marine wire termination

a photo two wires tinned together

The above is a connection we found in Pino's ceiling while re-doing the wiring, this is how a previous owner spliced some of the cabin lights together. This splice was tinned, and bound by electrical tape. Making connections like this was more common in the 80's, but doesn't fly in 2022. On a boat there is a lot of movement, and vibrations, which overtime can loosen the connection.

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair.
— Douglas Adams

List of connection DONT's

List of connection DO's

Do your hands a favor, get/borrow good tools. Pino has a shitty wire stripper/crimper that destroys all it touches, including our fingers. A friend lent us his Ancor crimp tool.

two photos, one has a hand flipping off a pair of crappy hardware store grade wire strippers, the other is holding an ancor crimp tool

Ring connectors are sized to wires, and are color-coded for each gauge size:

Pink - 22-18 AWG
Yellow - 12-10 AWG
Blue - 16-14 AWG

Using butt connectors to splice wires? We've been splicing wires together with butt connectors for a while now, sometimes it is the only option available. It is always better to use uncut wire, and if possible to make the splice using a gang terminal bus.

Splicing circuits should be avoided. If splicing is necessary, it should employ a proper terminal block, and not butt connectors. Every splice in a circuit creates additional resistance, and the potential for the connection to come apart.
— David H. Pascoe, Marine Surveyor
some wires running through a gang terminal