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SUBJECT: # 13892: Hey Dunk do you know?? Marine Grade Wire Vs Regular Copper Wire

Submitted by Fishin Magician ( from NEW JERSEY on 2/15/2000 8:32:00 AM

I am about to install a windlass in my boat the manufacturer recommends #6 Marine Grade wire for the distance I need to run. I understand the marine grade wire is tin plated. It is over $2.00 per foot at the marine store and #4 Regular copper wire at Home Depot is less than half that price. Does it really make a difference. Also could I buy a larger size of copper wire, to achive the same amout of conductivablity???

  1. 2/15/2000 9:13:00 AM Submitted by Gale ( from TEXAS says Use marine grade wire to avoid early corrosion
    That tin plating will make a big difference in the life of the wire. Of course, you will want to seal any terminations or splices with 5200 or RTV covered with heat shrink tubing. Even with that protection, the plain copper wire will turn black and brittle inside, too soon. Without remembering exactly what I paid at West Marine or Boater's World last time, that price sounds high for #6.
  2. 2/15/2000 9:31:00 AM Submitted by Tom ( from VIRGINIA says Gale is right.
    The real deal is that the moisture will wick down the conductiors and the wire will corrode inside of the inuslation. I have seen it go several feet up the wire from the termination.

    As far as the goop that you put on the wire I would avoid RTV as it is acid based and will lead to corrosion. The other option that you have other than 5200 is liquid electrical tape which is neopream (sp) rubber.


  3. 2/15/2000 12:39:00 PM Submitted by Dunk ( from NEW JERSEY says Agreed
    Tin cover wire will give you the most mileage, but if saltwater is left to get to the wire it's going to corrode either type. The best wire is the wire with the most strands of copper wire in it. Electricity travel on the outside of each little wire the more more wires the less resistance. When putting together a long run like a windless on the bow you need to double the distance to get the true lenght of the run. Power travel to the unit and back through each cable, positive and negitive. The best wire cable is welding cable. Has some many wires in it it looks like a wire brush when trim the insulation back. It's also a lot more plyable(sp)(non stiff) Welding cable can be found at a local welding supply. The best prices on marine(tin coated) battery cable can be found at Jamestown Dist at 800-423-0542. Their showing No4 tinned Bat Cable at 1.01 a foot/25ft, 21.54. You are also going to need copper cable terminal ends. Flux, solder and a propane torch to attach the ends. The best way to seal the ends is with 5200 and heat shrink tubing. Cover the section between the terminal end and the cable insulation with 5200, slide the heat shink tubing in place and heat it to seal it. Of course the first thing is to make sure the windless is mounted down tight and bedded to the deck with 5200 to keep the saltwater off the wires and connections. Dunk
  4. 2/15/2000 1:32:00 PM Submitted by bert ( from MARYLAND says marine wire
    marine wire is measured as A W G (amer. wire gauge) regular copper stranded is S.A.E., AWG 10gauge is equal to 8 gauge SAE. this means if a device calls for 10gauge and you buy at a hardware store, 10 gauge wire that is SAE you have undersized the wiring. this is one other difference besides the other ones mentioned by the above post

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