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Old 20-04-2008, 19:02   #1
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mounting of aerials and wind instruments

I would be appreciative of anyones opinions on the fitting of mast head equipment
Is it best for wind vane , wind generator, vhf and 27 aerials to go on mast or arch
and what else should go on the mast
not sure which way to go
Thanks in advance for all the wonderful advice everyone has, all input is good input
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Old 20-04-2008, 20:32   #2
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So much stuff and so little real estate on the average mast head.
Not saying this is the best ('cause I certain it isn't) but I have put the following on the mast head:
Anchor light; Strobe light; VHF antenna; Lighting rod (inverted brush type).

I don't use 27MHz, don't have wind instruments or generator, radar will probably go on aft deck mounted pole along with radar transponder (if I get one - money?). Nav lights will be pulpit mounted, or cabin mounted or mounted on the lower stays - not sure yet.

BTW, the strobe is a self contained (and sealed) aviation model - pretty good, small (and lightweight) and only around $100. I won't get another one though as I has seen some really good LED's that strobe and appear to be bullet proof. I am fitting some to Fire Attack Helicopters - and they are made in Launceston. These can be set up to be a steady light or a strobe so perhaps one light could be both anchor and strobe. Draw b****ger power, not that it would be used for long periods (as strobe). Haven't fully sussed this out yet as it is not applicable to me right now (already have incandescent anchor light).
Before anyone starts on the use of strobes - I believe they are good in emergency situations when other regular methods fail to draw attention to yourself (for whatever reasons).
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Old 20-04-2008, 22:10   #3
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Thanks for this
am thinking of my nav lights on lower stays also or cabin sides
thinking stays is better - more out of the way as trip hazard or to catch things on
never thought of a strobe, I like that idea - am doing all my lighting in leds so that may work with my system also
was thinking wind vane, 27meg and vhf with lighning rod only on top
the top of my mast has a fair bit of space so could do
sounds good
The other issue i suppose is to have the access to the top of the mast
does anyone have thoughts on use of bosuns chair or mast steps
Thanks
How well do the wind generators work off an arch
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Old 21-04-2008, 00:03   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
So much stuff and so little real estate on the average mast head.
Not saying this is the best ('cause I certain it isn't) but I have put the following on the mast head:
Anchor light; Strobe light; VHF antenna; Lighting rod (inverted brush type).

I don't use 27MHz, don't have wind instruments or generator, radar will probably go on aft deck mounted pole along with radar transponder (if I get one - money?). Nav lights will be pulpit mounted, or cabin mounted or mounted on the lower stays - not sure yet.

BTW, the strobe is a self contained (and sealed) aviation model - pretty good, small (and lightweight) and only around $100. I won't get another one though as I has seen some really good LED's that strobe and appear to be bullet proof. I am fitting some to Fire Attack Helicopters - and they are made in Launceston. These can be set up to be a steady light or a strobe so perhaps one light could be both anchor and strobe. Draw b****ger power, not that it would be used for long periods (as strobe). Haven't fully sussed this out yet as it is not applicable to me right now (already have incandescent anchor light).
Before anyone starts on the use of strobes - I believe they are good in emergency situations when other regular methods fail to draw attention to yourself (for whatever reasons).
I like your philosophy about their use.
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Old 21-04-2008, 12:46   #5
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I have just bought a 5 year old 10m catamaran with a 14.5 m mast and a twin set of spreaders. I am thinking of the following installation on the mast top:

- Windvane facing forward
- Windex with a VHF aerial at the aft end of the mast
- Tri lens radar reflector fixed to the top of the mast
- On top of the radar reflector goes the tri colour and anchor light, maybe the flat Lupolight or the new NASA nav light, both LED
- On top of that a strobe light designed for an ultralight plane (€40 ex Germany) in a custom holder

On the top spreaders
- AIS Vhf aerial
- Active radar enhancer aerial

Still need a solution for the HF stub aerial which is currently on top of the mast and connected to an insulated aft backstay

Other aerials like GPS ...will go on a 2 m tall mast aft of the cockpit.

