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Old 21-08-2015, 23:33   #1
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How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

I need to go up the mast and attach a wind transducer and a tri nav/anchor light. Is this incredibly hard?

My main concern is getting the wires to the bottom and getting them out. Any suggestions from people that have done his in the past? Is it even possible? How will I get the wires to the bottom, they don't seem at heavy. It's a deck stepped mast.

Fwiw I did go to a rigger and he quoted me $2500 to drop the mast and put it back up. It doesn't include attaching instruments, that's hourly and extra, but it did include crane time!

I think I miss the $5 crane in anacortes.

Enough complaining though, it would be really cool to have this hooked up and for the AP to be able to steer to wind, and I NEED and anchor light, and running lights up there would be a really good idea. Much more visible than on the deck.

Throw some idea out there people, I might start work tomorrow! I don't mind going up the mast, but the guy grinding me up might so I want this to go as smooth as possible.
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Old 21-08-2015, 23:42   #2
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

Yea me too.

I am looking at folding mast steps, climbing harnesses, and other such stuff to get up there safely. Seems like stuff that would be good to have anyway for "the next time"
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Old 21-08-2015, 23:43   #3
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

What would happen if I drilled a big hole, maybe two inches across with a hole saw, inside my boat, under the mast? I want things to look nice of course, but the existing wires coming out of the bottom of the mast look rough, the come out through glands on the base of the mast and them into the caving top where they disappear and they look original, like thirty years old. I would like to run a new version wire or co ax cable or whatever it's called if I could and make this project all nex mast wiring.

I don't think I have conduit inside the mast because when I walk around the boat I can hear the vhf cable slapping all over the place.

So is that a good idea? Hole saw from inside the boat? Or would that weaken anything?
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Old 22-08-2015, 03:12   #4
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

At the bottom of the mast, inside the boat, I have a wooden plate that covers a hole. There are a couple of wires in there, maybe from the v berth cabin lighting, but then there is a fiberglass plate. Is there anyway to remove this fiberglass plate so I can have access to the wires? I want to go up the mast and drop some cables down but I don't how to get them out.

When I saw the screws in the wooden plate I thought for sure all my problems were solved. I thought I would be able to see straight up there. But no. Blocked by a huge fiberglass plate. Is there anyway around this?
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Old 22-08-2015, 03:26   #5
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

$2500 something very wrong with that.

I did the same thing last year and it was much easier to remove the mast. It cost $150 to take it down and putting it back up was included in the price for the work he did for me.
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Old 22-08-2015, 03:29   #6
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
What would happen if I drilled a big hole, maybe two inches across with a hole saw, inside my boat, under the mast? I want things to look nice of course, but the existing wires coming out of the bottom of the mast look rough, the come out through glands on the base of the mast and them into the caving top where they disappear and they look original, like thirty years old. I would like to run a new version wire or co ax cable or whatever it's called if I could and make this project all nex mast wiring.

I don't think I have conduit inside the mast because when I walk around the boat I can hear the vhf cable slapping all over the place.

So is that a good idea? Hole saw from inside the boat? Or would that weaken anything?
It really depends on the type of mast footing. But with any mast that is stepped and not keel, I suspect it would not be a good idea. You will never be able to keep the water out because you can never totally water proof the mast.

But, my experience is only with my boat so you might find others have other experiences.
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Old 22-08-2015, 09:15   #7
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

We had a new wind transducer and nav lites installed and wires fed threw our 58ft mast they used a boom truck cost 800 dollars for truck and labor.
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Old 22-08-2015, 09:48   #8
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

I recently had to replace an anchor light at the top of my mast. My boat was on "the hard" in a local marina. I could have got my rigger to go up, but he was too busy with other customers at the time and so, I hired a person who operates a "hydraulic man-lift" around the yard. This person lifted my electrician to the top in total safety to do the necessary work. On the way down, he installed the spreader Boots I had forgotten to attach prior to raising the spar.
It took one hour from start to finish and it SHOULD have cost me $150 ... BUT, the lady that owned the lift refused to accept payment because she loved the look of my boat; and, when she heard I had just finished building it after many years of construction, she said she wanted to contribute to my excitement of launching it. Who says there are no lovely, generous people in the marine industry?
I should mention this all happened at Shelter Island Marina, on the Fraser River in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Great place to have your boat hauled and cared for. Very professional and helpful people who go out of their way to accommodate your every desire.
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Old 22-08-2015, 10:22   #9
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

I agree with the post that says $2500 is way out of line. In the Tampa/St. Pete area I can have a mast pulled and restepped for between $300-500.

I strongly suggest you have the mast pulled. They can lay it out over a couple of saw horses. Then you can hire someone or DIY. First thing will be to install conduit. My mast has two, unfortunately the original owner didn't use them. 😡. The wire slap was driving me nuts.

While the mast was down I had ALL the wiring replaced as well as the VHF antennas. The new wiring was placed in the conduit.

Local riggers charge around $85/ hr. The time consuming part will be installing conduit. Keep in mind most yards will charge you something for use of their space.

Of course if you do the work all it will cost is crane time, yard fee, and materials such as wire, PVC, etc.

As for exiting the mast. There is a 90 deg fitting that will exit the mast and attach to the deck. Consider it a small external conduit.

For installing the in mast conduit just google "installing in mast conduit".

Hope this helps,
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Old 22-08-2015, 10:24   #10
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

NorthOceanBeach, aside from the lighting have you considered going wireless for your wind data? This is the direction I'm considering.
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Old 22-08-2015, 10:51   #11
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

Hi Doc,

I just upgraded all my electronics. I chose Garmin and the wireless wind sensor. Haven't had a chance to sail with it due to engine problems. At the dock it works great. The only negative is that the internal battery needs changing supposedly every few years. At my age I don't do masts anymore. 😎

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Old 22-08-2015, 10:53   #12
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

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NorthOceanBeach, aside from the lighting have you considered going wireless for your wind data? This is the direction I'm considering.
If he's got a wooden or glass boat that's a good idea. But they don't work well if he's got a steel boat. He hasn't said yet.
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Old 22-08-2015, 10:58   #13
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

Going wireless for wind transducer I ve heard a lot of comments from fellow sailors that things aren't dependable with distances greater than 30 -40 feet from the unit. Ask raymarine they will hopefully give u accurate info before u spend the $. I have installed mine at the stern but not accurate always when close to the wind.
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Old 22-08-2015, 11:30   #14
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
Hi Doc,

I just upgraded all my electronics. I chose Garmin and the wireless wind sensor. Haven't had a chance to sail with it due to engine problems. At the dock it works great. The only negative is that the internal battery needs changing supposedly every few years. At my age I don't do masts anymore. 😎

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Cabo_Sailor, as you've gone with a total refit electronic wise did you go all Garmin? Did that include radar as well? AIS?

I have a very nice AIS VHF and plotter both Standard Horizon. The old Data Marine wind indicator lost it's masthead so I'm researching and like the solar unit I saw... forget who made that one.... I have steps and am center cockpit so wireless range and battery don't cause me to pause.
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Old 22-08-2015, 11:40   #15
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Re: How hard is it to attach a wind transducer to the top of the mast?

I went all Garmin for display, 4kw radar, replaced Autohelm 6000 control with Garmin, added a mult-function display for wind, speed etc.

I also added a Standard Horizon VHF with AIS receiver at the nav station with a remote RAM at the helm. The AIS data also displays on the Garmin 11 in touch screen display.

I don't have too many years left so I splurged.

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