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Old 17-05-2012, 09:14   #16
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Re: Pulling wires through mast conduit

I'll give the quickie lesson: these pics are from a Catana cat that I did a couple years ago. It shows the general idea. First, insert a one inch, thin wall, conduit into the mast to establish the position (the round one, in this case).

Then, holding down the closest end from inside with a stick, drill a hole through the mast and the conduit at the diameter of the stainless steel pop rivet. Insert the first pop rivet to begin the sequence. Drill two more holes, about two feet apart and make a coathanger hold down tool to insert in one hole to anchor the conduit while drilling the next hole. To be clearer, two holes, side by side, at two foot centers. One hole is to insert the holddown, the other to drill the mast and conduit. Fill both holes with pop rivets.
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Old 17-05-2012, 09:48   #17
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Re: Pulling wires through mast conduit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
I'll give the quickie lesson: these pics are from a Catana cat that I did a couple years ago. It shows the general idea. First, insert a one inch, thin wall, conduit into the mast to establish the position (the round one, in this case).

Then, holding down the closest end from inside with a stick, drill a hole through the mast and the conduit at the diameter of the stainless steel pop rivet. Insert the first pop rivet to begin the sequence. Drill two more holes, about two feet apart and make a coathanger hold down tool to insert in one hole to anchor the conduit while drilling the next hole. To be clearer, two holes, side by side, at two foot centers. One hole is to insert the holddown, the other to drill the mast and conduit. Fill both holes with pop rivets.
I wouldn't want pop rivet heads protruding into the conduit. Why not just coat the conduit heavily in epoxy and lay it in there, and let it set while the mast is horizontal?

Also why stainless? I would think aluminum or monel rivets would be a better choice for an AL mast?
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Old 17-05-2012, 14:45   #18
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Re: Pulling Wires Through Mast Conduit

You build it your way, if you wish. Those of us who actually perform this work in San
Diego and elsewhere, have found this works well. Ten or fifteen or thirty years down the road, my work continues to hold up. But innovation is good. Just perfect it on your own boat before inflicting untested "good ideas" on others. Aluminum pop rivets won't hold up in a marine environment in contact with a different alloy aluminum mast. Monel rivets are dandy, pricey and hard to find universally. Gluing via epoxy or other adhesive material is challenging to do once you exceed an arm's length of reach. Removal or relocation of a conduit is simple: Simply use a larger drill bit to pierce the exterior surface and punch the core into the conduit. You got the horizontal right, though. Don't waste your time doing this while battling gravity, keep the work laying flat against the surface inside the mast, and put the conduits where they need to be by rotating the mast on sawhorses. When you are all done, you can fill the poprivet holes and repaint the mast.
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Old 13-06-2012, 10:52   #19
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Re: Pulling Wires Through Mast Conduit

Job is done. Thanks for the suggestions. Here's what I did:

- decided I didn't want to put in a new conduit at this point.
- decided to use the existing skinny RG8X cable for new AIS antenna and not try to use the fat RG 213
- because of connectors realized the new CAT5 wire had to be pulled in from the top, and the wind vane wire from the bottom. So one pull was out of the question.
- removed both old wires and pulled in an electrician's snake that is made of a skinny nylon material.
- Could not pull new wire in very far this way.

Here's the trick:

- pulled the whole bundle of wires, including the snake with the new wire on the end, as far as the excess slack wire at the base of the mast would allow, about 5 feet. Put lube on the wires before each pull. Then pulled all the bundle back again except the new wire. Repeated countless times moving the new wire through the mast in 5 foot increments. Was working alone so made the 65' trip many times back and forth to do this!
- did this all again to get the second wire in from the other direction.
- done
- phew...
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