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Just bought a CAL34, question on wiring Depth Finder

Sep 11, 2021
24
CAL 34 CAL 34 Fortman Marina
Hi, I just bought a CAL34. I am new to sailing and am doing a lot of DIY projects getting my boat ready to sail. It already had a depth finder installed, but is only wired to the head (under the sink.) I need to get the cable through the galley to the electrical panel/chart table. Any advice on how to do this? (Apologize if this is a stupid question, but I am brand new at this stuff...)
 
May 17, 2004
3,474
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Welcome to the forum! Do you know the type of transducer and depth finder? It might make a difference just because some types of cables are easier to splice than others if you need to do something like cut and replace connectors.

In general tools like an electrician’s fishing tape are pretty helpful for projects like that. You’ll need to look at the spaces under the cabin sole and maybe behind cabinetry to see where the wire could be run.
 
Sep 11, 2021
24
CAL 34 CAL 34 Fortman Marina
Hi! Thanks! It's a Raymarine i40. I bought a soldering iron last week (for antenna PL-259 connectors) but haven't done it yet, so splicing and dicing are all new... watching Youtube videos now :) I will grab some electrician's fishing tape on the way to my boat. Appreciate the reply! I wish my Boat manual was more descriptive... seems like a no-brainer for them to map out how to do things like this :(
 
May 17, 2004
3,474
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
It's a Raymarine i40.
An i40 appears to use Raymarine SeaTalk, which I’ve read can be spliced. Never done it myself though so I’d defer to others on how to do that if necessary. In any case you’re better off running the cable in one piece if possible to cut down on the possible failure points. Look around and you’ll probably find enough gaps or other ways to pull the wire with the tape.

I wish my Boat manual was more descriptive... seems like a no-brainer for them to map out how to do things like this :(
Welcome to boating unfortunately. Most boat manuals skip the details like how wires are run or the specifics of the structure. Getting to do boat yoga to figure those things out on your own is part of the fun. :)
 
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Likes: HeatherE
Mar 6, 2008
692
Catalina 1999 C36 MKII #1787 Coyote Point Marina, CA.
And a wire coat hanger and 1/8" curtain pull string are good tools to use for such project.
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,779
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
......It already had a depth finder installed, but is only wired to the head (under the sink.) I need to get the cable through the galley to the electrical panel/chart table......
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on yyour new sailboat!!

Pulling wires and cables through boats in order to install marine electronics can be a pain, espeacilly if you do not have an existing conduit. Some tricks;:

1. Find the shortest concealed route to run the cable.
2. Baby or talcum powder provides lubrication without making a greasy mess of your wiring. It allows wire and cables coated with it to slide more easily past obstructions and around corners. Simply fill your palm with powder and then pull your cable through your hand before you pull it through the boat.
3. Use electricians tape. Pulling Electrical Wires - The Boat Galley
4. Always pull a "messenger line" through with your cable or hose or wire. Make it long enough so that you can always have access to both ends and wont loose it if you use it.
 
Jan 18, 2016
685
Catalina 387 Dana Point
The I40 depth display has the transducer connected directly to it. Its two wires that should lead directly to the transducer.

I'd use heatshrink crimp terminals instead of solder in most instances.

The seatalk connectors on a I40 is old seatalk and/or power. The display puts it's data out on the network, not the other way around. (i.e. the display outputs depth. It doesn't generally display network depth readings)
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,357
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
Consider running it to to the cockpit were you can use it while underway. Having it at the chart table only would be a real pain in the butt.
 
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Likes: BigEasy
Oct 22, 2014
16,110
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
The I40 depth display has the transducer connected directly to it. Its two wires that should lead directly to the transducer.
I'd use heatshrink crimp terminals instead of solder in most instances.
Consider running it to the cockpit
The i40 has a manual ( here... https://forums.sailboatowners.com/a...198167/?hash=8a89d9f2eb59425bbf1a665ac240441f )

Page 23 begins the cables and connections for the depth sounder and other parts of the system. Looks to be a simple plug and 3 wire connection to the i40.
 

Attachments

Sep 18, 2020
15
Hunter 27 Port Jefferson
Hi! Thanks! It's a Raymarine i40. I bought a soldering iron last week (for antenna PL-259 connectors) but haven't done it yet, so splicing and dicing are all new... watching Youtube videos now :) I will grab some electrician's fishing tape on the way to my boat. Appreciate the reply! I wish my Boat manual was more descriptive... seems like a no-brainer for them to map out how to do things like this :(
 
Sep 18, 2020
15
Hunter 27 Port Jefferson
Heather Congrats!!!! Run a new cable point to point avoid soldering. This is counter-intuitive but sometimes it causes corrosion. You better off with a racheting crimper, heat shrink connectors, heat shrink tubing and dialectric grease. Best of luck!
 
