Run Wire for Elec Bilge pump

After reading many and writing a few posts on the installation of bilge pumps, I am getting around to trying to install. Pumps, tubes and battery fit best behind the saddle, a switch to activate the pumps will go on the front of the saddle. My question is, how to run the wiring?

I’d like to install a tube from the stern end of the saddle through the saddle to the bow end. Then I could run the wires through the tube and the wires would be secure and out of harms way. But my foam saddle is 31" long and I have never seen a drill bit that long.

I guess I could glue a tube on the hull alongside the saddle and then run the wires through the tube. But, it occurs to me that wires are clad in vinyl, the hull is clad in vinyl, and maybe I can just glue the wires to the hull.

Please post if you have ideas or suggestions on how I can secure the wires.

Here’s an idea
Take and aluminum archery arrow with a field tip. Cut the nock off the end. File teeth into the end where the nock was. Put the field tip in a drill and drill it through the saddle. When it get to the other end, cut the field tip end off and leave the arrow shaft installed and use it for your tube.

Bluemerle did a nice job running his wiring down the side of his saddle. I think he maybe held it down with a bead of silicone. I’m not sure. When I saw it I had to look away quickly because it was just so neat and orderly.

I’ve done it
Get a piece of copper pipe the diameter of the hole you want. Cut it longer than the hole you want to drill. File or cut a bunch of ‘teeth’ into the cutting end. I can’t remember if I used a hacksaw or a triangular file. ‘Drill’ it thru the saddle. You’ll end up with a nice hole and a long round piece of foam.

Like Kerry said
but you could use a piece of steel electrical tubing or threaded rod. Might be cheaper than copper is all.

Good point

– Last Updated: Jul-11-11 5:43 PM EST –

I just assumed people had various sized copper tubing hanging around from home repair.:) Threaded rod might be harder to push thru the foam than an open tube.

PVC pipe
You can do the same with PVC pipe, which is much cheaper.

long bits
Go to an electrical supply counter and you can buy 3’ to 5’ long D’versibits, basically an auger bit on the end of a long flexible shaft with a hexagonal base to fit in a drill. These are useful for a lot of things though they are designed for drilling through structural members inside house walls for fishing wires between floor without having to cut holes in the drywall or plaster (the bits can be fished down into the walls through switch or outlet box openings.)

google Dewalt 24" Bell Hanger bits …

– Last Updated: Jul-11-11 10:59 PM EST –

....... inexpensive (10.-12 bucks), disposable (means junk) , various sizes , readily available .

Drill in from both sides , meet in the middle ... use a make shift guide to keep it running straight through so you meet in the middle (or close enough) .

How to rig a make shift guide ... strip of wood to slide the side of drill on , w/small glued L shape block to run the bit against , bit runs on inside corner of little block (can you see it ??) ... the block (jig) is determined by what drill you are using (need to see it better , just drop a line Chip) ... simple little 5 minute rig .

That was fun.
I found some 0.75" P4 pvc in the shop. I notched teeth in one end and installed a dowell through the other end to form a augur with a t-handle. I bungee corded a 5’piece of 1X2 to the side of the saddle, positioned along side where I wanted the hole. I used the 1x2 to guide the t-handle-handle end of the pipe, so the pipe would stay pointed where I wanted it to come out on the other end.

For once, Murphy kept his distance and I now have a piece of PVC installed dead center through the middle of the saddle.

I’ve been dithering and gathering parts for months, and this is the first actual attachment of something, so it felt good to get to step one.

Thanks for the tips. PW, I half expected you to have a dozen 36" bits in your shop. My impression is you have some tools.


well you know , some form of a guide …
… all I have is 12" bits right now except for the heavy hammer drill masonry bits which are longer .

Sounds like you hit a hole in one Chip … inovation is a “traditional” paddler thing , isn’t it (or is it that we are simply thrifty) ??