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Old 01-07-2009, 17:59   #1
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Mast Water Leak

Hi, I have a beneteau 473, 2003 USA build, and the only thing that is wetting my pants is the water leak from the mast. As the mast is keel stepped, the wiring harness from radar lights etc come into the cabin between the hood lining and deck from the mast. The amount of water that comes down the harness from mast openings whilst raining is horrendous. I have thought about bringing the harnessing out of the mast above deck, then conduiting them into the cabin (a bit messy I know) and then sealing the inside of the mast off at deck level. I do not really want to do this, so I am thinking there must be some very smart sailers out there who have a hell of a lot of more idea than yours truely. She is a beauty and I want to keep her dry, but this is really giving me the s_ _ _ s! Can any one come up with the answer please?
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Old 01-07-2009, 18:38   #2
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Drip Loops. When I had my rigging replaced the riggers took the mast down to replace all the standing rigging. In doing so they did not put a drip loop in the radar wires. b/c of that the water coming down my mast filled a rather large bilge with water. I went up and put a loop in the wire just before it goes into the mast. With that loop the water on the wire falls off before it gets to the mast. I do that on all penetrations now as standard practice.
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Old 01-07-2009, 18:43   #3
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Hey Chantelle

Are you certain that the water is not entering via the mast/deck interface (mast boot) rather than openings in the mast? Another common area is the gasket at the anchor light. Both are easy fixes and somewhat cheaper than a new boat.

Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2009, 18:59   #4
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Thanks guys, you have stated what I have already looked at. Don't worry, I am not selleing her. The deck fitting is a two piece aluminium base that holds the pulley's etc, and clamps a seal between the two and mast. Even if there is water coming in here, it is only very minimal. The main cause is the harness down the mast. The cables are looped and sealed at the outside of the mast, although right at the top I am unsure as its a bit hard in getting out of the bosuns chair when at the top to see. But by "feel" there does not appear to be a funnel up there, and thats what it seems to have. Honestly, its like someone has turned on a hose in the cabin.
I have just bought the vessel, know ing there was a leak, but not a canal passage.
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Old 01-07-2009, 19:20   #5
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Chantelle,
Is it a Selden mast, by any chance?
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Old 01-07-2009, 19:28   #6
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I am not 100% sure, I will check, it has Neil Pride International in mast roller furling sail, so I am not sure if this helps or not.
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Old 01-07-2009, 19:51   #7
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If it is a Selden, they have detailed instructions on dealing with leaks: Seldén Mast AB
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:40   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Drip Loops...
Drip loops at both top entry & bottom exit.
The upper loop reduces the amount of water getting into the mast.
The lower loop prevents the water from running out along the cable, into your overhead. Instead, the water drips off the loop, falls to the mast-step and drains into the bilge.
I know it can be a finicky job to form a drip loop inside the lower end of a mast.

Sealing all cable entries (& exposed exits) is also recommended.
IMHO, this is one of the few good applications for Silicone sealant aboard a boat.

Where practical, you can also use Weather-Tite cable glands, such as:

Skintop:

Lapp Online Catalog- SKINTOP®

Cable Clams:

CableClams - Blue Sea Systems
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:26   #9
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The mast is full of holes where water can get in such as the halyard entry and exits which are large and unavoidable as well as wiring etc, im not sure its possible to stop water from inside the mast from getting to the bilge,it just needs to be able to get to the bilge unimpeded and be dealt with by the pumps,the biggest issue is to prevent water from outside of the mast entering the boat around the mast collar as thats the stuff that will damage things and make your life miserable.
Steve.
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Old 04-01-2010, 21:17   #10
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Mast Leak fixed

Thought I would let every one kno what happened with the mast leak on my Beneteau 473. It has a US Spar self furling mast that is keel stepped. After a heap of investigation the main issue was the actual deck base.
I lifted it and resealed with high temp silicone. The amount of water that comes in now is very minor (and that is from the wiring down the mast) but it is absolutely nothing to worry about. I guess the biggest issue with anything new, is that you do not want to start pulling things apart and going for the obvious. Any way, I have had success so you beaudy.. Thanks for your ideas.
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Old 05-01-2010, 05:49   #11
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Thanks for the update, and congratulations on fixing the leak.
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:54   #12
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Create a drip loop at the exit point where the wiring leaves the mast insde your boat. Simply push a foot or so of extra cable back into the mast and gravity will create the loop. Seal the exit hole with silicone. Works on my boat.

Scott
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