Ask SAIL: Bad Plug?

Do marine electronic plugs just go bad on their own? I have a GPS chartplotter that sometimes go off intermittently until I reach back and wiggle a certain multi-pin plug connection.
Author:
Publish date:
500VAC-10-Amp-3P-E-Watertight-font-b-Electric-b-font-Boat-font-b-Marine-b_0

Q: Do marine electronic plugs just go bad on their own? I have a GPS chartplotter that sometimes go off intermittently until I reach back and wiggle a certain multi-pin plug connection. Is this common?

Gene Ballard, Chicago, IL

GORDON WEST REPLIES

This is common if you leave your electronics on board during the winter. The tiny pins in the plugs may develop residue if not exercised at least once a year. How do you exercise them? With your equipment turned off and no DC voltage passing through them, plug and unplug each connection 10 times. This will help clean the connections, and you should be good to go for another year. Each manufacturer has its own favorite type of contact pin spray cleaner, so before you spray the works, check with a local dealer for their recommendation. Only do this with your gear totally turned off. Connections with gold-plated pins are usually good for many years.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Related

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more

shutterstock_349918991

Successful Surf Landings with Wheels

“Ready to take the dink ashore?” Never had those words invoked as much anxiety as when my husband, Jeff, and I first moved to the Pacific Coast. Why? Because we had exactly zero experience with dinghy surf landings, and the possibility of being flipped upside down along with our ...read more

Sail2010_597

How to: Find Good Values on Charter Vacations

So, you want to find a great deal on your next charter vacation? Sure, you can scour the internet, hope for Black Friday deals or ask friends. But an even better way to find good prices on charter boats is to go to a boat show. Not only do charter companies like The Moorings, ...read more