Question: Here's a photo of the large bundle of wires I found on my boat inside an equipment locker. I have several concerns about this bundle. First, as you look at the top of the locker where the bundle disappears behind the scenes, you can see the rough splintered edge of the wood rubbing directly against the insulation.

This wire bundle moves too freely against the rough wood cut-out in the locker.

This wire bundle moves too freely against the rough wood cut-out in the locker.

Second, when I grabbed the bundle and attempted to move it, I discovered that it really isn’t that tightly held in place. Although you can clearly see the tie-wraps holding all the wires together, there is really no support to minimize movement of the bundle in a vertical plane. I can grab the bundle and move it up and down several inches, all the while watching the wires chafing up against the really rough cut-out in the wood. I’m afraid that over time as my boat bounces through the waves the wiring insulation could become damaged by this rough surface. Any advice?

Answer: Well, you certainly are more observant than the average boater. Your concerns are real and quite justified. I would take a two-pronged approach to dealing with this situation. First let’s get some genuine chafe protection covering that rough wood surface. The simplest way to accomplish this is to get some of the black corrugated “split loom,” approximately ½” ID, from your local marine supply house. Incidentally, that corrugated “hose” in your photo with several pieces of twine hanging loose from it is what the stuff looks like.

That conduit, as it would be better named, looks like the builder installed it to provide an additional wire run through some part of your boat for accessory equipment installation. It doesn’t look like the conduit in your picture is split, but the loom cover I’m talking about will look just like it, only with a slit down one side for its entire length.

Open up the split and slide the material over the edge of this cut-out in the wood. You might even consider gluing the split loom in place.

Next, you’ll need some tie wraps with screw holes in one end to facilitate a tight wrap. Secure the tie wraps to the inside of this locker wall with several small screws. This step should pretty much eliminate any up and down movement of the wire bundle.