Thursday, March 31, 2011

RUNNING WIRES TO THE HELM

Since I was kind of in a rush to finish the conversion to electric propulsion back in 2008 some things did not get installed as well as they should have at first. One of the things that was done in a temporary install was the electric propulsion speed control. Which at first was just secured with Ty Wraps as you can see here:

  Also the wires for the control ran across the cockpit deck into a hole on the side. Not the best way to operate for long. It worked  fine but, a more permanent solution had to be done. But, how should I run the wiring to the pedestal location where the electric motor control would be? The controls for the diesel engine were run through the pedestal and were wire linkages to the engine. I did not really like the idea of running the wires through this same route. It was tight and there were things like chains moving as one turned the helm to steer. If it chafed through the propulsion control cables who knows what could happen. It also would be very inaccessible. So I borrowed and idea from a fellow Nonsuch owner who ran a separate piece of conduit next to the helm for his pedestal mounted Loran unit.  I modified my design a little where as his was aft of the wheel I choose to install mine just forward of the wheel. Here is what I did. First I marked the location where I would be drilling the access hole in the deck next to the Edson pedestal making sure I would not be cutting into any stringers or supports below deck:


Next I drilled the hole and routered out and sealed the deck core with thickened West System Epoxy so no damage or delamintion would occur  if there should be any water leakage:

The fitting I used I was used a standard deck water fill fitting:


I removed the chain and fitted and secured it into the deck.
The photo above shows the fitting before the securing and chalking but, you get the idea. Then went to the local Ace hardware store and found a PVC fitting that would screw into the deck fitting: 

I then glued this fitting onto a piece of PVC pipe of the length I wanted using PVC cement:

I then screwed the pipe into the deck fitting using some Teflon tape on the threads before I did to help seal the threads. From then on it was simply running the wires down the  pipe from the helm. I used the wire pull rods I carry on board to help make this a little easier:


Hard to see in the photo below but, I cut a small slot down the side of the top of PVC pipe to allow for the wires (NOTE: I also created a drip loop so water would not run down the wires into the boat) and fitted the top with a removable PVC cap that allows for the easy installation of more wires or removal of existing ones as needed:

The nice feature of using this conduit is you can add and modify wiring to the helm as needed. Since I did the original install for the electric propulsion throttle control I added wires for a helm mounted GPS and 12 volt power outlet:
There are still a few more projects to follow.

3 comments:

Pastor Brett said...

Nice job! I was able to run my wires down the steering pedastal - it took some time but it worked.

Capt. Mike said...

Thanks! I started thinking about routing the Control wires through the pedestal but, decided this would work better for me. Especially since I knew I'd want to add more wires to the helm area later.

Greg Martin said...

Looks good! I had a machine shop make a stainless steel cylinder to house the throttle unit, with a stainless steel pole that runs parallel to the pedestal. You can probably see a picture of it somewhere on my blog.