If not for the initial intended purpose,
items often found a new life in a different capacity. This is both
economical and a wise use of resources. Aboard my boat it is a
habit. There is a pleasure I discovered in reclaiming old items.
part of my past (or Daddy's) begins serving a new use aboard Seaweed
I smile. There is a distinct happiness in knowing that things used a
half century ago are still being enjoyed today. Daddy even made
tools. I'll tell you more about that one day soon. I only wish I was
half as smart as he was.
boating, and thanks for reading.
Have you checked your wire bundles recently?
What else have you used for your wires?
In the Bilges,
Nautical Swap Purchases - Handles ~
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