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Old 28-10-2013, 09:50   #1
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Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

Hope this is the right forum for this. I am having problems getting wire down my mast for a new anchor light. Boat is a Cal 2-27 and AFAIK it is the original mast. There has to be a clear shot down the mast for wires, but where is it? Forward? Aft? Port or Starboard? Dead Center? I can't find the passageway with my fish tape. Tried to pull new wire up the mast attached to the old, but the old wires broke. All the old wire is bad. Nothing works. If I can just get the anchor light working without running wires outside the mast or cutting viewing windows to see just exactly what I got inside there, I will be soooooo happy.
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Old 28-10-2013, 09:54   #2
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

Is there a conduit in the mast or not? If so, and if you have spreader lights, it's usually darn near impossible without the mast out of the boat. Usually you can see rivets holding the conduit on the aft edge of the mast if it has a conduit.
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Old 28-10-2013, 10:39   #3
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

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Is there a conduit in the mast or not? If so, and if you have spreader lights, it's usually darn near impossible without the mast out of the boat. Usually you can see rivets holding the conduit on the aft edge of the mast if it has a conduit.
Okay I just looked... no rivets. Just screws on the aft edge holding the sail track, and forward there is a traveler track for the whisker pole. So probably no conduit? Yes I have spreader lights which don't work, either. And a few feet above the spreaders (only one pair) is the 20 point white mashead light (that doesn't work either) then about 12 more feet to the top of the mast and the 360 anchor light.

The spreader light wires enter the mast under the spreaders toward the aft edge of the mast. So the wire channel is likely back there? There must be a junction of some kind inside the mast. My luck would be I got to remove the spreaders to get to it or something. Wow I really don't want to drop the mast. I will fuss with it some more today I guess. Gotta go get a few things at home depot then its back up the mast for me.
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Old 28-10-2013, 10:46   #4
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

Are your halyards external or internal? If external, then the wires would often be free inside the mast... and may slap at times in there. If this is the case it should be easy to get a new wire in, the problem is that there are various ways that people use to keep the wires stable in there.... every thing from foam donuts to ... etc. It sounds to me like you need a total rewire job. Easiest done with the mast down.
Maybe someone who has had a 2-27 can help out here... but that's what I'm guessing.
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Old 28-10-2013, 11:14   #5
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

External halyards. Well looks like I got to figure out a plan to drop my mast. I have never heard wires slapping inside. I am gonna drill a big hole and have a look inside the top of the mast I guess.
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Old 28-10-2013, 11:19   #6
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

I wonder if you and a couple guys could drop that one? It sounds like nothing is working right so good time to rewire it properly.
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Old 28-10-2013, 13:55   #7
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

A pretty heavy mast. But it looks like it will have to come down. I am gonna try some more tomorrow. Today I had to de-hornetize it. I think the mast is clogged up with wasp nests. I made up a device to adapt bug bombs to spray into a hole in the mast. Shot 4 bombs in there. There was a big cloud of them rascals flying around. Got stung a bunch of times and that was no fun at all. Hopefully they will be dead dead DEAD and the fumes disappated by morning. If not I will go to the feed and seed and get a bottle of straight malathion and dump it right down the mast LOL! It don't smell nice but it should get the job done. Meanwhile I have to figure out how to poke through all those nests. I messed around with the fish tape some more from the bottom and I MIGHT have got it up to the top, I don't know. I will see, tomorrow. Maybe this evening. They quiet down when it gets close to sunset. Right now I need a beer.

I am also thinking about cutting a small window a few inches up from the step. It might also be handy for sealing around the new wires.
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Old 31-10-2013, 08:17   #8
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

Well good news. I tried one more time to get a fish tape through. Got a little over 33 feet up the mast, which is 34 feet give or take a few inches. This time I went and bought a regular flat tape. Don't try to use one of those round nylon ones. They curl up at ever obstruction. The heavy flat steel one plowed right through those wasp nests. As a backup I had 12 36" lengths of 1/4-20 all thread rod and couplers and I would have assembled them together one at a time from the top of the mast and rammed it through the wasp nests. I had also made tentative arrangements to use the crane at a local yard to pull the mast but I really couldn't afford that, so it's a good thing I was able to get the fish tape up there, and hook the end with some coat hanger wire and pull it through the 1/2" hole I just drilled in the mast cap. So now I have a pull string through the mast and I should be able to install the new lights today. YAY! It's a Perko with two festoon bulbs, properly shrouded so the front one is my 20 point, and both together are my 360 anchor light. Which means I don't have to replace the old 20 point which is down the mast a ways. I don't care about the spreader lights for now, just want to get legal. Now off to Home Depot for some stainless 10-24 screws and a tap. After I finish my bloody mary. Basically I think this job is as good as done.
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Old 31-10-2013, 10:19   #9
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

