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Friday, June 04, 2010

Electrical Conduit

I have had plenty of time to give thought, needless to say, on how to route electrical through the boat. I have gone around and around on various ideas only to come back to one of the most simplest, and cheapest solutions: PVC pipe.

This is 1 inch Schedule 10 PVC pipe (the thin walled stuff). Cost: $0.98 for 10 foot length at Home Depot.

I came to this based on experience with our small 28 footer. Being the geeks we are, we have spent lots of frustrating time and energy chasing wires, for new electronic doo-dads, through our small boat, which has NO conduit. In that boat, the wiring travels through bulkheads via holes just big enough for each individual wire, and is secured with nylon cable clamps and tapping screws. A very frustrating setup when you need to string a new wire.

So, in the Westsail, it will be this PVC pipe that runs under the side decks. Tee fittings will be strategically placed in-line to allow entry/exit points for the wiring. The fittings will not be glued, just slip friction fit, to allow them to come apart if you need to get in there. The plan is to have messenger strings throughout to help with the installation of any new wiring in the future.

Three conduits on both sides of the boat to ensure plenty of room. I may even add a fourth. Current thought is one conduit each for: Electronics (N2K, Ethernet, etc), DC electrics, AC electrics. Though such division may not be that important.

More on this later.


Tony D said...

Robert - I love the blog and all the details! With your conduit installation did you drill 'weep/drainage' holes at intervals? I'm considering pvc for re-wiring my Seafarer 26 right now and have read that suggestion somewhere so I was curious regarding your thoughts. Thanks!

robert said...

Tony, I had thought of, but not sure yet, about the weep holes. The tee fittings for the wire exits will be pointing down, so they can act as drainage for possible moisture. Wether that is enough, I am not sure.