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Old 11-15-2019, 10:00 AM   #1
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Running wire and cable through a Mainship 30 Pilot II

I am not familiar with 34 Pilots, but I imagine there are useful similarities.
Compared to my wooden Grand Banks 42-foot trawler, this boat's much more confined interior with all of its molded fiberglass and wood paneling presents a far more daunting prospect when considering adding to its wiring scheme. The first task I tackled was to remove the built-in Micro Commander engine control for replacement by a conventional single handle push-pull Morse throttle/clutch control. Since the large cable from the helm to the unit's control box on the aft side of the port fuel tank was built into the boat with no access to the run outboard of the tank. all I could do to remove the system was to cut the cabling as far back into the boat as possible leaving the more inaccessible portions in place. Running the two Morse cables from the throttle handle to the engine was simplicity itself. I thrust them down from the helm and lying on my back with my chest through the tiny hatch under the companionway ladder and using one of those kitchen grabber tools reached over in the area forward of the stbd fuel tank to pull the cable ends over to where I could gain control of them by hand for the rest of the run down the stbd side of the engine and thence to their permanent connections.

Since then, I have run a number of engine alarm wires, fuel vacuum gauge hose, battery voltmeter gauge wires, and fuel sender wires up to the helm console from the engine compartment. All these invariably involved using my steel tape snake run down from the wire run hole on the far stbd side of the helm console to where I could see it from my position lying on my back with torso partially through the access hatch under the companionway stair and using the two-foot long grabber tool to pull the snake's end over to where could then tape the new wire to the end of the snake before pulling it back up through to wire run hole at the helm. I eventually ended up cutting a new 1.5 inch diameter hole beside the original larger wire run hole because it was so jammed with wire and hoses that nothing more could be slipped through there - I should have done this before I ever ran the first new wire to make it easier to get wires through.

The next challenge was to run new power cables for my added house bank (boat came with only a starter bank) from the forward part of the engine compartment up to the power panel on the aft bulkhead of the downeast cabin on the port side. This job involved removing all the power panel securing screws and allowing it to drop down and forward giving me access to the structure behind the panel where there is a gap at the top which allowed me to drop a weighted line down into the area of the engine compartment forward of the stbd fuel tank where I could use my faithful grabber tool to pull the line over to where I could attach the new wiring/cables to be pulled back up the the back of the panel.

My latest adventure in running wiring required a run of a Furuno AD-10 heading data cable from the fluxgate compass underneath the forward part of the settee down in the cabin around to the stbd side and under that portion of the settee and then through the back of the small coat closet, under the vanity in the head, and finally up between the inner bulkhead and the hull and cabin side to the console. This last part required removal of the vanity mirror and cutting a four-inch diameter access to allow me to run my snake down to the existing access below the vanity sink so I could tape the cable to it and pull it up the the mirror access. Then I ran the snake from the 1.5-inch wire run hole I had previously cut into the stbd side of the console access area to the 4-inch mirror access hole where I re-taped the cable end to the snake for the final pull to the console where I connected it to the Furuno plotter to complete the automatic radar plotting aid (ARPA) installation.

When it came to adding a remotely controlled spotlight to the anchor pulpit, I was truly stymied because there is simply no feasible way to run new wiring up there without what I considered to be unsightly exposed work. Then I happened upon the concept of WIRELESS controlled spots. I tapped off power to the light from the exiting navigation light power there after removing the crap combo side light and replacing it with individual LED sidelights on either side of the pulpit. Power to the controller at the helm was simple to provide from the nav lights switch.

Anyway, there you have it. As a very experienced DIYer, I have to say larger boats are far easier to rewire than these smaller production vessels, but it can be done.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:09 AM   #2
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Really depends on design and aftermarket stuff added such as hardtops etc.


I worked on hundreds of different boats professionally and maybe another hundred as a favor to people.


Some have great access such as pipe for wire pulls but others not so much.


On quite a few...there is access, but the dismantling or pulling of panels is tedious at best to open everything up.


The best help is usually a tech from a dealership of one's vessel for tips, then a pro that has worked on one or more of the vessels with similar info, then a seasoned owner that has had the same type vessel for years and years.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:35 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. rg. Commendable! I can fully empathize with your wiring conundrums. As well as attempting to rewire, especially on a boat where previous owner(s) have added and most times NOT removed wiring in a fashion that would make the God of Kaos jealous, I expect you are trying to do your install in as neat a fashion as possible keeping in mind potential future activities in that area.


Makes me cringe just thinking about wiring...


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Old 11-15-2019, 02:53 PM   #4
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Yeah, guys, this was sort of an attempt to show 30 Pilot owners who might be a bit timid about doing these jobs without having to hire somebody with a title for multiple boat units. I may be wrong, but I think a lot of the owners of these smaller Pilots like I have may not be as DIY as I am (and that's OK) and only need a little encouragement to tackle this stuff. I know I could not afford to own a boat if I had to hire others to do the stuff that needs doing. I look at the list of 70 mods and improvements I have made to this boat and shudder at the labor costs. I could have bought it twice over for what supposed "pros" charge.
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Old 11-23-2019, 03:27 PM   #5
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Unhappy

I have a 2004 Mainship 30 pilot II and just installed the new Garmin gps antenna (for my Garmin 4208 chartplotter) on the fixture mounted on the hardtop. Dropping the NMEA 2K drop cable down through the pipe into the access hatch on the inside of the hardtop was rather easy. Now I am having difficulty trying to get the NMEA 2K backbone cable from the central access hatch over to the starboard access hatch located just inside of the windshield by the 12 v. fan. The only wiring occupying that route is the power and data cable from the garmin radome and the "old" wire from the old gps antenna that I removed. I can't seem to pull the new backbone cable with the old antenna cable as it seems extremely tight. Should I just use surface raceway track to get the cable where I want it to terminate under the helm?
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:24 AM   #6
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Given the density of wires and radar cabling going down the starboard side of the hardtop support, you might try going across the boat to the port side where there is less obstruction and then across the engine compartment to the stbd side and thence up to the helm. The only cable I have successfully gotten through the stbd side forward corner of the hardtop and down to the helm was a new Vhf radio antenna cable using the old one securely attached to the new one, and that was a tight pull - I feared getting halfway and having the union give way. I used liquid soap on the new cable to make its trip through there a bit easier.

OTOH, I am sure you could sort of hide the cable under a neatly made surface mounted strip made of wood or plastic and painted to match the area.
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Old 11-24-2019, 04:13 PM   #7
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Thank you rgano. I did find the proper routing today after removing the overhead lights at the center and starboard fwd areas. The wires can be pulled from the main center access hatch in the hardtop forward to the light above the center window. Then from that light can be pulled to the light starboard fwd. and then to the starboard access hatch. From there it will be small raceway track down the front corner of the windshield frame, then rearward a foot or so to a hold providing access downward and into the helm wire area.
Thanks again.
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Old 11-24-2019, 05:57 PM   #8
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Let us know if you have success in that route. Getting down the fwd stbd corner is likely going to be the biggest challenge, not to mention how you fish it back the short distance to the console.
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