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Laugh, Cry, or Scream?

posted Jul 6, 2011, 1:46 PM by Christopher Hubbell   [ updated Jul 6, 2011, 5:44 PM ]
FTZ Heavy Duty Crimpers
Sometimes I really don't know whether to cry or scream.  My decision to make my own battery cables, while the correct one, cost me about a week of sailing time due to the order falling across the Independence Day holiday.  Well, today the order came in.

First, the "laugh" part of this post's title.  I was elated to see the new FTZ battery cable crimpers.  These things are probably registered as a weapon of mass destruction in some jurisdictions.  They are built like a tank, came with a nice oil covering, and have really crisp ratcheting action.  I believe that they are worthy of their $230 price tag, and will make awesome crimps.

Then I opened the box which contained the wire and misc parts I'd ordered.  After pulling everything out I realized that something was missing...  The heavy battery cable I'd needed to get the starter battery hooked up.  I then pondered just buying it at West Marine for almost 4 times the cost per foot.  By the time I calculated how many feet I'd need I couldn't justify that move.

So, I double-verified the lengths I'd need, and immediately placed a follow up order with GenuineDealz.com for the battery cable I need.  I went with the new color standard of yellow for my negative wires.  You know, yellow is the new black.

I also ordered a ratcheting crimper from Sailors Solutions for heat shrink terminals.  I tried using a double-crimp tool on them, and I was not impressed.  I also used a cheaper hardware store grade crimper, and witnessed the destruction of the expensive heat shrink tube and a not-too-great crimp to boot.  Yuck.  So, another $40 for the RIGHT crimper to do the job.  There's no way to cheap out without consequences.  Either have the yard do it, or do it yourself with the right tools.  Either way its expensive up front.

It looks like I could be out another week waiting for the cable to come in, but GD's pricing is simply phenomenal, so I can't justify bypassing the savings.  The good news?  That gives me more time to focus on the bilge pumping system.  The bad news?  Yeah, I'd really like to do some sailing this year.

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