GrowleyMonster, Keep a good relationship with the crane at the local yard because you are going to be needing their services. If the electrical wiring was bad, there are other issues that are lurking: the fasteners, the hardware, the sheaves, the compression bolts at the spreaders, etc., etc. When the inevitable happens, you need to pull the stick and go over EVERYTHING. Otherwise, you are merely waiting for some bad ju-ju. Start planning now for this event so that you have the materials, expertise and cash to do the job right. You ought to have a conduit, of sufficient size, to handle new, marine grade, wiring (also of sufficient size) for your spreaders, steaming light and anchor light (at the minimum). You could even plan to include a masthead vhf antenna, tricolor (nice, but not critical), and a foredeck light.

You are probably in need of new halyards, and those sheaves probably are screaming at you when you hoist the sails, so pull them out and grease the axles. Check the screws and rivets for missing ones. And the rigging itself? Just how old is it? You need to remember that New Orleans can be quite tropical, and the ultraviolet is pretty powerful.

The electrical light failure was a wakeup call. Don't be lured by your quickie (though it didn't seem so, probably) repair. You've got a big job coming down the road, and possibly a bigger surprise than a burned out bulb or fixture.
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Old 31-10-2013, 15:11   #10
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

I would recommend that you install a USCG approved LED anchor/steaming light. If you do the math, your festoon bulbs are probably 24W. At nominal 12VDC they each draw 2A or 4A for both when operating as an anchor light. Ten hours of dark x 4A = 40Ahrs out of your battery bank. An LED would draw < 1/10 of that.
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Old 01-11-2013, 21:15   #11
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
GrowleyMonster, Keep a good relationship with the crane at the local yard because you are going to be needing their services. If the electrical wiring was bad, there are other issues that are lurking: the fasteners, the hardware, the sheaves, the compression bolts at the spreaders, etc., etc. When the inevitable happens, you need to pull the stick and go over EVERYTHING. Otherwise, you are merely waiting for some bad ju-ju. Start planning now for this event so that you have the materials, expertise and cash to do the job right. You ought to have a conduit, of sufficient size, to handle new, marine grade, wiring (also of sufficient size) for your spreaders, steaming light and anchor light (at the minimum). You could even plan to include a masthead vhf antenna, tricolor (nice, but not critical), and a foredeck light.

You are probably in need of new halyards, and those sheaves probably are screaming at you when you hoist the sails, so pull them out and grease the axles. Check the screws and rivets for missing ones. And the rigging itself? Just how old is it? You need to remember that New Orleans can be quite tropical, and the ultraviolet is pretty powerful.

The electrical light failure was a wakeup call. Don't be lured by your quickie (though it didn't seem so, probably) repair. You've got a big job coming down the road, and possibly a bigger surprise than a burned out bulb or fixture.
I replaced the halyards the second day after I bought the boat. Topping lift and sheets, too. Minor lines as they failed LOL! Until just now I used the halyards for climbing and belaying so I couldn't do maintenance on those sheaves but now I can. I have two static lines for climbing and belaying so the halyards are free when I am up the mast, and the wheels are getting pulled and at least greased. Wires were replaced at some point and upgraded. The OEM rigging was a little light and there were some dismastings on these boats. I do have significant corrosion under the stainless strap for the roller jib halyard and I will be moving that up an inch and a half when I get around to it. Eventually I need a doubler there. Spreaders were originally wood and were replaced about 10 years ago. I think the boom gooseneck straps might have some corrosion under them but I am moving the boom up a few inches anyway to make room for a hardtop over the cockpit and a raised pilothouse. So yeah I may have to drop the mast at some point, but I think for now I am good to go.

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I would recommend that you install a USCG approved LED anchor/steaming light. If you do the math, your festoon bulbs are probably 24W. At nominal 12VDC they each draw 2A or 4A for both when operating as an anchor light. Ten hours of dark x 4A = 40Ahrs out of your battery bank. An LED would draw < 1/10 of that.
I got an LED festoon replacement. West Marine only had one and the fixture takes two... one for the 20 point and both together for the anchor light. So I am a half step ahead of you on that. Mostly, the LEDs last longer and I am getting tired of hauling my 250 lb carcass up the mast. The lower current draw is a plus, but with a pair of 8D batts, it wasn't critical. Also have a standby starter battery for cranking the Atomic in the event of both big batts being too low. I will be keeping my eye out for them to get the other LED festoon that I need in stock. My sidelights use the same bulb, and I think my stern light too, so I will be LED all around eventually.

Got my wires up. Just haven't put it all together. Need some shorter screws than what I got and I will get them in the morning, and splice everything in and test it. I am kind of optimistic now.
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Old 01-11-2013, 21:34   #12
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast wiring problem

You can lead them to water..........
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