With a volt-ohm meter, I tested voltage for
the old 12V DC wiring leading to the area
behind the adjacent bulkhead to be sure
polarity hadn’t been reversed by someone in
the ancient past, and then again to be sure
power was indeed gone after I flipped the
breaker. This wire would’ve been too short
if I cut off the old connectors, so I removed
them by carefully compressing them at the
point of the crimp with a dull wire cutter.
Next I connected the new fan wires, using
tinned butt-end connectors, to that existing
wire behind the bulkhead. This work was
close to and inside the bulkhead, so I used
a Streamlight Knucklehead worklight and a
3AA HAZ-LO headlamp for good lighting.
The existing wire was of more than adequate
gauge to handle the tiny load of the fan and
was already protected by an appropriately
sized circuit breaker.
The new fan’s wires were long enough to
allow this work before mounting the fan — a
feature I always insist upon when buying
something to be installed.
Degree Of Difficulty
Electric drill and bits
Headlamp and shop lights (optional)
$98 (based on West Marine pricing)
I finished the job up by screwing the
StarBoard, with the fan base attached, to
the overhead, attaching the fan snugly and
securing the wire.
Now the rip is covered, a smart-looking
fan is mounted in its place, and the mounting looks nothing like a jury-rigged repair
but a nicely thought-out and properly exe-
Butt connectors and six stainless
wood screws $5
APPROXIMATE YARD TIME/COST:
This is a straightforward job and shouldn’t
take a pro more than an hour or so.
The national average cost for a marine
electronics installer runs about $80 an
hour but many have minimums, so you
can plan on saving around $100 by doing
the work yourself.
cuted fan mount. Only you and I know it
was never originally planned that way!
Tom Neale is a BoatU.S. Magazine contributing editor and a key member of our “Ask The
Experts” tech team. For his personal story
about growing up in boats, see “How I Met
Your Mother” on page 52.
ALWAYS CARRY AN OLD BLOCK OF WOOD ABOARD FOR A BACKSTOP WHEN DRILLING. IT’LL SAVE YOU MONEY
AND HEADACHES BY PREVENTING THE DESTRUCTION OF YOUR MATERIALS, OR BOAT!