Sep 18, 2020
15
Hunter 27 Port Jefferson
Heather, I hope your project is moving along..... Pick up Nigel Calder's "Boatowner"s Mechanical and Electrical Manual.....It's quite extensive and a lot of it is very technical but a great book to have when you need it.
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,475
O'Day 25 Chicago
It's recommended to use tinned copper wiring in boats to avoid corrosion but it's not absolutely necessary. You can solder or use decent crimp connectors. If soldering, I recommend twisting the wires together as a first step using a technique similar to this:
1632232430200.png


I think the most difficult step for a novice is holding the wires, soldering iron and solder. I like to place the wire under my hand that's holding the iron.
Mechanically connecting (twisting) the wires together creates a stronger connection as well. Once this step is done put a small ball of solder on the iron and hold it against the wire. This ball of solder helps transfer heat to the wire and lets you know when the wire is hot enough. The wire will wick up the solder.

It's recommended to use heatshrink on electrical connections. Dielectric grease is also good. When using heatshrink double wall is preferred because it has a heat activated glue on the inside to help seal it. I personally like using a torch lighter over a heat gun because it is more accurate and more portable. Try to avoid letting the flame touch the heatshrink.

Also check ebay for used extension cable or possibly a bad unit with extension cable included
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,110
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Let me start here.
55% of all boat fires are ELECTRICAL IN NATURE !

Give that a moment to sink in.

While solder is used to hold electrical wiring in place in a variety of systems, it has such significant drawbacks in boat wiring that it is dangerous.


A Crimped wire connection is the recommended method.

@Maine Sail has posted this many times here on SBO and has an in depth article about connectors and the tools to use. (recommended reading for the DIY boat owners. Marine Wire Termination - Marine How To )

Some specific highlights regarding solder.
  1. Wire on boats is stranded not solid copper. Reason, everything on a boat is moving. The flexing of the hull as you go up and down waves causes the wire in your boat to flex/pull/push in constant motion. Solid copper metal fatigues and breaks when it is put under continual flexing. Stranded wire takes longer to break. While a single strand may fatigue, the rest of the wires continue doing their job.
  2. Soldered stranded wire is stiff. It acts like solid copper. The wires will break at the point of solder.
  3. Solder is a poor conductor. The resistance as electricity tries to move through solder gives off heat. With enough heat created the solder may melt, the connection may fail, the wires may short and the worse may occur - causing your boat to be among the 55%....
“NASA 4.3.4 Crimping – Stranded wire shall be used for crimping (Requirement). Crimping of solid wire is prohibited. Crimping of solder tinned wire is prohibited.” but then what do they know. They play with rockets not boats.

We connect wires to mechanically hold them in place, and to facilitate electrical current to pass through the connection. By proper sizing of your wire and sound connections you will enable the electricity to safely pass through the connection with minimal voltage drop.

The best method of connection is with a proper crimped connector.
 

dmax

.
Jul 29, 2018
492
O'Day 35 Buzzards Bay
"The best method of connection is with a proper crimped connector. "

Absolutety agree, with good connectors (heat shrink) and a quality racheting crimper it is much easier than soldering as well.
 
Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
The other option is to get Navionics on your phone and just stay away from the shallow areas. Not as good, but better than nothing
 
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Likes: jssailem
Jun 21, 2004
1,884
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
I bought a soldering iron last week (for antenna PL-259 connectors) but haven't done it yet
Sorry if I misled you with regards to soldering marine wire connections. The only thing that I recommend soldering is the PL-259 coax cable connector. Will need at least 50-75 watt soldering iron (not gun) with a heavy tip approximately 5mm wide. Watch a few you tube videos on how to solder the PL-259 connector; very technique sensitive to achieve a good joint and make sure you test the connector after soldering to ensure that there are no shorts in the assembled connector. (You tube shows you how to do it).
With regards to all other wire connections, I use marine grade mechanical / crimp connectors (Anchor makes quality marine connectors) and marine grade tinned wire. Strip the wires to be joined, thread shrink film over the wire & move it down the wire (away from the crimp), dip the stripped wire in lanocote or other anti corrosive electrical grease, crimp the wire with the appropriate sized connector using a ratcheting crimper, give the wires a tug to ensure a tight connection, and finally pull the shrink film over the crimped joint and apply heat.
If you are going to do your own maintenance and installation of electrical / electronic components, be sure to purchase a good quality ratcheting crimper and a stripping pliers; those tools make the job easier and improve the quality of the crimps. Again, you can watch a few you tube videos for assistance.
Can't offer much advice regarding the depth finder. I usually use the manufacturer's wire and purchase a longer wire from them to make the wire run without splicing, especially if traversing the bilge where a splice could get wet. I agree with Mike's recommendation to have the depth display in the cockpit within sight while at the helm. The display will be useless at the chart table. If you're approaching "skinny" water; need to monitor depth on a continuous basis.
 
Sep 11, 2021
24
CAL 34 CAL 34 Fortman Marina
Hi, thanks to all of you for the great advice. I actually paid someone today (and they showed up!) to route my depth finder wire, fix the hole I drilled incorrectly (for the depth finder going from captain's table to cockpit), and connect the antenna (with the existing wire, ) fix my propane solenoid, and fix my navigation light that was out. All in 3 hours of work. (I've spent what feels like decades trying to work through this...) Plus I did a radio check, it worked! I still have more projects, but these were the outstanding ones on my survey so today has been more than glorious!