PYI Seaview Cable Glands, even a Retrofit model
Ben Stein’s cabling frustrations reminded me about the value of good cable glands, like the selection from PYI Seaview. They are designed so that you can pass a cable with a fair sized connector — or even several such cables — through a deck or superstructure, but end up with a tight waterproof seal around the cable(s).
PYI offers Seaview Cable Glands in anodized aluminum, polished stainless, and even custom finishes, but I’m fine with this less expensive ABS plastic multi cable model. When it’s eventually installed behind the radar and hailer speaker on the front of Gizmo’s flying bridge, it will hardly show anyway, and it could nearly disappear with some white paint.
Aesthetics aside, this cable gland should be able to seal at least the existing cables, no problem, with room for more (as long as the connector diameters are less than 17mm). PYI provides clear instructions — and even produced a thorough install video — so I’ll just note that the white part above will end up permanently screwed to the flybridge (with gasket) , through which I’ll drill/cut a hole about the size of the oblong cut out.
The trickiest part is drilling and slicing the rubber plug to fit the cable size(s), but it’s not too tricky and there are various ways to manage mistakes (like rescue tape). The design is forgiving because the tapered plug gets evenly squeezed when you tighten down the gray cover with the four machine screws (and easily redone).
In fact, this cable gland will replace a Blue Sea Cable Clam that was only meant for one cable, but hasn’t leaked in several years of use with two. The Cable Clam uses a similar tapered and compressed plug design, as do a wide selection of Scanstrut Deck Seals. (And I can testify from hands-on experience that all three brands are well made.)
But to my knowledge, only PYI offers Retrofit Cable Glands, which could a blessing in situations where you can not easily remove the cable. Note how two dovetail joints are used to firmly lock the base together so it can withstand the pressure of the tapered rubber sealing plug. Clever!
Those Retrofit cable glands are awesome! I can’t believe no one has come up with that before now. I can’t think of the amount of times I have had to pull something completely out just to get it through a gland!
How would you get the rubber seal in place without removing the cable, or is it also split?
Retrofit, great idea. PYI Seaview is on a roll, many good new products last year.
What is the best way to put holes in those rubber things?
Scan strut suggests placing the rubber part in the freezer overnight. The hole I drilled at low speed was ragged. At high speed, the swarf was tiny chips and the hole was clean.
+100 on the retrofit fitting – I have a couple of antique pass-thru fittings where I KNOW the rubber is going to just crumble when I take ’em apart – and I really don’t want to have to put on a new connector.
I have the same question as Antti N – is the rubber already split? I can then see freezing it, drilling the hole(s) quickly, then separating the two halves, inserting the halves around the cable(s) and finally installing the whole assembly into the plastic/SS/chromed fixtures for a leak-proof system.
Hi James, Splitting the rubber would make the drilling harder, and also you only need a cut on one side. The rubber is usually flexible enough to open around the cable. Finally, making the one cut after drilling the hole is very easy.
Really like the DS-Multi model – just used 2 on my center console boat with an electronics re-installation – one for 5 cables on the back of an HDS12 and the other for 3 cables on the back of an NSS12. You might be able to fit 6 cables in it but 5 was getting pretty full.
I did not find freezing to help drilling the holes. High speed definitely helped, as did screwing the top metal piece down over the rubber block and drilling all holes while clamped.
Generally a great item, I’ve used them installed whole but the retrofit kit should work. My gripe is the black stain on the surrounding deck that comes from the rubber after a year or two ( and keeps bleeding out), A rubber without the “carbon-black” that is white, or a silicone or urethane grommet that doesn’t bleed onto the deck with age would be better. Advantage of the retrofit, is that the seal can be replaced after several years if needed.