With K’s help down in the hole yesterday, we got the 3-core cable run from the console to the solenoid box for the windlass. The first problem we encountered was the one Dad and I encountered – push the wire down the pedestal steel tubing, and it stops right at the bottom. The idea was that K would try and make a hole for me to hit with a screwdriver or her fingers, but it felt like I was hitting something pretty solid.

Looking at the wiring with a camera, I’ve concluded that the hole through the cockpit sole is smaller than the bore of the steel tube. However, K was able to feed the cable from below, so there was definitely room to get the cable through. She could get the wire all the way to the top of the pedestal, but the wires arcing out through the hole at the top blocked the egress of the cable, and I couldn’t see it to grab it.

Enter the crazy idea of mousing an existing 2-core & shield cable (that goes to the chart table, but is otherwise disconnected), pulling it down to the bottom of the pedestal pole, and then taping the new 3-core to it and pulling it back up. It worked! Should have left a mouse line in there too I suppose, oh well.

Once there was a bit of spare at the top of the pedestal, K went down the hole again to pass me the end, so I could feed it to port through the bulkhead – various water hoses run through a cutting in the bulkhead, to go to the calorfier. Easy enough to shove it through, leave about a metre of slack under the fridge compressor shelf, and then route the rest forward under the stove and galley storage.

Into the conduit in the port berth (both sections), through the bulkhead, and terminate on to the solenoid control box in the master cabin dry hanging locker. Crimped on some ends (integrated heat shrink type), bolt to the solenoid, crimp the other end, and the switch on the helm console works! Got the directions right the first time too (ie, winch in on the button winches in).

Remaining works are to re-do the cable ties for the cabling in the helm console, re-waterproof it with Sikaflex (where the holes in the steel pedestal tubes are), and install strain relief by the solenoid box so the cable can’t bounce around and stress the connectors. Need the cable tie saddle mount fittings to do that, and I dunno if the local hardware store sells them.

Working helm windlass control
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