Last weekend I had one of those mornings where I had all my gear together, weather was perfect, everything was perfect... and then I realized my fishfinder wouldn't turn on. Fishing "blind" offshore is a pet peeve of mine, and almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy I didn't catch jack haha.
Anyway, the point of the post: do any of you have tips for waterproofing your connections? Or do you just snip and reconnect when things get a bit corroded? I've tried electrical tape, liquid electrical tape, those twisties that come pre-greased. I know nothing lasts forever, but there has to be a better way...
Hobie Kayak angler for life!
Does anyone have experience with these connections?
Use these instead. Stuff bounces around a lot in a kayak so you want the security of the crimps. When crimping them, crimp the hell out of it and then heat it. A lot of people half-**** these things and it comes back to bite them later.
Also, use tinned marine wire if youre adding anything yourself
1. The fish finder comes off the kayak at the end of every trip, but the connectors above-deck and electrical connections below-deck stay there. Often there is a puddle of saltwater in the kayak by the end of the trip (Hobie seems incapable of making a waterproof kayak).
2. Too many connections and inconsistent electrical wire size. I had the lines from the battery split one way to the fish finder and the other way to a nav light via a switch. I need to simplify this, or use a dedicated battery for each device.
3. The liquid electrical tape I was using was not rated for marine environments and had become brittle with repeated exposure to saltwater and heat. I think I'm going to try the heat shrink butt connections watergator suggested.
Hey Barrel, what gauge wire do you usually use for this kind of wiring on customer kayaks?
I'll post up pics when I get around to revamping the wiring.
Fishfinders come with a fuse as a safety device. On more than one occasion, I have blown fuses on my fishfinder only to find I have some bad wires in the system. Humidity works it's way up underneath the insulation of the wires, and swapping them out every 18-24 months is regular maintenance for mine.
Always use marine grade wires. The normal wiring from Home Depot will corrode up fast. As others mentioned, minimize the number of wires below deck. The custom kayaks with the switchboards look cool, but no thank you -- too much maintenance. Kayak lights are easier to maintain if they have no wiring in the hull, ie self-contained waterproof flashlights are the best IMHO.
Batteries and Fishfinders are the first things to be removed and placed indoors after every fishing trip. I have found that even hooking the fishfinder up the night before has generated humidity problems that kept it from working consistently in the damp morning hours. I always test the fishfinder the night before. When it fails to work, typically a generous application of dielectric grease fixes the problem and then take it back indoors. It gets connected just before I launch through the surf.
Sorry for deviating from the initial wiring topic. One thing I will add to what other's have already mentioned is that I apply dielectric grease to all wire splices before I insulate them closed with heat tape and sealers. Application of dielectric grease to all connections before every trip has probably saved my system. Twice the mounting bracket malfunctioned -- dropping my fishfinder into salt water. All is still working well.