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Core Sound 20 Mark III #3 "Skeena"

Steve W

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Hi All, I tried a 2 pin plug for my mast,  pretty corrosive area with the salty anchor rhode and stuff, in 2 months it was useless.  Chic has the right idea, I removed the plug,  next time I pull the boat (mast up) into the carport I’ll worry about the wires then.....

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There are a few different connectors you can use, but the ones that work in these applications are "deck connectors" which have a threaded sleeve and rubber seal, that insure it can't come undone and water can't get in. Some cheaper ones, usually plastic have a 1/4 turn locking mechnisium, which works, but are not as tough if kicked or beat up.


This is the "SeaDog" piece, with built in strain relief and chrome plated brass construction.


This is the plastic version and it doesn't look like it has a positive lock. Just a passive lip that gets stretched over the base (maybe).


This is what I'd recommend for a "combo" masthead light. If using just as an anchor, you can use the extra wires for masthead cockpit lighting, which is darn handy, when fishing around the bottom of the cooler for the last cold beer, well after sundown.

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Over the many years of marine surveying I have always looked in contempt at the deck fittings shown. After a while water seems to get into pins. On my voyaging boat I built a stainless tube swan neck epoxied to the cabin top. The wires ran from the mast up into the tube and down into the cabin where they went into a terminal block. The wires were caulked where they went into the tube but because it was down facing, UV degradation could not happen. All of the connections inside were smothered in a dielectric grease before the cover went on. IT WORKED.


On Carlita I used a cheap fitting like the one shown but installed it under deck so that sun and water should not mess with it and I liberally coated it with tef gel.


The only aggravation that I have had with it is gravity. It has fallen out bouncing on the highway. It does not have a screw and depends on friction to hold it in place. A screw on fitting would be better. My pins are round and are split  I have been able to gently force a knife blade and spread the pins which has worked.

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I've used the gooseneck approuch on masts, but prefer "bulkhead" connectors, to deck connectors. It seems the O ring/formed ring gets crunched pretty easily, but if replaced, they work pretty good, if mounted horizontally. They have better ones than the ones above, some with double water penetration, sleeves and gaskets, but these too wear out. The setup I like the most on mast wiring is the male/female wire ends that screw together (inline connectors). It's like above except no base, just the fitting on the wire. The connection can be taped, to further seal it, but it's easy enough to remove and the wire exit from the mast can be caulked (or placed in an exit box) and the wire going into the deck or cabin top can be handled the same way. I've been using Amphenol products and the "Amphe-EX" is a bullet (actually explosion) proof setup, for not a lot of money, assuming you don't wan to replace it in a generation. Available in deck, bulkhead, inline, etc. configurations, with many pin arrangements as you can like, including USB, coax and standard data transfer and power (2, 3, 4, 5 + pins, etc.). The EX series have waterproof, double strain relief connections.

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Thanks for all the help! Makes me want to go back to sanding........lol. I'm just waiting for a few more lights to mount before I move on from the electrical phase and back to construction. I started out thinking AA powered gizmos and simplicity to what we refer in the software business to "Feature creep". Proves I'm human.

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Updates from the frozen North. We got about a foot of snow Friday night/Saturday morning, so we went Nordic Skiing after cleaning up the driveway. I only worked on the boat about 4 hours this weekend total, but the snow was so good what can you do? And yes, that sliding glass door in my basement will give birth to a boat someday.



I wanted to minimize intrusion into the cabin to allow me and others to lounge below so figuring out where to put the electrical gear baffled me. Some mornings I get a cup of coffee and just sit inside the boat. There are so many good ways to sit I didn't want to affect any of them. I finally decided that this was a good compromise.  And I can still reach the switches from the cockpit.

2018-01-14 20.04.09.jpg


I put a fuse block/buss bar on the inside with a removable cover. I ran all the wires for the most part just to be sure I had everything pre-drilled properly.  Those are 12V power outlets on each side. My goal is to paint the interior and so I want to seal all the edges in the holes first. I'm going to make a slide in plexiglass cover for the hole.



