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Old 01-09-2017, 09:32   #1
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Mounting radome on mast

I'm replacing my old radar within the next week or two. This question is for anyone that has mounted a radome on their mast. How did you do it?

What I mean by that is how did you get the radome up there (and old one down) and balance it while making the physical connection to the mount? I know how to run the cables and connect them. But my concern is there is really nothing to grab onto other than wrapping your hands/arms around it and hope it doesn't fall! But going up the mast usually involves using my hands to keep me lined up with the mast and also to fend off. So I don't have enough hands!

I've been thinking about using something like an outboard lifting tote and hoist it up with a spare halyard and then have it lowered into position, much like the way it's done in construction.

How did you do it?

Thanks
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:27   #2
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

If you haven't already drilled the cable exit hole in mast,consider mounting the dome approx. 10ft up. That way,you can work off a 12ft alum. ladder in relative comfort. Future tech repair costs will be less also.
Putting it much higher is of questionable value anyway IMHO & experience.
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:50   #3
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

Future maintenance was a consideration at first. I was thinking of using a pole mount. But decided to put it where the old one is, about 35' up!
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:05   #4
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

I usually tie a line to the object and leave it on deck. Then when hoisted up and ready.... pull it up. They are a bit ungainly but not heavy.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:24   #5
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

I've done this on two of my sailboats. Usually the Radom position is a little about the spreader, which puts it less than a good home owner's extension ladder. I just carry the ladder aboard and find a way to snake it up vertically between all we have in the way. Then take 3' lines and tie around the mast as you climb every 10' or so. Because of my ham radio/ tower climbing, I have a climbing belt (which I recommend having/ borrowing). But I have climbed up with home made 'belt' from 3/4" 3- strand spliced on carabiner & eye for easy one hand operation. Always good to have safety line/ haul yard secured to another 'belt.' Drilled and tapped 1/4" x 20s, but many use ss rivets. Getting the hole positions level takes some doing since your weight if not centered changes things. Check plumb of mast, draw plumb line, use square to draw horz screw line.... check twice! But a few degrees off won't matter with a 30 degree radar beam. Good luck & happy reflections!
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:25   #6
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

Use a spare halyard to hoist the equipment. A helper is handy.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:42   #7
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

We sailed up to the dock at a boatyard and used a man lift. Cost was $150/hr, but we did several other things while up there and got quite a lot done in that hour, checking 3 or 4 things off the To Do list. Considered it money well spent.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:14   #8
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

redhead--that is awesome idea.
i will be dropping masts and can do it then, as i wish to upgrade some of the gkh old these fittings connections etc are, and i know my masthead fitting is cracked, so we got us some work to do. my radome is on my mizzen, which sustained cracks during cane patricia, so i donot trust it to lift humans. (wood masts, thai cedar 40 yrs old)
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:31   #9
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

Further to my comment #2- Stuff I learned....

Remove the cover from the radome & leave it in the cockpit---it will blow off the deck & overboard
Put a hoisting line,halyard,etc thru the cable gland hole & leave it there until dome is bolted down. Murphy is close.
Drill the dome bolt holes in the stand a bit larger than the bolts.This will allow for possible errors in positioning the 4 holes.
If using an aluminum stand,larger holes plus tape on the bolts where they pass thru the alum. stand may help in future removal of dome from stand-(SS bolts in alum.)
Using Neverseez on the dome bolts,or similar,is a good idea also.
A small carpenter's square & felt pen is useful for getting the stand square to the mast.

Other posters have offered good stuff. / Len
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:38   #10
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

The spare halyard is the way I will do it. But I still don't have a clear vision of how to connect the halyard to the to the radome. There is nothing to grab.

Cheechako, Terra Nova - how did you tie a line around it so it won't slip out AND still be able to put it in place and remove the line?
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:46   #11
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

Come on! Figure it out.

Slip a mesh laundry bag over it and tighten the drawstring. Tie the bottom of the inverted bag to your halyard.
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:54   #12
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

Put it in a tuff plastic bag (clear) the one it came in may do the job. Tie it off with a halyard . Hoist it up and connect bolts through the plastic bag, when secure rip the bag off go and have a beer.
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Old 02-09-2017, 12:06   #13
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

I would just lash a line on it, like wrapping a present, and haul it up on a spare halyard.

That said I like the clear trash bag idea because then you can tear a small hole in the bottom for the mounting plate and cable and just lower it onto the plate and the bag will help secure it while you work.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:57   #14
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

Stepped a buddy's mast last week. Mounted dome a few days later. Foot long piece of flat bar with holes on both ends. Bolt bar in one forward hole in dome. Halyard connects to other end. Align one aft hole and get a few turns on bolt, remove bar, align dome.
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Old 04-09-2017, 18:10   #15
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Re: Mounting radome on mast

Cap Erict3 - so far I like that one best! Thanks.
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