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Old 17-07-2015, 22:13   #1
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Low profile mast head

I have just purchase a new boat and am would like to berth in a marina behind a bridge. The mast will make it through with around 50 cm clearance, but I am worried that the extra height on top of the mast from the wind instrument and VHF antenna are going to make it a little too close for comfort.

What are my options to minimise the height above the mast? Obviously, the tri color is a requirement, no way around that... but I am thinking I could relocate the VHF antenna to a spreader and accept the small loss in range. But what about the wind instrument? Are there any mount options that would put it forward of the mast rather than on top? Thinking above the head sail maybe a meter forward of the mast to get good clean wind.
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Old 18-07-2015, 00:20   #2
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Re: Low profile mast head

IIRC, bridge clearance figures are at high tide. If you time your exit and entrance at other than high tide you'll have a few extra feet of clearance.

You can mount the VHF antenna on the side of the mast at the mast head with a bracket. Only the antenna will then be above the mast head and should deflect without damage if you push the clearance too close. Wind instruments are another story. There are LED mast head tricolor lights that are very low profile. They'd only add a few inches to the clearance needed.
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Old 18-07-2015, 02:26   #3
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Re: Low profile mast head

There are various options like these:
Wind sensor HRÂ*-Â*nke marine electronics
Standard wind sensorÂ*-Â*nke marine electronics
And fabricating something similar isn't too difficult. We made some stupid long, & tall ones for the America's Cup, in efforts to get the sensors out into clear air.

The catch though (on length & placement), is that you don't want your instruments in a spot where the upwash from your various sails, makes the reliability of your readings go to crap. That, & putting them in some locations creates a bit of a risk of them getting snagged by, say, a spinnaker sock/snuffer, or even the kite itself.

I'm thinking that it couldn't hurt to talk to a couple of pro's: an electronics guy or two, & a rigger or two also. Given that both professions deal with this kind of gear on a daily basis. Well, assuming that is, that there fairly far up the food chain/learning curve.
Meaning, in English, pick a couple of the higher end guys (especially those that deal with racing boats) to discuss this with, as they should have heaps more experience in dealing with such things.

Also, spend some time talking to the manufacturer of your gear, & stay on the phone with them until you get a guy who's been there for a while, & knows the in's & out's of their gear. So that he can advise you on various options which likely aren't stock, or in their product catalog.
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