Onne’s New Goose: Putting Wires Through the Deck

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Three Seaview cable seals allowed Onne to get eight wires through the deck without causing leaks.

Three Seaview cable seals allowed Onne to get eight wires through the deck without causing leaks.

When Onne van der Wal installed the new electronics on the mast of his 1986 Grand Banks 32, Snow Goose, he had to figure out what to do with all the wiring. Not only were the wires for the old radar and anchor light twisted or broken, but the plugs and deck-mounted sockets were corroded. Adding to the problem was the number of wires for the new electronics he had to get through the deck to connect to the switches and monitors at the two helm stations.

“Because I had so many more wires than before, four on each side, I needed to figure out how to get all those wires through the deck for all that instrumentation on the mast,” Onne says. “How do you get it through in a smart, safe way?”

The old Grand Banks plugs were worn out, Onne couldn't find replacements and he decided there was no need for plugs.

The old Grand Banks plugs were worn out, Onne couldn't find replacements and he decided there was no need for plugs.

He was unable to find replacements for the Grand Banks plugs and sockets but, by pure chance, while he was looking at the Seaview website for radar and FLIR mast brackets, he spotted a cable seal product he thought might do the trick. “I thought, ‘Why do I need a plug? When will I take that mast off again? I can still lower the mast to go under a bridge,’” Onne says.

He called Ian Smith at Seaview near Spokane, Washington, who sent him some seals. “I messed around with the seals in my workshop,” Onne says. “I put them all together, and I was like, ‘this works really nicely.’ Then I put them on the boat.”

The cable seals consist of a gasket, a base, a rubber plug and a cover that compresses the plug to create a seal around the cable. The cable seal comes with drill tubes to make the right size holes in the rubber plug for the cables.

The cable seals consist of a gasket, a base, a rubber plug and a cover that compresses the plug to create a seal around the cable. The cable seal comes with drill tubes to make the right size holes in the rubber plug for the cables.

The seals work on a very simple compression principle. The base is installed on the deck using screws and a rubber gasket. A little marine sealant is used on the threads of the screws. One of the included drill tubes is used to make the right size hole in the rubber plug for the cable and then the cover is screwed down to compress the rubber plug to create a waterproof seal.

“It’s beautifully made,” Onne says. “Seaview produces very nice stuff. Well thought out and well-engineered. Just like the mounts, which came with all the rivets and anti-corrosion spacers, the cable seals come with everything. You just need to bring your drill.”

Because one seal can accommodate multiple wires, Onne installed three cable seals around the mast for eight wires. Below the deck he joined some of the wires with existing wiring where the connections will stay dry. “I’ve checked the Seaview cable seals,” Onne says, “and there isn’t a drop of water coming through.”

You can watch Onne’s DIY video below.

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