Thanks to your recommendations I found a plug to send the nav/anchor light wiring through. I tucked it high and out of the way to keep it projected and dry. I wanted to get all this done before I glue on the roof which may happen later today. I temporarily wired the masthead light to test it all out. 



The Solar charge controller is going here. My battery is in the the front of the bunks and I couldn't see any reason to bring wire aft then forward so this seemed like a good compromise location. I can see the voltage readings from the cockpit. The wires that came with my 50 Watt panel seem like they could jump start a car, and running them all the way to the battery is going to be tough to keep neat and unsightly, but I think this should work. Not shown I have two LED Cabin lights that are hooked to the cabin light switch on the panel, two LED reading lights on there own switches and a small dome light that will get mounted below the hatch garage. I have another 12V plug and I'm debating putting it out in the cockpit. 



So now I can move on to putting the cabin roof on and building hatches. I read once that boat building is all about being stubborn. Seems about right!



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I like your approach Steve and, like you, we like both skiing and sailing but don't need to shovel our driveway clear. I have also put the solar panel controller up on one of the forard cabin knees and it is fine there. One day I will wire in a voltmeter, but my multimeter tells me I get a good solid charge from the panel even in poor light. Because I lengthened my cabin I have the switch panel up on the aft bulkhead and that works very nicely and is pretty well out of the way.I used rectangular conduit glued in alongside the cabin stringers to keep the wiring tidy.

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Thanks for the comments. Chick, I saw your boat so if you say it's "purty" that's a good thing. Last night, with the assistance of my wife and youngest son, I glued on the cabin top. It seems like a big milestone.


I was singing " Come in, she said, I'll give ya shelter from the storm". 


Tonight I can get the opening trimmed to make access easier. And then the next round of fun begins!


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The hatch dilemma. After seeing both Graham's, Pete's and Chick's boats (and others) at the Messabout, I am torn as to what to do for my boat. The good news is that after being on both boats I moved on from wanting a trench hatch like the original plans showed. I put a folding step down into the cockpit, but even with it down I can stand up as the companion way hatch is large. I'm going to write down what I think and hope for clarification by the exercise, but feel free to comment.


Graham design (Carlita) compared to Chick's (Summer Breeze)


-Complexity. Both designs are doable, while Chick's seems easier with far less work and less hardware. I would guess all in all it would take far less time to make Chick's setup and that appeals to me.


  • Graham's allows both hatches to be open simultaneously, but not while the mast is down, although I suspect the forward hatch could be tipped up a bit. This prevents pushing the mast up from the hatch, but I'm not sure this is a big deal. I feel like I'll tip up the mast from the cockpit and walk forward across the cabin top, and kneel to pin it.
  • Chick's require only one hatch to be opened at a time or half and half. I suspect if you shove one wide open it would push the other one closed easily. Can you actually lift the mast from here and then pin it easily?

Ventilation. I did add a port in the aft end of the anchor locker and I also wired in a low wattage fan that can be moved about when necessary. I am not adding a bow sprit so I could add a second one on the port side. Both designs will need screens that Velcro. Even up here in the north the bugs will find you.

  • I feel like this is where having a propped up for hatch like Graham's is a clear winner. Tipping up the hatch at anchor will catch a breeze and send it below. I put in non-opening ports like Carlita and I am worried about ventilation.
  • Chick's design could get a scoop forward like so many other boats. It would be easy to make a small scoop for the anchor hatch opening.

Sea-Worthiness Chick, does the forward hatch ever leak when towing? I asked Graham (no) but I forgot to ask you.


Looks. I really like the traditional look of Chick's curved top. The chance to finish it bright appeals to me. "Jazz Hands" won't have much wood on it and accents make a big difference so there is that. But Carlita looks awesome in her own right.


Solar. If you scroll up to the picture of my house, you will notice a giant solar panel behind the big tree. there is a second one next to it behind the barn. My whole house is powered by that. I want to have the same power independence on the boat.

