1994 Outrage 21 Navigation Lamp Wiring Repair

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
805Outrage21
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1994 Outrage 21 Navigation Lamp Wiring Repair

Postby 805Outrage21 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:35 pm

I have a 1994 Outrage 21. The existing navigation lamps needed to be replaced, but the existing wires are too short to make a connection. I’ve tried pulling and re-running new wires without success.

I’ve read information online suggesting that for many Boston Whaler boats the wiring for navigation lamps is run through the foam and cannot be replaced through the same route.

Is [the wiring for a navigation lamp on a 1994 OUTRAGE 21 run through the foam and cannot be replaced]?

If so, what is the best alternative repair?

Thank you.

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Phil T
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Re: 1994 Outrage 21 Navigation Lamp Wiring

Postby Phil T » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm

If possible, solder pigtail wires.

If not, this was posted by a fellow owner:
http://continuouswave.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1500
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

jimh
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Re: 1994 Outrage 21 Navigation Lamp Wiring Repair

Postby jimh » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:31 pm

I am not particularly familiar with the 1994 OUTRAGE 21 boat, but, based on looking at the catalogue photographs, my inference is the sidelight lamps are separate RED-GREEN lamps mounted on the gunwales a few feet aft of the bow. It is quite likely that the wiring to those lamps was run before the space between the hull and hull liner was filled with foam, and so, as you have conjectured, the wiring is captivated in the foam.

Repair of the wiring is going to depend on one crucial element: is there still continuity in the wiring from the helm to the lamps at the bow? If the wiring is still good, you will need to make every effort to reuse that wiring.

As Phil mentions, the best way to reuse the existing wiring is to extend it with new wiring by making a splice with the existing wiring.

If this is not possible, then you will have to become very creative about the wiring.

It may be possible--and emphasize the maybe aspect--that wiring actually runs under the rub rail. Or it may be possible to newly wire the lamps by running the wiring under the rub rail.

I suggest you very carefully inspect the existing wiring of the two sidelight lamps. It may be that the path for the wiring already is or can be moved to lay under the rub rail. If not already run that way, you will implement that path as follows:

  1. drill a shallow hole under the sidelight lamps with about 0.5-inch diameter, just deep enough so that another hole can be drilled from the hull side under the rub rail to reach the location of this new hole; inspect carefully before drilling to make sure you won't drill through some structural part of the boat; the new hole should just be into foam;
  2. remove the rubrail temporarily and drill a new hole into the hull from a location under the rub rail so that the hole will meet the new 0.5-inch hole you made under the navigation lamp; or course, you have to drill both these holes with care and skill; this hole has to be only large enough to permit two conductors to be threaded through it;
  3. if the two new holes are successfully made, you then can run wiring into the hull from the under the rub rail, and then pull that wiring out of the new 0.5-inch hole under the lamp
  4. the new wiring is run aft, under the rub rail, until it reaches a location where it can jump into the cockpit.
  5. at this location, you drill a hole into the hull, allowing the new wiring to lead into the cockpit; this may be located at the stern of the boat, or, if more convenient, abeam the helm console, assuming there is some wiring path available there to reach the console;
  6. the exit of this new hole will be covered by a small plastic enclosure, which you will buy for that purpose, or by a clamshell vent (see below); see this thread for a typical plastic box enclosure.

The best outcome will be the wiring embedded in foam is intact, you can make a good butt-splice to it, and you reuse it. See below for my method to accomplish this. Or that the wiring is under the rub rail and can be serviced and replaced.

The wiring to the white all-round pole lamp at the stern should be much simpler and much more accessible. You will likely be able to implement a remedy to that wiring without much trouble or need to create a new wiring path.

jimh
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Re: 1994 Outrage 21 Navigation Lamp Wiring

Postby jimh » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:44 pm

My method to attach new wiring to old wiring that is barely protruding from the hull is illustrated below:

stubWiring1.png
Fig. 1. An illustration showing a method of making good electrical contact to wiring that is barely accessible.
stubWiring1.png (37.54 KiB) Viewed 110 times


stubWiring2.png
Fig. 2. Use of a clamshell vent to cover the exit of wiring from the hull.
stubWiring2.png (13.13 KiB) Viewed 110 times


I recommend trying the following:

  • carefully strip the insulation from the end of the wire stub emerging from the hull;
  • it is common that older wires will have the copper contaminated with oxidation and gunk from the vinyl or PVC wire insulation; this must be carefully cleaned and removed before trying to solder. Try using a cleaner that says it will remove oxidation from copper pans;
  • with the bare wire clean, tin the wire with solder;
  • connect to the bare wire with a new marine grade tinned multi-strand copper wire formed into a loop around the stub wire. Solder the two wires together;
  • in all soldering use just enough heat to get the solder melted and flowing; avoid melting the wire insulation;
  • when a good contact has been made, verify continuity in the circuit;
  • coat the connection with liquid vinyl electrical tape;
  • protect the connection with some sort of plastic clamshell vent or other similar fitting; this will hide the connection, and also dress up the wire exit
.

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Acassidy
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Re: 1994 Outrage 21 Navigation Lamp Wiring Repair

Postby Acassidy » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:07 pm

It is my understanding that the wire runs under the rub rail. Check under your fuel fill access plate and see if there is nav wiring in there.

jimh
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Re: 1994 Outrage 21 Navigation Lamp Wiring Repair

Postby jimh » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:04 am

Arch--for the sake of the fellow working on repair of the navigation lamps, I hope you are right. I think Boston Whaler probably learned from their production of the early 13-footers that lamp wiring embedded in the hull would not stand up to the environment of wet foam or slightly uncured resin, and they moved the navigation lamp wiring to be under the rub rail.

PeterO
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Re: 1994 Outrage 21 Navigation Lamp Wiring Repair

Postby PeterO » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:39 am

Navigation Light Wiring #1.jpg
Fig. 3. Navigation lamp wiring in newer Boston Whaler. One BLACK-GRAY pair enters into a hole; the other pair continues onward, under the rub rail.
Navigation Light Wiring #1.jpg (77.8 KiB) Viewed 58 times


Navigation Light Wiring #2.jpg
Fig. 4. Both BLACK-GRAY pairs enter a hole to reach the cockpit.
Navigation Light Wiring #2.jpg (65.8 KiB) Viewed 58 times


My understanding is in most modern Whalers the navigation light wiring runs in a conduit from the centre console under the port floor and up the port gunwale, and then forward in a channel under the rub rail.
Peter O.

jimh
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Re: 1994 Outrage 21 Navigation Lamp Wiring Repair

Postby jimh » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:54 pm

PETER--thanks for the illustrations of navigation lamp wiring in a newer Boston Whaler. I see the paired BLACK-GRAY two conductor flat cable is still used.

I also note in Figure 3 that you can see abrasion on the gray insulation of the paired conductor going into the hole. The hole also looks like it was drilled in a big hurry, with rough edges left on the exit.