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Old 19-01-2016, 20:36   #1
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If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

I'm about to rewire my mast and replace everything, but I'm curious what people's opinions are on lights, gadgets, gizmos, etc...

What are your thoughts on a strobe light? I have one up there now, but I've never actually used it (and I'm not leaving the coast for at least another 6 years). So I'm probably just going to remove it.

LED Tri-color?

Maybe one with a built in VHF antennae?

What sort of antennae should I get?

Favorite budget anemometers?

Other weather gizmos?

I was thinking on following this dude's guide here: Building a NMEA 0183 Wind Instrument | Mechinations

Before I start making purchases, I want to ping it off the community's collective wisdom, as all ya'll have helped immensely before.

EDIT: Oh, I should say, the only display I have is a wireless NMEA-0183 multiplexer that broadcasts to OpenCPN on my laptop.
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Old 19-01-2016, 20:41   #2
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

right now my ketch has lights , antenna, and weather on main, and a radar reflector on the mizzen head. when i step 'em this year, i will remove the non functional lights, will not replace masthead lights. they are useless.
gonna replace the weather, and the antennae when i do my wood mast maintenance.
i will add some ultra bright spreader lights i found.
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Old 19-01-2016, 20:44   #3
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
when i step 'em this year, i will remove the non functional lights, will not replace masthead lights. they are useless.
Just curious, why do you think that? I always thought they were more desirable at mast head level then at, say... the pulpit. I have both, but the pulpit ones had their wire severed after an accident coming into my slip
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Old 19-01-2016, 20:53   #4
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

Pull the biggest VHF cable in the mast you can fit and afford. Also pull some spare wires. I like the Mitz Manta antenna. LED anchor light is a must and maybe a Tricolor. I think when sailing in rivers and inshore, the hull/pulpit mounted nav lights are easier to see. Offshore the Tricolor is king, that's way I have both and can switch between them. I'm not a super fan of strobe lights, but alot of people do like them. Don't forget to add a good foredeck light, I like the one with the steaming light built-in. Spreader lights aways seems to break.

I helped a friend install the wireless masthead wind instruments and then seemed ok.
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Old 19-01-2016, 21:11   #5
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewDurst View Post
Just curious, why do you think that? I always thought they were more desirable at mast head level then at, say... the pulpit. I have both, but the pulpit ones had their wire severed after an accident coming into my slip
my nav lights are on light boards each side of boat, 10 ft above water. perfect placement. my anchor light is very bright and is placed over my main boom. i also have cockpit lighting.
i refuse to place masthead lights as they are unusable, not visible from anchorage, nor discernable at sea.
when entering anchorages surrounded by hills with houses , there is no way to tell what is a house and what is an anchored boat. lighting closer to the water is more easily identified as an anchored boat. spreader lights. anything that lights the boat, not a pinhead on a very tall stick.
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Old 20-01-2016, 05:41   #6
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
my nav lights are on light boards each side of boat, 10 ft above water. perfect placement. my anchor light is very bright and is placed over my main boom. i also have cockpit lighting.
i refuse to place masthead lights as they are unusable, not visible from anchorage, nor discernable at sea.
when entering anchorages surrounded by hills with houses , there is no way to tell what is a house and what is an anchored boat. lighting closer to the water is more easily identified as an anchored boat. spreader lights. anything that lights the boat, not a pinhead on a very tall stick.
+1, though I do like the idea of a very bright white LED light up there and a very bright strobe light. I hate tricolor lights.

I'd also have a VHF antenna up there but nothing else. Wind instruments seem to seldom work for more than a few years, and don't read very accurately in strong winds. so why complicate things. Anything electronic that is essential aloft should ideally have redundancy at deck level, so that you can function without a trip aloft at sea. the exception here is the steaming light, that my all round masthead light can serve as a stand in for if I turn off the stern light (<12m LOA only)
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Old 20-01-2016, 05:49   #7
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

I'm adding a Wilson marine antenna for the cell phone amp.
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Old 20-01-2016, 06:13   #8
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

^^ that's a great idea.

