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The ins and outs of making electrical connections through bulkheads and decks – Neat is safe, and safe is neat!

Walking around a small harbour boat yard recently I couldn’t help noticing the methods that have been adopted for passing cables through decks and bulkheads. Whether it’s a VHF antenna cable or the connector-rich cable bundle from the latest navigation kit head unit, it’s always necessary to make electrical connections between internal and external equipment. In the old days installers would drill a hole, pass the wire through and seam it up with a couple of squirts of silicon sealant. Untidy but seemingly effective, such a solution doesn’t pass the test of time. The sealant works free allowing the cable to chafe on the hole edge potentially leading to equipment failure at a critical moment, or a short circuit leading to fire.

In seeking out a great looking solution, you can also get the reassurance of safety. Proper cable management, including strain relief on entry and exit points, and IP68 level waterproofing. Choosing a cable gland is the starting point, and the Index Marine product range is aimed at professional boat builders, equipment installers and hobbyists, giving them the security of fully waterproof and protected cabling as it passes through panels, and decking. You can choose from side-entry or perpendicular entry depending on the routing of your cable as it passes through the bulkhead, and you can run multiple cables through them too. In fact you don’t even have the hassle of removing and re-attaching the connector from the cable, as the range of glands allows you to select one with a large connector pass through, but with a wire-gripping bung that can have exactly the right size hole pre-moulded or drilled. Furthermore there’s a look to suit all needs – plastic (white or grey), aluminium, or high-end stainless steel, so your wiring solution blend in with the boat’s theme.

It all takes a few moments to install, then stand back and admire the discrete neat-looking cable installation, and rest assured that it is safe, too. No water ingress; no cable chafing; total peace of mind.

Take a look at the whole Index Marine product range at

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