Handy Cat 5


1973 14' Handy Cat


Project Complete:  10 total hours

Scope of Project:  Install an electric trolling motor in the rudder

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February 10, 2018

Handy Cat 5

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I finished up the project by creating a long wiring harness between the rudder’s wiring and the portable control box.  Judging how much slack I’d need to comfortably run between the rudder and the boat’s cockpit when things were rigged, I ran a four-wire harness comprised of the same color wires as the motor’s originals through some 1-1/8″ hose, which would fit over the end of the rudder’s conduit.  At the boat/control box end, I connected the wires to the four terminals of the large plug assembly, matching up the wires and terminals to the receptacle end that I’d already installed in my portable control box.

When I went to test the fit of the plug in the receptacle, I was dismayed to find that the plug wouldn’t stay in place.  This puzzled me for a little while, till I determined that I’d reassembled it incorrectly.  The rubber insert, which contained the terminal studs, featured a little bead around its perimeter, and when I put it back together I’d assumed this bead should be right where the insert came out of the plastic housing.  However, I learned that the bead was actually what held the plug in place inside the receptacle, so I dismantled the plug and reassembled it with more of the rubber insert protruding.  Now the plug stayed in place nicely.

With that, I temporarily wired up a 12-volt battery and tested the motor.  Success!  Five forward speeds and three reverse.  The large knob I’d chosen for the control worked well and was easy to change from setting to setting.  I have three different (yet similar) videos showing the operation and since I couldn’t decide which was best, I just uploaded them all.  Enjoy one, all, or none.

With that, the project was complete.  I couldn’t wait for a real test on the water!  But that would have to wait a few months.

Total time billed on this job today:  1 hour