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Old 26-12-2006, 12:49   #1
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Banging noise inside of mast?

I've got an unusual problem with my mast on my 1984 Newport 33. There is something inside the mast that creates the most God awful banging noise with every roll of the boat. At first I thought it was just a lose halyard but after checking and re-checking the all the lines the noise persisted. Now it sounds as if someone is beating the mast with a bat every-time the boat moves and I can't figure for the life of me what the hell is inside there that causes the noise. This makes for a bad night of sleep and other boats at anchor hate the racket is causes.

It really sounds like something is lose in there just floating around smashing against the mast. Any ideas? I thought maybe it was a conduit for cables banging around but I wasn't aware that my mast even had a conduit. I plan to take the mast off this Spring to do some research but I'm concerned that even with the mast off I won't be able to figure what is causing all this noise. Any help would be great.

Thanks!

Nate
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Old 26-12-2006, 13:26   #2
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do you have in mast furling? if so Is the main sail on the furler.
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Old 26-12-2006, 13:38   #3
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More that likely someone has run a loose wire down the mast instead of down the wire chase. This is usually the VHF antenna.
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Old 26-12-2006, 13:40   #4
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Nate

Double check the halyards -- especially that they are tied off away from the mast. Also if you have a spinnaker track and lines on the front of the mast -- they can make a racket. Lastly it could be loose wire/conduit. That is harder to find unless you can see inside the mast using a flashlight with or without a mirror to get a feel through the halyard leads.

Those are the most common in my experience

Good luck...
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Old 26-12-2006, 13:45   #5
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My first guess would be conduit since you've checked your halyards. Some masts come with a conduit path cast right in the spar, others are attached with straps and held in place by screws from the outside. And adhesives hold others.

I would say try pulling your halyards thru buy tying the ends together and raising them to the top and securing them tight. This would change the sound signifantly if it were the halyards.

If no change, then it has to be your coax, elect'l wiring or the whole conduit if any.

One more thing is to check your shroud end fittings at the mast. An ascension up the mast may reveal the problem......................._/)
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Old 26-12-2006, 14:55   #6
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The noise is very much a metal on metal noise and I have rope halyards and no furling unit. It bangs so hard that the mast actually shakes, I'm thinking the conduit. I can't see any screws outside of the mast and from the base of the mass there is nothing to see other than the VHF cables and the 12v wires. If I take the mast off how do I go about getting that conduit out of there? Thanks for the great info.
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Old 26-12-2006, 16:13   #7
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There is sometimes a metal spreader bar that is located between the spreaders to keep them from compressing the mast, and synthetic lines can cut that in half. If that happened I'd expect it to fall free, not clang around. Similarly, something could break free from the mast truck and lodge partway down.

But metal on metal clanging, that's a good trick. In any case it means time to pull the stick, and once you've gone to the trouble of doing that, inspect and refit anything that's not right in it.

Metal conduit would be unusual but a PO could have done anything. Usually it would be secured to the aft side of the mast (perhaps hidden by an external sail track?). Once you have the mast down it should be obvious what/where is attached, and if it is pop riveted to the rear of the mast, you just need to drill out the rivets. Use a drill bit stop or depth guide so you just drill the rivets, without plunging into the wires inside. Of course, a PO could have simply GLUED in some conduit, and the glue failed.

A good time to check the wires and the antenna coax, since they can rot out quietly. Many folks would say REPLACE the coax while the mast is down, since coax degrades over time and the wieght of it hanging, vertically, will deform it and degrade the performance as the conductor and jacket stretch at different rates. (It needs to be strain relieved, tied off every foot or so, to really prevent that. Not always possible.)
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Old 26-12-2006, 21:12   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldiente
The noise is very much a metal on metal noise and I have rope halyards and no furling unit. It bangs so hard that the mast actually shakes, I'm thinking the conduit. I can't see any screws outside of the mast and from the base of the mass there is nothing to see other than the VHF cables and the 12v wires. If I take the mast off how do I go about getting that conduit out of there? Thanks for the great info.
Another possibility is the mast light bulb mount could be swinging inside. Check to see if your mast running light is working.

If you un-step the mast everything will most likely be self explanitory
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Old 26-12-2006, 21:23   #9
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Long shot, but could be a trick of acoustic nature with the sound originating elsewhere.
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Old 26-12-2006, 23:50   #10
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Surprised Elusive hasn't chimed in here I have the same issue on our Challenger. Conduit was installed inside the spar. It is loose somewhere along the way. Consider a 30 or 40' piece of conduit secured at only the ends, in a rolly anchorage. Even if you do not have wiring inside your mast, it is possible the conduit was installed for potential options. I have to agree with delmarrey. Unstepping the mast will answer allot of questions.
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Old 27-12-2006, 10:10   #11
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Thanks for the good info. I'm looking forward to getting the mast off and finding out what the hell is the matter.

Nate
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Old 27-12-2006, 11:06   #12
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Many mast manufacturers ran conduit attached to the mast via pop rivets. Typically they drilled pairs of holes up the mast. One was used for to pop rivet the conduit, the other was for a piece of wire/rod to hold the conduit temporarily in place while it was riveted. After the conduit was riveted, they usually put a pop rivet in the unused puka for appearance sake. Look for these rivets. If there, it's probably the conduit flopping about because it's broken loose from the rivets.

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Old 30-04-2007, 17:02   #13
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Yep. As it turns out the conduit had broken free. We took the mast off and the thing just fell out! The rivets had just pulled out is all. Putting the rivets back in was a challenge as the conduit just rolls around inside the mast while you try to rivet the damn thing in place. Long (very long) story short; we got the conduit riveted in place and hopefully we'll now be able to get some sleep at anchor.

thanks!
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:53   #14
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eldiente,
Glad to hear you can now get some sleep!
I've got the same problem although it's not nearly as bad, because I have a tri.

When I bought the boat, I had it trucked up to Washington State from Mexico. When the mast was raised to step it, the conduit also just fell out.
It looked like small pieces of broken beer bottle glass, but it was plastic!
I didn't have time to do anything about it, as the yard was in a tizzy to get me out of there. That was 1999, and I've been living with it ever since.


Steve B.
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Old 01-05-2007, 13:32   #15
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It's a good idea to knock out the center pin on the rivets and fill the rivet hole with something like Sikaflex. Aluminum rivets have steel mandrels, so you want to make sure they are out of there.
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