Mailport July 2011 Issue

Mailport: July 2011

Wiring Mayhem

PS contributor and amateur electrician, Gene Smith sent us this photo. How many wiring no-no’s can you count?

See the photo above: This is what happens when three or four owners get into a boat’s electrical system! How would anyone troubleshoot this mess at sea without causing a fire?

I stripped out a trash bag full of wiring and managed to save the original Catalina wiring harness and add a new branch for the VHF radio, depth sounder, GPS chartplotter, and stereo.

Note that the former “electrician” backed-up the piggyback splices with some green tape to keep them closed. I don’t like seeing those things on trailer wiring, let alone inside a boat.

It’s no wonder I found 11.4 volts at the bus bar with a 12.6-volt battery! The yellow trash bag twisties are a nice touch. Check out the open glass fuse dancing right next to the negative buss bar.

Gene Smith
Cherry Hill, N.J.

Next: Flip It Wheels

Comments (1)

Hey. This letter is two jammed together with some text missing.

Regarding the epoxy testing, please also consider testing products from Progressive Epoxies ( The proprietor, Paul Orman, has a rather cacophonic website, but he seems to have a very good product line at practical prices. I'm doing a huge hull blister re-lamination using their "Premium No Blush" cycloaliphatic epoxy, and I'd love to know how that stacks up to West. I've never had trouble with West, but I want the best epoxy on my bottom & blush is just more work. Are non-blushing epoxies really a free lunch? I considered Raka, East, System 3, and MAS before settling. Initial results are good, but I cannot test like PS can! Thansk!

Posted by: PAUL S | September 1, 2011 1:12 PM    Report this comment

New to Practical Sailor?
Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In