There is a Difference Page 2

Maintenance Q & A — November 2004
By Capt. Ken Kreisler

There is a Difference
Part 2: Wire splicing, paint craters, and more.
 More of this Feature
• Electronlysis vs. galvanic corrosion, and more
• Paint craters, and more
• PMY Tries... Spot-Less Water Filter/Softener

 Related Resources
• Maintenance Q&A Index

Can I use wire nut connectors to make splices in a wire run? P.E., via e-mail
Due to the stresses and vibrations associated with your boat being underway, the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) does not approve of the use of wire nut connectors, and therefore you should avoid them. Other nonapproved connectors include direct-bearing set screws and plain spade terminals.

The ABYC-approved method for splicing is butting or three-way connectors. Other approved methods include blades, bullets, or snaps for friction-type connectors; indirect bearing connectors for set screw connectors; and ring, locking spade, and flanged spade for terminal connectors. In addition, friction-type connectors should be able to resist a pull in the direction of the conductor of at least six pounds for one minute. Contact the ABYC (410) 956-1050 or for a complete listing of its safety standards.

Does it matter how far away my inverter is from the battery? N.R., via e-mail
Your inverter should be as close to the battery as possible. Besides the voltage drop inherent in long runs of wire, the heavy-gauge wires needed to carry the high current on the 12- or 24-volt side of the inverter are more expensive, less flexible, and harder to install.

Most inverter manufacturers offer remote-control panels for monitoring and operations. These panels can be mounted at the helm or other areas for easy reference.

I noticed a little patch of small, crater-like openings in the paint on my hull. What could this be? C.R., via e-mail
Craters, or fish-eyes, are usually caused by contamination on the surface being painted, improper surface cleaning before application, or an improper previous repair. If the paint was sprayed on, factors that could have contributed to the condition include contaminated equipment, water or oil in the lines, the wrong spray technique, or the improper drying time.

The area affected by the craters will have to be completely sanded down, cleaned, and prepped properly before repainting.

Need help with a maintenance problem? Write to Maintenance Q & A, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. Fax: (917) 256-2282. e-mail: No phone calls, please. Or visit the maintenance forum at

Next page > PMY Tries...Spot-Less Water Filter/Softener > Page 1, 2, 3

This article originally appeared in the October 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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