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Deck to mast electrical connection

Mar 2, 2018
176
Catalina Wing Keel San Diego
Hopefully someone has already found a fix for this.
I lost all but my anchor light on the last trip so now that the boat is back at the studio I started looking into the issue. It turns out to be the same problem for the 2nd time now . The deck plug and 4 wire line headed under the deck are totally corroded again. Luckly where the wiring harness in the cabin ends is only has a slight corrosion on one connecter.The plug I've been using is from CD and I'm not planning on using it again .
I have a nice stainless steel connecter to change it out with but I need to do my due diligence with everything involved this time.

Thanks
 

Attachments

Sep 14, 2014
1,044
Catalina 22 Pensacola, Florida
Yep go with standard metal connector available from most dealers like this one
deck connector and bus installation (2).jpg
 
Mar 2, 2018
176
Catalina Wing Keel San Diego
Thanks Jacktar,
That's exactly like the new one I have to replace it with
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,884
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
I had the same 4 -pin plastic connector and never had any corrosion problems. Have you tried applying dielectric grease? I use Noalox.
 
Mar 2, 2018
176
Catalina Wing Keel San Diego
Here is the one I am replacing it with. Never used dielectric grease. I'm going to use it. I take it you put it in the plug it's self correct?
 

Attachments

Sep 14, 2014
1,044
Catalina 22 Pensacola, Florida
Here is x section of my installation, and yes dielectric grease goes on pins before inserting in female deck mount. (too risque a post maybe?)
deck connector and bus installation (1).jpg
 
Oct 10, 2013
127
Catalina 22 Minneapolis
Can I jump on this thread?

I need to replace the original 2-pin plug. I like that 4-pin one, except I need either 5 or 6 pins... Is there a good plug for that?
 
Apr 11, 2017
564
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
I need to replace mine as well, and also re-wire the mast. If I can ask, what do you guys think of the stainless deck connector since using it? Are you using the same stainless 4 pin connector that CD carries?

I've seen some fairly weird looking self-made set-ups, using trailer connectors and PVC elbows, etc. - by people who say they've had a lot of trouble with the standard deck type connector. What you have there looks good to me.
 

AaronD

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Aug 10, 2014
529
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
I don't have the link handy, but at some point @thinwater recommended trailer plugs with grease. Cheap, available in 2-conductor up to 5 or 6, and easy to replace when needed. I tried the connector style @Jacktar showed; I found the tiny set-screws to be easy to strip and hard to get a reliable connection with. Maybe I'm just ham-handed and/or unlucky. But a trailer plug has been working fine for me for a couple seasons now. Plus, it's easy to rig up a long plug-to-jack extension cord to run from the step to the bow and test wiring and lights with the mast lying down.
 
Apr 11, 2017
564
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
I don't have the link handy, but at some point @thinwater recommended trailer plugs with grease. Cheap, available in 2-conductor up to 5 or 6, and easy to replace when needed. I tried the connector style @Jacktar showed; I found the tiny set-screws to be easy to strip and hard to get a reliable connection with. Maybe I'm just ham-handed and/or unlucky. But a trailer plug has been working fine for me for a couple seasons now. Plus, it's easy to rig up a long plug-to-jack extension cord to run from the step to the bow and test wiring and lights with the mast lying down.
That sounds good as well -- did you create any kind of housing, or hard attachment point, for the trailer connector to attach to the deck? Where I have trouble envisioning it is understanding if/how/where the standard trailer type connector is mated up with the boat's deck - if it is? I might have the whole concept wrong..
 
Feb 11, 2015
210
Catalina 22 Lake Jacomo
My experience was pretty much the same as AaronD. I replaced my OEM 2 pole (which is still serviceable) with a chrome 4 pole from CD. It lasted one season before it corroded, and I did use dielectric grease. For me it was not so much where the plugs mate, but rather where the wires insert into the backs of the plus that corroded. Even with a good soak of penetrating solvent, the set screws will not back out and the tiny slotted heads twist right off. I removed the whole thing, and for now just have the cable running through the hole in the deck, sealed up with some thumb gum, and the connection is wire nutted together inside the cabin. When I have some time I will solder the individual wires into the plugs and then coat the backs of the plugs with liquid electrical tape to keep moister from seeping in again.
 

