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During my annual visit to the Annapolis Sailboat Show as a judge for Cruising World magazine’s annual BOTY (boat of the year) contest I take hundreds of photographs of detailed systems installations. After the dust settles I get a chance to really study some of these photos. The photo above clearly illustrates a common workmanship error that if ignored could be the simple cause for problems later on. Notice the two yellow shore power cables hanging from the bottom of the terminal box above it. Also notice the fact that the yellow insulation does not enter into the strain relief collar on the box.

Keep in mind that the cables shown here are relatively heavy 120 volt shore power cables that are led from a cablemaster reel set up on this rather large yacht. Also note this whole set-up is located in a transom lazarette on this particular boat, an area where vertical movement will be near it’s maximum compared to the center of the hull. The possibility here is that eventualy a jerking motion might start to pull at these wires possibly detaching them. Another concern here is that the box itself probably has an IP rating that identifies its resistance to water ingress. If the chafe collar on the strain relief nut is not snug up against the three conductors going through it, a channel for moisture ingress is made.

Now, you may be thinking that this is much to do over nothing, and I’ll grant that the issue here is minor in the grand scheme of things. But, keep in mind, the boat in question is priced at over $1 million dollars. I want more craftsmanship for my million bucks.

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