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Old 01-06-2012, 21:26   #1
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AC Power to the Mast?

I have a 1975 Catalina 30 and the wiring is a mess so I am going through the whole boat in an attempt to make a diagram of current wiring and then rewire the boat appropriately.

I traced the mast wiring and I can't figure it out why there is AC power going to the mast. Is this normal?

At the base of the mast are two wiring harnesses - one side has power coming in from an AC plug (with half the wires going up the mast) and the other has power coming in from another wiring harness that is connected to the batteries (with the other half of the mast wiring coming out. I haven't traced the wiring on mast yet to determine which wires go where, but I'm baffled why AC needs to be involved.

On the mast is Radar, steamer, anchor, and nav lights.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
BaySailorNoob
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Old 01-06-2012, 21:34   #2
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Re: AC Power to the Mast?

Have you actually confirmed that there are AC powered wires going up the mast or has someone used AC wire for items on the mast?

There is no reason for AC power on the mast of a Catalina 30.

This is a good place to ask about Catalina 30 specific issues:

Catalina30 : Catalina 30 Owners Online List
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Old 01-06-2012, 22:19   #3
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Re: AC Power to the Mast?

You have to be really careful about running AC in wet outside areas. Don't do it if there is no need for it. My guess is that someone who did not know what they were doing thought it might be a good idea. It makes me cringe to see 120 AC powered devices on deck underway.
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Old 01-06-2012, 22:25   #4
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Confirmed. I have three of the four wires in the white sheath going from the ac plug to a wiring harness connected to the mast wiring. One of the wires sits on top of one of one of the three ac wires. The rest are connected to the side of the ac plug.
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Old 01-06-2012, 22:31   #5
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Re: AC Power to the Mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaySailorNoob View Post
Confirmed. I have three of the four wires in the white sheath going from the ac plug to a wiring harness connected to the mast wiring. One of the wires sits on top of one of one of the three ac wires. The rest are connected to the side of the ac plug.
I'd disconnect it.

There shouldn't be any reason that I can think of to run AC up the mast.
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Old 01-06-2012, 22:34   #6
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Re: AC Power to the Mast?

Because it is an ac plug it may not necessarily have been used for ac. I have seen (gringe) ac pugs being used instead of proper dc plugs to allow quick disconnect for mast removal. That or someone wired your mast for Christmas lights. lol
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Old 01-06-2012, 22:35   #7
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Re: AC Power to the Mast?

I assume you mean AC outlet, not plug. The cord on a toaster has a plug on the end.

Strange.

If the wiring is such a mess why bother making a diagram of it? Better to make note of everything that is electrical, remove the old and start from scratch.

If you are keeping any wire runs, assuming the wire is not corroded and black after 37 years just label the panel end after confirming where they go.

Last week I did this on an Alberg 30 and it is often the best solution.
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Old 01-06-2012, 22:58   #8
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Ok problem solved. Turns out the ac wiring to a different outlet and the mast wiring crossed close together and I got them mixed up. I was wondering why my multimeter was reading 11v vs 120ish. Thanks for the help.

I'm new at this wiring stuff so the diagram is helping me understand how it's laid out now so I can compare to how it should be and then keep some and replace others. Is it good practice to run a dedicated positive or negative wire from one wiring harness to the next wiring harness?
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Old 01-06-2012, 23:01   #9
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Re: AC Power to the Mast?

Maybe a cruel anti-bird system?

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Old 01-06-2012, 23:04   #10
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Re: AC Power to the Mast?

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Maybe a cruel anti-bird system?

That is funny!
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Old 01-06-2012, 23:26   #11
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Re: AC Power to the Mast?

Wiring standards used on boats have changed in the past few decades. I think you are better with a good current resource like Charlie wing's book shown below. Catalina made a few mistakes in the past as well, most documented through the years on the owner's site I linked to earlier.
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Old 02-06-2012, 13:58   #12
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Re: AC Power to the Mast?

I have owned three Catalinas (27, 36 & now a 470). The first two were 20 years old when I purchased them.

The thing I learned was that a 20 year old boat does not have the same wiring it came from the factory with... If it does it should be replaced!

Early on someone mentioned the C-30 Association and I have found that the Catalina Owners Groups are a great way of solving problems on your boat.

Most of the time, several owners have already expienced the problem and found a fix...

The Catalina 30 Owners have a YAHOO GROUP at:
Catalina30 : Catalina 30 Owners Online List

Good Luck!
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