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Old 04-13-2016, 10:45 AM   #1
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Wiring from upper helm to lower helm

We just purchased a 2009 34T Mainship trawler. There is a Raymarine VHF radio mounted on the upper helm (Fly-bridge), and I would like to add a second companion VHF on the lower helm along with stereo speaker wires too. I'm was having a very difficult time trying to feed fish tape / wire down the existing conduit (wiring harness) on the on the starboard side. I finally managed to get pull string down to the bilge area above the fuel tank.

But trying to pull my new VHF cable and speaker wire up thru the existing conduit is not working. It keeps getting hung up. I was hoping that someone might have experience with this problem.

Thank you
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:01 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Have you bundled the feed end of the new wires sufficiently with a smooth wrap of tape? If the "business" end of the bundle is smooth and tapered, and still won't feed through you might try some lubrication. I would suggest: Yellow 77. Probably available at your local Home Despot. Ideal Industries - Yellow 77® Wire Pulling Lubricant
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:45 PM   #3
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Sometimes new races are the easiest. Just takes a bit to drill and seal...saves time in the long run when even more wires Ned to be run.
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:04 PM   #4
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Liquid hand soap works.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:45 PM   #5
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Klein Tools 32 oz. Premium Synthetic Clear Lubricant 51028 at The Home Depot - Mobile
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:03 PM   #6
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:05 PM   #7
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A puller person and a pusher person might also work.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:18 PM   #8
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Liquid hand soap works.
Perhaps, but I was in the trade for years and I never saw an electrician or electronics technician using it to pull wires or cables. Yellow 77 is what was used. There may be updated products on the market now, but the important point is to use something made for the purpose so you don't run the risk of long term damage to the wires or cables and whatever you use doesn't eventually glue the wires in place so they can't be removed at a later date.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:20 PM   #9
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A puller person and a pusher person might also work.
Yes, provided the "pusher person" understands that they are not so much pushing as just feeding the wires and keeping them from tangling.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:02 AM   #10
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Yes, provided the "pusher person" understands that they are not so much pushing as just feeding the wires and keeping them from tangling.


And coating the wireing with Yellow 77. Messy stuff so cover everything in the area with rags, newspaper, or whatever.

If you are trying to feed the new antenna cable with the PL259 fitting installed then you will have trouble. Remove it and install a new one after the cable is in place.

Expose some of the cable core , several inches, and tightly form a loop in the core and then feed the pull wire though that loop and then make the pull wire into a loop. Wrap tightly with tape so the joint is smoothly covered and the tape wrap covers the insulation of both wires so there is little to hang up.

The tail of the loop on the pull wire MUST be blended nicely with the tape so no loose wire ends can hang onto something. Sometime if you get a hangup then pull it back a bit , wiggle/push/pull the other wires a BIT and try again.

If there are other wires then tightly as you can tie them into the same joint staggering them some what.

If need be get some wire lube, yellow 77 or similar, and use it. It will make a difference in the wire feeding through. The proper wire lube will not damage the wire insulation, other stuff might.

If it truly is too tight then as PSNEELD suggested you may have to consider installing another conduit.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:12 AM   #11
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And coating the wireing with Yellow 77. Messy stuff so cover everything in the area with rags, newspaper, or whatever.

If you are trying to feed the new antenna cable with the PL259 fitting installed then you will have trouble. Remove it and install a new one after the cable is in place.

Expose some of the cable core , several inches, and tightly form a loop in the core and then feed the pull wire though that loop and then make the pull wire into a loop. Wrap tightly with tape so the joint is smoothly covered and the tape wrap covers the insulation of both wires so there is little to hang up.

The tail of the loop on the pull wire MUST be blended nicely with the tape so no loose wire ends can hang onto something. Sometime if you get a hangup then pull it back a bit , wiggle/push/pull the other wires a BIT and try again.

If there are other wires then tightly as you can tie them into the same joint staggering them some what.

If need be get some wire lube, yellow 77 or similar, and use it. It will make a difference in the wire feeding through. The proper wire lube will not damage the wire insulation, other stuff might.

If it truly is too tight then as PSNEELD suggested you may have to consider installing another conduit.
This whole post is filled with great info, but abso-friggin-lutely remove the connector from the coaxial cable. It's very easy to learn to correctly solder a new connector in place. I'll guarantee that if you don't already know how to solder, this is a great place to start learning. Tougher than soldering a twist of wires, but ain't nearly as tough as soldering a PCB, which I wouldn't consider trying.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:06 AM   #12
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If the existing conduit/chase is straight, then put a work light under the lower end and take a look into the top end, probably using a mirror. There may be light shining through gaps between the existing wires and cables. This may give you a hint where to start trying to feed your new wires - areas of least resistance.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:00 AM   #13
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Thank you for all the advice, I purchased the Yellow 77 lubricant and wire pull string, if that does not work I will try the great other ideas that were posted. hopefully this weekend I will have all my wires pulled.
Thank you again!
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by panhead56 View Post
We just purchased a 2009 34T Mainship trawler. There is a Raymarine VHF radio mounted on the upper helm (Fly-bridge), and I would like to add a second companion VHF on the lower helm along with stereo speaker wires too. I'm was having a very difficult time trying to feed fish tape / wire down the existing conduit (wiring harness) on the on the starboard side. I finally managed to get pull string down to the bilge area above the fuel tank.

But trying to pull my new VHF cable and speaker wire up thru the existing conduit is not working. It keeps getting hung up. I was hoping that someone might have experience with this problem.

Thank you
We just sold our Hunter sailboat. Manufactured by the same good folks that built the Mainships. One of my major peeves was their utter disregard for the owner that wished to upgrade anything electrical. A cheap piece of pvc conduit would have made impossible tasks a breeze.
I found many times that I'd end up for hours looking for a means of routing a wire from point A to point B. The bilge area always stuck fear in me. I remember one time using 20 feet of wire to make an 8 foot direct run. UGH!
OK I'll get off the soapbox..... I feel your pain....
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:26 AM   #15
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We just sold our Hunter sailboat. Manufactured by the same good folks that built the Mainships. One of my major peeves was their utter disregard for the owner that wished to upgrade anything electrical. A cheap piece of pvc conduit would have made impossible tasks a breeze.
I found many times that I'd end up for hours looking for a means of routing a wire from point A to point B. The bilge area always stuck fear in me. I remember one time using 20 feet of wire to make an 8 foot direct run. UGH!
OK I'll get off the soapbox..... I feel your pain....
And one of the reasons I liked Catalina sailboats. They put spare conduit in the walls of the boat in case an owner wished to run/add new wire. Catalina did a great job when it came to this sort of stuff and the reason I would buy another one over the other two(Hunter and Beneteau...and I owned a Beneteau as well) if I were buying a sailboat.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:25 PM   #16
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............ If there are other wires then tightly as you can tie them into the same joint staggering them some what.
Yes, stagger the rest of the wires by about two inches each. You don't need to run them through the loop, tape will hold them if done correctly. The entire end should be a slim and streamlined as possible.
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