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Old 20-01-2016, 09:18   #9
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
I'm adding a Wilson marine antenna for the cell phone amp.
Is it this thing? Amazon.com: Combo of Wilson Dual Band Marine Antenna 301130 and Marine Antenna Mount 901119: Electronics

Because I've never thought about that... and it seems like a great idea, something that I would definitely add. It just takes a cellphone signal and amplifies it, basically allowing you to have service (data too?) from much further away?

Sounds amazing for coastal cruising, which is in my near future.
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Old 20-01-2016, 09:30   #10
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

Many a time i wanted to put my wife up there.
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Old 20-01-2016, 09:35   #11
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

Hm. Strobe is for emergency (well, that used to be the colreg) only. Use otherwise not so much.

Masthead light isn't something at the top of the mast, but instead the forward facing motoring light to go with the red and green bow and white stern lights. If you never motor (tricolor at the top works)...

BICBW - I frequently am, but it's why I make sure my masthead light still works, as do my (still incandescent) running lights, with their monster draws replaced/provided by the alternator, cuz I motor more than I'd like.
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Old 20-01-2016, 10:36   #12
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewDurst View Post
I'm about to rewire my mast and replace everything, but I'm curious what people's opinions are on lights, gadgets, gizmos, etc...

What are your thoughts on a strobe light? I have one up there now, but I've never actually used it (and I'm not leaving the coast for at least another 6 years). So I'm probably just going to remove it.

LED Tri-color?

Maybe one with a built in VHF antennae?

What sort of antennae should I get?

Favorite budget anemometers?

Other weather gizmos?

I was thinking on following this dude's guide here: Building a NMEA 0183 Wind Instrument | Mechinations

Before I start making purchases, I want to ping it off the community's collective wisdom, as all ya'll have helped immensely before.

EDIT: Oh, I should say, the only display I have is a wireless NMEA-0183 multiplexer that broadcasts to OpenCPN on my laptop.
Ok im refitting for a circumnav.
here is what I have up there.
1. Spreader deck lights full bright LED strips the full lingth of the first spreaders pointing down (obviously) The illuminate the entire deck from bow to stern and beyond and are admired everywhere I go.
2. a 4g cell antenna. when I arrive I buy a sim and stickit in my B595 router and pull in the best 4g cell signal for voice and high speed internet.

3. a powerful 28x optical HD 1080p PTZ (Pan Tilt and Zoom) IP camera. It records on the yachts network video recorder and relays its view on the cockpit simrad NSE 8 display and the saloon large flat screen monitor. this camera has a 400m IR laser that sees objects 400m ahead in pitch dark and I also fitted the movable lense with a high powered visable laser pointer. It can be used to find a man overboard or lost over board object in the dark and when located the laser can be switched on in pulse mode pointing out to all the deck crew where the camera is looking so the helmsman can steer a course to manoverboard and recover. The camera can be controlled by a wireless mouse down below or in the cockpit. I hope i will never have to use it for that. This Camera is also lso brilliant when combined with bow mounted retractable under water gopro camera and structure scan HD sounder for creeping into gaps in the reefs to gain access to lagoon anchorages.
Your Mast height is a great asset.... USE IT. Pic of the spreader lights they are just fantastic.
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Old 20-01-2016, 11:28   #13
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

I have a traditional anchor light, the usual wind instruments, VHF antenna and cellular booster antenna, and a Forespar Lightning Master - was carrying the lightning gear while racing sailing in crummy weather, and watched a boat 100m away, with a mast shorter than our 67 ft., get the lightning strike.

We also carry steaming light and spreader lights on the mast.
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Old 20-01-2016, 12:27   #14
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

The less the better, mast wiring is always a potential trouble spot. So VHF aerial, tricolour with LED bulb and it is the best place for the anamometer on most boats, never got one to work on all headings anywhere else. Don't fit a strobe, aside from not being legal under coll regs I find them confusing as I cant work out the boats heading from observing the lights so the are more likely to lead to a collision than avoid one by giving extra range. If you really need extra range an led flood one a sail is much more effective. I would be cuatious about additional aerials, they will be very close and interfence both in the aerial and feed can be a problem
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Old 20-01-2016, 12:55   #15
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Re: If you could, what sort of goodies would you put at the top of your mast?

i WANT a jakass remover, automatic. it should sense jakasses before they fornicate my boat with their crummy work anx lqck of work ethic.
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