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Old 09-12-2015, 13:36   #16
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

Quote:
Its also a good idea to attache a small line to any line or cable you pull out, to lead the new line in.
I guess you didn't follow this bit of advice, so are starting from scratch.

Are your masts timber? Do you mean a scarf join? where it's getting hung up?

Once you determine what the blockage is, you may be able to figure a way around it.
If there is no mouse line from the removal of the wires, then I think you'll need to get hold of an electricians fiche (sp?) maybe fish, longer than the mast. Once you get the fish through, and the blockage (if any) removed, you'll be back in business.

Ann
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Old 09-12-2015, 14:04   #17
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
I guess you didn't follow this bit of advice, so are starting from scratch.
Thanks - I did run a mousing line through, but it then seperated as I was pulling the new wiring through, hence a couple of hours of head scratching and going out to the forums. We've also changed the position of our wind gen and anchor light, so those two items are effectively also starting from scratch.

The advice is good guys but we're in deepest, darkest Portugal, where Home Depot and electrical stores really don't exist. I just wired up our new 16.7m main mast (that the rigger DIDN'T fit any mousing lines to) and had to use our genoa furler (minus the sail) to push through a couple of mousing lines - unfortunately we don't have anything like that readily available for the mizzen mast.

The issue is indeed at the join where the spreaders run through - I've hit it with a relatively powerful spotlight and there's definitely *something* in there.... potentially it's foam to stop line slap, but no guarantees on that and very difficult to access. Tried doing a nice rounded bundle (and also a rounded edge single wire) also to stop it getting caught up - no luck yet. Also tried rotating the mast as we work it through to see if it'll go around any blockage - nope.

MBWhite - we've got an industrial sand blasting air comp available if we need it... I like your idea.

n
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Old 09-12-2015, 14:35   #18
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

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Originally Posted by morven55 View Post
What happens when the cat eats the rat and is to fat to scat?
When the cat that ate the rat drops some scat, the cat will be less fat. Won't be small as a gnat, or be able to fit through a slat. So set up a mat, ask the cat for a chat, and there you go that's that.


I've done both the suck the cottonball through a conduit with a shop vac and blowing it through with compressed air. Both work great on conduit. Never tried on a mast. Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2015, 21:56   #19
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

Oh, Oznp84,

I'm sorry. Didn't mean to be mean, my bad. I hate it when the fish line comes agley.

Can you take off one of the spreaders and get a look at what might be there in the way?

If there is a rigger where you are, if nothing else works, maybe pay him to run the lines? He should have a fish, but one can't really expect him to loan it, when he earns his living with stuff like that.

In the past, we've used detergent (like Dawn) for lubricating things, but your blockage sounds far too much for such a simple plan.

Is your 6mm 7x19 longer than the whole length of the mast, so you can twist and poke with it?

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 09-12-2015, 22:06   #20
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

Are there any other lines installed? If so, you can use one of them to fish a fish-line through. Once you have the fish line in, then you can run the original line back in and the new line at the same time. Or, if it's too tight, fish them one at a time.
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Old 09-12-2015, 22:41   #21
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

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Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
When the cat that ate the rat drops some scat, the cat will be less fat. Won't be small as a gnat, or be able to fit through a slat. So set up a mat, ask the cat for a chat, and there you go that's that.


I've done both the suck the cottonball through a conduit with a shop vac and blowing it through with compressed air. Both work great on conduit. Never tried on a mast. Good luck.
And to you, a tip of the hat for the fat cat that sat through all of that!

Most fun I've had all day!!
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:41   #22
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

Hey Ann,

No worries - appreciate your thoughts on it!

Unfortunately the closest rigger is 2hrs away (and highly unlikely to come visit a small fishing town), so we're stuck with whatever equipment we have readily available.

I hadn't thought of using Dawn, or some form of wax for that matter.... not a bad idea. I'll pop the spreader today (it's only a few bolts), load up the 7x19 (longer than the mast) with wax and we'll see if it goes through. I've also fully recharged our spotlight overnight, so that should help spot where the issue is....

Updates to follow.

n
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:35   #23
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

15mm straight plastic conduit, buy enough for mast length some connectors and glue.

Slide first one in glue next one on (sets in seconds) continue doing the same until all they way through.

Once through slide wire through conduit.

Available at any electrical supplier.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:38   #24
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

When I have to run a line through something where there isn't a mouse line, I use a plumbers helper. Basically a plumbers snake. It has a rounded end and I attach a mouse line to and start pushing. The good thing is it easily goes around corners etc.

Of course, if you've got a blockage in there, it gets tougher. But soemthimes the sanke can push it out.

Plumbers snakes are available almost everywhere for very little cost
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:02   #25
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

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Originally Posted by morven55 View Post
All the cat has to do is step on the line...
What happens when the cat eats the rat and is to fat to scat?
Try stopping spectra fishing line by stepping on it. Doesn't work. Try both feet. Still doesn't stop it. And if you try with your hands you'd better be wearing gloves. There are special knots to use with it, it's so slippery.

And a fat cat stuck in a mast would be a self solving problem, eventually.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:43   #26
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

This is one of the very hardest jobs on a sailboat. I had to get a new radar cable down my mizzen in to my cabin. I did not have the same issue you do though. I could tell what the problem was though but I couldn't get it to work. And I was a professional electrician/electronics tech and have thousands of hours pulling wires in bad places. There have been a few, rare, times when I had to give up on Plan A and go to Plan Q but sometimes just sheer perseverance will get you there, trying the same thing over and over again. What happens is you finally find that one hole that you needed to find, or you put the exact bend in your fish you need.

Unfortunately there are times where you cannot get from point A to point B the way you want to. I like the idea of the plumbing snake though as a substitute for an electrician's snake. You want something relatively stiff so you can push it from one end to the other. If it bends too easy it may hurt you. If it doesn't bend enough it can hurt you.

The one thing that has helped me get through the toughest fishing has been the S/S wire that is in the middle of throttle and transmission cables. It is stiff but you can put a bend in the end which can sometimes help. But you have to think about what the wire is doing as it first goes in your access hole and then what it does as you try to get it through a possible hole along the way. A big bend put in the bottom to just get it in the access hole can work against you at the blocking point. So sometimes you go to great lengths to make sure you have the least bend there but still be able to have a little bend at the other end so you can spin it to find a hole. You want something you can twist from one end and cause a twist in the other, if that makes sense. The really stiff throttle cable wire can do that provided you can grab hold of it enough to force it to turn.

It took me two days to get my cable two inches on my mizzen. I finally did it. Of course I might not have ever done it too and wasted those two days.

Sincere good luck as sometimes that is what works.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:01   #27
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

Thanks guys.

Update - we connected 2 x 11m lengths of 14mm re-bar, pushed them up the mast and managed to get the anenometer and VHF cables pulled through. The wind gen and anchor light 12V cables jammed immediately after, but the job's now 50% done and there's hope we can still refit the mast tomorrow......

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Old 10-12-2015, 11:12   #28
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

MB White suggested working at night if you're trying to see in the mast with a spotlight. In the daytime you can use a blanket or the like to eliminate unwanted light. I do this when working on cars. Binoculars might be useful.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:16   #29
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

Most flashlights don't focus the beam well enough. It might help to shove a small light part way down the mast.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:52   #30
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Re: Running Mast Wiring Woes

Well guys, we ended up sticking the re-bar back 2/3 of the way up the mast to pull through the wind gen and anchor light cables. All went well and we managed to re-erect the mast a couple of hours later.

Definitely getting a plumber's snake next time we go to the hardware store!

Thanks again,
n
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