  • On Carlita, Graham has mounted a very efficient 50W solar panel. My guess is it easily keeps his battery charged. Because he has a dodger he didn't mount it on the "garage" but he put it on the forward hatch. I purchased the same panel and it is pretty heavy with it's aluminum frame. He put a nice prop to tip it. Since I question whether I would add a dodger, I could put it on the garage, but it elevates the garage and looks aren't great. They make less efficient flexible panels but they certainly aren't as durable judging from the amazon comments.
  • On "Summer Breeze" there isn't much room to put a solar panel. The hatches slide over the "garage area" so mounting here is out. Putting them on the hatch tops themselves means wiring that would need to flex and that seems problematic. And because of the curved top a less durable flexible panel would be required if a "garage" was made.

This picture of Pete's lovely boat Chessie which has Graham's style of hatches shows there isn't much room to mount panels anywhere else.


Decisions, decisions.........Please add your thoughts.



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Good discussion, Steve. No, the hatch does not leak while towing, and we were in a "monsoon" when we returned from the B&B messabout last year. My intention was to be able to raise the mast from the front hatch, but I have wound up going on deck to do it. Someone else has raised theirs from the hatch, but I don't remember who. The nut that holds the mast up is in the anchor well on the Breeze. I find it much more convenient to hold the mast up while reaching over into the well to put the nut on. I can reach it from the hatch, or when kneeling on deck.


I would think that you could build kinda a "bridge" across the hatches in the area between the openings to mount a panel on.


Cruising in Florida when I was younger convinced me of the need for plenty of ventilation, so I insist on opening ports. I intended on making a fabric "wind scoop" to rig over the port hatch, but never got around to it.

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Chick, I find writing down my thoughts helps clarify things.


Funny that you mention that bridge thing. Last night I woke about 3:30 am and had that same thought. Do you think the main sheet would get caught on that?


As for ventilation I agree. I chose non-opening ports as I've had two boats that were port window leakers. Plus I like the look of the oval ones Graham designed. I've also had pretty good luck with those Nicro solar vents which I could still see mounting aft of the mast.

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If you are considering variations on the mast-raising issues -- it may help to refresh your memory by reviewing various post on the subject concerning my problems with "Chessie."  Have a look at the various posts on Page 34 (specifically 7/31/17 & 8/3/2017):


The final system has worked well for me.  It has even survived a potentially dangerous mishap caused my by carelessness (when tired) at the end of a sailing day.  The mainmast fell (I was out-of-its-way in the cabin).  A loud noise but no damage at all, not even on the sail track which took all of the impact when the mast hit the aft edge of the garage.  Just a small dimple on its aft coaming.


I made a more thorough report of the incident on my post at Page 35 (specifically my second post for 8/24/2017):



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Good analysis. 


The only point I may disagree with is the speed of building; if you buy the kit from Graham I think his style would be quicker to build than Chick's.  It took me a long time to work out all the details on the Chick style (I wanted all the clearances to be spot on).  It came out great, but IMHO assembling a kit from Graham would be much quicker.  Of course, speed of building should be last on your list of considerations as you will be probably be sailing this boat for the rest of your life.

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The Breeze was built from Graham's kit. I changed only a couple of things like using cabin top beams rather than the knees, and the hatch arrangement.


As for vents. I find that a nice breeze is what I like. It blows in through the opening ports as the boat swings at anchor. If you angle the opened port right, it deflects the air right down on you as you lie in the berth. The solar vents won't do that.


I don't think you'd have a problem with the mainsheet. Round off the corners on your "bridge" like you would if it was a regular "garage". The sheet normally won't be dragging across it anyway.


Some one had posted on the forum about elliptical opening ports that were available. I don't remember what company makes them. Other folks reported that they seemed to work well and were of good quality. Maybe I've been lucky, but I've never had a problem with the plastic opening ports. Mine were Beckson. I have heard that the rubber gasket gets stiff after several years and will leak. I suppose that the gasket is replaceable.



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