Roger
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Old 21-04-2008, 21:45   #6
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thanks for this I will have to work out what is ultimately going on to the boat
will have another look at the mast tonight and measure a few things out
thanks guys
I know you probably anser these questions fifty times, but all helps
cheers
hooked
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Old 22-04-2008, 22:37   #7
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hooked on water,I lived on a rorc32 for five years 2 of that was offshore sailing.rorc32 are a strong sea kindly boat and easily handled by one.
I dont understand how you could put a wind generator on top of a mast?
mine was supported by a 2 inch painted gal pipe strapped to the port side of pushpit .in very strong winds you need to be able to stop the blades from spinning to stop it from disintergrating.
top of mast is for lightning deflector,mast head light and wind instruments.
anchor light goes where top spreader joins mast.
port and starboard lights go on front pulpit rail.
nav lights on cabin sides cant be seen when boat is heeling over.
stern light goes on top rail of pushpit.
on most recent boat I have dinghy davits with solar panel on davits .vhf and uhf arials are on ends of davits and wind vane steering bolted to transom. ssb goes up one of two back stays.
good luck with boat ,I had a ball with mine.
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Old 23-04-2008, 01:16   #8
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...
port and starboard lights go on front pulpit rail.
nav lights on cabin sides cant be seen when boat is heeling over.
....
I understand the reasoning behind the rest of your suggestions but why would it make a difference to the visibility of the nav lights from front pulpit rail to cabin sides.
Am I missing something really basic here????
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Old 23-04-2008, 01:26   #9
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hi wotname ,when a small boat (32ft) is healed over , the leeward deck is just about under water (rorc32 weighs 7 ton) .as you can imagine the leeward nav light on cabin side is pointing down at passing water.when light is on pullpit it is still pointing down but the height from water has changed only a couple of inchs.
lights on pullpit is making the best out of a bad situation.
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Old 23-04-2008, 03:24   #10
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Hmm...I sort of get it. I realize the side of the cabin is further of the centreline but it is also higher than the pulpit (I guessing here - for rorc32). I will have to measure my Dogger and work it out - will probably end up of the pulpit but still considering a board on the lower shrouds about 5 or 6 ft off the deck.
Thanks for the explanation.
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Old 27-04-2008, 17:40   #11
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I like the idea off the shrouds, as higher
either way there is an issue with lights at some stage pointing skyward and to water
interesting thoughts
thanks
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Old 27-04-2008, 18:38   #12
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Hooked on water,

Remember when you are heeled, one part of the VHF signal goes into the water and the other part shoots skyward. This all depends on the angle of the sv. Who is going to replace the items at the top of the mast? The yard I use requests 24 hours notice so they can rent a crane and of course there is the per hour charge.

John
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Old 27-04-2008, 18:53   #13
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I am setting up a system to access the top of the mast from a chair, with holds at the top of the mast
most are suggesting putting aerials at the arch - so am going that way with exception of lights, wind vane, lightning rod
thanks guys
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Old 27-04-2008, 20:21   #14
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I would suggest that you use a tricolour combined with anchor light at the masthead, if only because of the significant saving in current draw from one lamp over that from 3 individual lamps. You can also get these as a tower, combining strobe if wanted (which we have but only for the potential use that Wotname mentions, so hopefully never used), tricolour (side and stern lights together from one lamp), and anchor all round light.

For motoring you are not allowed to use the tricolour so one still needs red and green on the pulpit, motoring light on the mast, and stern light on the pushpit. However, if these are switched with red/green/stern lights on together, and motoring light switched by itself, you end up with a spare set of nav lights for sailing if the tricolour lamp fails as you can just use the red/green/stern lights. If you have both house and cranking batteries you have redundancy for sailing nav lights including their power supply (here in NZ foreign going sail boats on the NZ Register are actually required to have redundancy in their nav lights).

You should have no problem fitting the usual sensors and antennas at the masthead. We have nav light tower (tricolour, anchor, strobe), VHF antenna, wind sensor and windex no problem at all - the wind sensor and windex are typically off stalks fore and aft off the masthead fitting, the VHF antenna on a side mounting bracket so the only masthead fitting real estate used is for the nav light tower which takes up little room.

We do not carry lightning protection but the very undersized protection that is fitted on other than large sailing vessels takes up little room.

Other antennas do not need the height - our cell phone antenna is under the solid dodger (height is an advantage but can be quickly set off by transmission line losses in the coax at the near 1 GHz frequency), TV, AM/FM, GPS, spare VHF at the pushpit (which would serve as AIS antenna if we carried AIS, which we currently don't do - results show sufficient range for AIS off a low antenna). TV can usefully be carried on a spreader for height advantage as long as it is an active antenna but we have not bothered as we only use the TV when in harbour - for non metal boats an internal antenna may prove sufficient. We kept the active TV antenna a couple of feet away from and a bit higher than the GPS in order to minimise any possibility of any spurious radiation from the TV antenna's amplifier interfering with the GPS one.

We carry our radar reflector (Davis round octahedral) on a halyard to the port lower spreader matching the flag halyard on the other side (but usually don't bother with it as we are a metal boat) out close to the shrouds about which there is a stabilising loop from the halyard to stop swinging. Another thread indicates that low may be best. Davis used to do a very nice halyard suspension fitting to enable this and that is what we use, but I think they may have discontinued it.

SSB antenna is a end fed wire craftily placed just behind and inboard of the shrouds on the starboard side so it is protected from the genoa and heavy weather foresail sheets and on a halyard to the upper spreader. The tuner is immediately below behind the nav station cabinets. I did trials against my antenna tower on land and decided that the proximity of the rig on MF/HF was no worse than the back stay would have been and seems to have proved so (I have worked other mobile stations with non gain antennas, even cars with short antennas, on the other side of the world on 20m band). However, if you have a low freeboard boat where the deck floods and wish to operate at the same time then the only place to rig the antenna is at the stern so the through deck insulator can be mounted on the transom away from seas.

Our boat is larger than yours but as you can see, the amount of space used at the masthead has been small and would be no problem on most any small boat.
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Old 29-04-2008, 17:39   #15
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Wow Midland a great lot of info, thanks everyone
It will undoubtedly be later this year I wire the mast up
have to make a tower for the top for my anchor lights, strobe (which i never thought of before) and for the tricolor
sound good
still thinking on all the others
where does everyone bring the cable through to the mast, through the deck to the side or into base
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