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Old 15-08-2016, 13:13   #1
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Attaching messenger line to cable

I'm just about to pull some new cable through a mast. I will be using the cable to be replaced to pull a messenger line through, then using the messenger line to pull through the new cable. Can anyone advise on the best method of securing the messenger to the cable?
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Old 15-08-2016, 13:27   #2
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

Depends on a few things I usually put a loop in the messenger then electrical tape the heck out of it. That usually works. If there is nothing to snag on I sometimes zip tie things together. For must pulls though I just lay the cable and the messenger side by side with about 6-8 inches of overlap and tightly electrical tape them together going about 2-3 inches past each side.
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Old 15-08-2016, 13:37   #3
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

One possibility is to take the first foot (appx) of messenger and "whip" the end of the main line you are pulling.


Serves 2 purposes.
1: you are preventing the end from fraying out better than just heat sealing (which you should do also)
2: extremely secure hold for the messenger.

Then use some blue painter's tape to turn the flat end of the main line into a shape that won't catch as easily.
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Old 15-08-2016, 13:50   #4
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

Welcome aboard, swilly sailor,

Sometimes, one's mast is already very crowded. Jim sometimes stitches ours, end to end, then wraps the join with the kind of electrical tape that is slippery on the non-stickum side. You can buy lubricant for pulling wires through, too. We have used dishwashing detergent (like Joy or Dawn) to lubricate the wire, as well. The process is generally a bit of a pita, but you/anyone can do it. Good on you for giving it a go.

Ann
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Old 15-08-2016, 14:27   #5
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

+1 on the lube! Its also a good idea to attach TWO messenger lines. That way if things get snagged and/or something breaks, you've got another one already run.
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Old 15-08-2016, 15:00   #6
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

Just crammed a bunch of wires into a conduit in my mast the other day. I used 2mm spectra tied in a hitch and taped for security. Like Ann suggests, plenty of slippery lube. We used shampoo we had onboard for the job because the thicker the better. One gotcha we experienced was interference from the too long rivets protruding into the conduit, as well as twists in the conduit presumably from past wire pulling episodes. This caused a lot of binding when pulling, so the non stretching and high strength spectra makes an excellent choice. Staggering the cables and using tape to form a point at the leading end helped stopped jagging on rivets, too.

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Old 16-08-2016, 01:49   #7
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin A View Post
Depends on a few things I usually put a loop in the messenger then electrical tape the heck out of it. That usually works. If there is nothing to snag on I sometimes zip tie things together. For must pulls though I just lay the cable and the messenger side by side with about 6-8 inches of overlap and tightly electrical tape them together going about 2-3 inches past each side.
For the must pulls, when you tape the messenger and cable side by side, do you fold the messenger back on itself, ie tape 3", fold it back and tape it over itself?
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Old 16-08-2016, 01:52   #8
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

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Originally Posted by TurninTurtle View Post
One possibility is to take the first foot (appx) of messenger and "whip" the end of the main line you are pulling.


Serves 2 purposes.
1: you are preventing the end from fraying out better than just heat sealing (which you should do also)
2: extremely secure hold for the messenger.

Then use some blue painter's tape to turn the flat end of the main line into a shape that won't catch as easily.
I can imagine this wiring with line, but do you know if it would work with co-axial cable?
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Old 16-08-2016, 01:53   #9
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Welcome aboard, swilly sailor,

Sometimes, one's mast is already very crowded. Jim sometimes stitches ours, end to end, then wraps the join with the kind of electrical tape that is slippery on the non-stickum side. You can buy lubricant for pulling wires through, too. We have used dishwashing detergent (like Joy or Dawn) to lubricate the wire, as well. The process is generally a bit of a pita, but you/anyone can do it. Good on you for giving it a go.

Ann
Thanks. Like the idea of washing up liquid!
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Old 16-08-2016, 01:55   #10
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

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Originally Posted by the_alpine View Post
+1 on the lube! Its also a good idea to attach TWO messenger lines. That way if things get snagged and/or something breaks, you've got another one already run.
How do you attach the two lines without making it very bulky?
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Old 16-08-2016, 01:57   #11
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
Just crammed a bunch of wires into a conduit in my mast the other day. I used 2mm spectra tied in a hitch and taped for security. Like Ann suggests, plenty of slippery lube. We used shampoo we had onboard for the job because the thicker the better. One gotcha we experienced was interference from the too long rivets protruding into the conduit, as well as twists in the conduit presumably from past wire pulling episodes. This caused a lot of binding when pulling, so the non stretching and high strength spectra makes an excellent choice. Staggering the cables and using tape to form a point at the leading end helped stopped jagging on rivets, too.

Sent from my SGP521 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Great. Thanks.
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Old 16-08-2016, 09:04   #12
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

If you're using coax to pull messenger to pull new coax why not solder new coax to old and tape up solder join? If in addition a messenger left in place is desired then attach some 2mm line at joint then tape.

Not clear what you're pulling but seemed you are replacing coax.
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Old 16-08-2016, 09:23   #13
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

Many mast pulls are very tight at the spreaders especially. I usually tie a knot or two of the pull line around and tape it up making a taper. If the wire budle is fixed together at the ends, then I run the line thru it. I prefer masking tape as electrical tape is pliable and will snag more readily. I use the very strong 1/8" or 3/32" Dacron hard line.
For halyards I usually use a piece of thin monel seizing wire making a loop thru the old halyard and the new so they butt up end to end. Twist the monel at the ends .Then tape over.
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Old 16-08-2016, 10:38   #14
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

Great. Thanks. I should have been clearer at the start.
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Old 16-08-2016, 11:09   #15
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Re: Attaching messenger line to cable

I've always used good quality heat shrink tubing. It usually has a heat activated adhesive on the inside it and is incredibly strong. When I'm replacing line with line I just cut between the two ends and keep the heat shrink as a whipping.
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