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Marine Performance Parts Analysts Show How to Make Safe Electrical Connections

Your Marine Performance Parts Specialists Has the Tools You Need to Get the Job Done Right

Stainless Marine your marine performance parts experts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to make safe electrical connections.

Your marine performance parts professionals know that the tools needed to make crimp connections are inexpensive, and the t­echniques used are simple. Still, every connection is a potential source of resistance or corrosion. Use these tips to help ensure better electrical ­connections for your next refit or repair.


Typical hardware-store crimpers cut and tear into heat-shrink sheathing on crimps and also deflect when you squeeze them — usually deep in the bilge at the far end of your one-arm reach.


Strip just enough insulation so the wire just fits the length of the terminal’s barrel; removing excess insulation compromises the crimp mechanically and corrosion-wise. 


Strive to make a double crimp. Do not crimp at the ends of the connector. Make sure you are crimping the interior metal barrel; the plastic insulated covering overhangs this at the wire end of the connector.

Shrink Connectors

Crimps with heat-shrink collars are a great way to stave off corrosion. After crimping, heat the connector’s insulated barrel with a small torch or heat gun. Use indirect heat — don’t roast it! You can use a lighter, but the torch affords better control — and can be used for line splicing as a bonus. 

Liquid Electrical Tape

Your marine performance parts analysts understand that this product seals out moisture as well as heat-shrink, in my experience. It can be messy to use, but it doesn’t require a source of heat, and on windy days doing field repairs, heat-shrinking can be problematic even with a good torch, so I always carry some in my kit.

Go to http://www.stainlessmarine.com/product-category/diesel-exhaust-risers-elbows/ and see how you can find more information on marine performance parts and on how to make safe electrical connections at Stainless Marine.


Butt splices join wire of the same diameter. To connect wire of different diameter, strip twice as much insulation from the thinner wire and double it back on itself to make the correct diameter.

Terminal Blocks

Sometimes, a terminal block makes more sense than a bunch of butt splices, especially if different wire sizes need to be connected together. They are especially handy for marine electronics and audio installations. 

The Clear Choice

Better terminals use tinned copper, not aluminum. Scratch the surface of one to see; aluminum is silver all the way through. Also, only select terminals having nylon sleeves; vinyl sleeves crack all too easily. Nylon is easy to ID; you can see through it.

Here’s How To Do It Right

Several styles and types of electrical connectors are available to the marine consumer. Only one type though has all the right ingredients to hold fast and keep corrosion at bay—a crimp connector with integral heat shrink tubing.

Anchor Marine makes a variety of heat shrink connectors for marine use. If you become familiar with only a few types and use them to make the right connections the gremlins that inhabit boat wiring will steer clear of your vessel.

Butt Connectors

One type of connector used often on a boat to do repairs or replace a piece of electrical gear is a butt connector. These are specifically designed to connect one wire to another. 

Ancor Heat Shrink Butt Connector

In our photo to the left example, we used a blue butt connector with AWG #14 wire. Following the application of heat the tubing shrunk to fit the wire and oozed out a little glue.

Ring-Eye Connectors

When making connections to a bus bar or electrical appliance that has lugs or screws you should terminate the wire with a ring-eye style connector. Again, Marine Electronics Reviews recommends using connectors with integral adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing.

Tidy Up

The last thing to remember when making connections on any boat wiring is to properly bundle and secure it. Start by forming tight bundles with your hand then secure them with plastic tie wraps.

If you use the right wire, make watertight connections, and securely fasten all wires in place your boat wiring system will provide years of trouble-free service.

So don’t forget these helpful tips on how to make safe electrical connections. 1) Make sure that you have the right tools first;  2) use shrink connectors and liquid electrical tape;  and 3) don’t forget to tidy up after you have finished the job.

Learn more at Stainless Marine and see how they have more information on marine performance parts and on how to make safe electrical connections.

via How to Make Marine Electrical Connections

via Boat Wiring, Making the Right Connection

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