AaronD

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Aug 10, 2014
529
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
That sounds good as well -- did you create any kind of housing, or hard attachment point, for the trailer connector to attach to the deck? Where I have trouble envisioning it is understanding if/how/where the standard trailer type connector is mated up with the boat's deck - if it is? I might have the whole concept wrong..
I used a Scanstrut cable clam. Hopefully the picture below will help it make sense. You can see the heat-shrink of various sizes I hacked together around the wires. We often moor her for awhile in the summer, so if she's going to be in the water for a few weeks, I'll sometimes add clear heat-shrink around the connector itself, and then cut it off when we pull her out; it's an extra few minutes, and I don't always bother, but it's really pretty easy if you have power at the dock for a heat gun.

P7110196.JPG
 
Apr 11, 2017
564
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
Thanks Aaron - that photo explains it well. That looks about as corrosion resistant as it can get.
 
Mar 2, 2018
176
Catalina Wing Keel San Diego
Here is a photo of the new deck plug installed. It'd sitting on top of a 1/2 PVC flat ring in milled. Hoping that help keep some water off the plug.
I have a 12' long extension cable with plug ends that match the deck plug so I can text the lights with the mast down and the mast base resting forward on the bow pulpit.
I connected everything yesterday and ended up blowing a fuse ??? Back at it today. Disconnected everything.Added the new fuse and started texting each section at a time until I got up to the top of the deck plug, going great so far. plugged in the extension cord and texted that, good. I had one circuit on ,only 2 wires to check, easy right? End of the plug is working ,great , go to plug it into the mast base plug and all 4 wires are now hot ??? Take it off and recheck agin 2 wire hot?? Plug it back in and no lights were working?? So I take my handy extension cord and run it directly to the steaming light and bingo lights on! So Now I'm thinking it's something in the new mast end plug so I strip that off and hard wire the 2 hot wire directly to the extension cord and Nada! So I strip back about 3" of wire and in looks pretty dark grey. Test it again and same thing Nada. So now to pull the wiring harness out and redo it. Bummer is I refit it with a new one a few years ago.
Maybe I should take up lake sailing
 

Attachments

Apr 11, 2017
564
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
Chasing electrical issues is the worst. One minute, everything is great - next thing you know, you're running around tearing your whole system apart. Wondering if you're going crazy, or haunted by a poltergeist, is usually thrown in there somewhere too...
 
Mar 2, 2018
176
Catalina Wing Keel San Diego
I'd say having your boat sink out in the ocean is the worst. Just kidding. Now that the mast is off the boat and in the shop while I wait for a new wiring harness I might as well refit new halyards. Look on the bright side. Always.
 
Apr 11, 2017
564
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
Did you happen to buy the standard mast wiring harness from CD? If it was, I was actually planning on buying that myself in the next year. Do you have any idea what the problem might have been with the old one?

Terrible that it was all just done a few years ago. Good luck - as you know, sometimes it's just a simple matter of something got stretched a little too much.
 
Mar 2, 2018
176
Catalina Wing Keel San Diego
I bought the black plastic one from CD which I think was not that great.The chrome one was purchased at Westmarine and is a SeaDog product. Be care with the small set screws as they already stripped out and I have to replace it.
First thing may have been not using grease on anything.
May have stretched the wiring harness even though I had it working perfectly at one time.
I am planning on finishing the deck plug (Mast end) with heat shrink tubing once it's all finished.
I may even make a small waterproof dodger in front of the deck plug to the mast to keep saltwater from splashing over it.
 
Mar 2, 2018
176
Catalina Wing Keel San Diego
Turned out my wiring harness was perfect. After refitting the deck plug ,cleaning all the contacts on the lights and connecters I now have all the mast lights working again.
While the mast was in the shop I finally had a chance to replace the halyards too.
 
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