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Old 01-03-2010, 18:02   #1
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Mast Electrical Connector

I am going to replace the electrical wiring in my mast and I was wondering what type of connector people are using for the connection between the mast and the cabin top. It has to be a quick disconnect type connector. Right now my boat has an electrical plug on one end and what looks like and extension cord in the boat! I did not wire it, but it made me laugh when I saw it.
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Old 01-03-2010, 18:20   #2
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How many wires are you talking about? if you only have a few conductors I can point you towards a few clean instalations.
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Old 01-03-2010, 18:53   #3
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Yes there is only a few. Mast head light. ground cable. Coax
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Old 01-03-2010, 19:08   #4
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Captin Kirk, Here's a list of the mast wiring I did a couple months ago on a 34 foot sailboat. The electronics alone included an NMEA 2000 cable for the masthead instruments, the radar data cable (Garmin), and power cable. The electrical included a VHF RG213 antenna cable, hailer/foghorn cable, steaming light cable/foredeck light cable (14-3 shared ground conductor), mast head tricolor (14-3 shared ground conductor). On larger boats, depending on the size of the lamps and mast height, larger conductors may occasionally be necessary. Then there's the option of spreader lights (larger conductors if bright lights are required), additional instrumentation, if not NMEA 2000, and other toys (FLIR, video cameras, etc.).

The connectors can generally be cut and spliced, but you need to provide enough slack for several iterations. Cutting and splicing saves a bundle on fancy plugs and can be even more weatherproof.

Getting the anaconda of wire and cable into the boat can also be a challenge. Few boats have adequate diameter internal mast conduits. You may have to add one or two more. If the mast step hasn't sufficient capacity to pass the big snake, you have to exit the base, or somewhere just above to get the wire out. If the mast is stepped on deck, you have to provide some means to enter the overhead. Assume everything is going to leak, then go way overboard to avoid that. It's still probably going to leak someday, so try to pass the cables through an area that won't get destroyed by rain and saltwater. Murphy was an optimist.
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Old 01-03-2010, 19:28   #5
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For the lights, I've used this little doo-dad
aquasignal Produkt Katalog

and for the coax, in the past I've used the newmar coax connector.......I'm not sure if this little gem is made anymore, and a google search didn't help. I did find several mil-spec waterproof coax bulkhead connectors that may work though.
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Old 01-03-2010, 21:46   #6
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For the coax feed through, use the Cable Clam by Blue Sea Systems:
CableClams - Blue Sea Systems Be careful when drilling the rubber plug, start with a small pilot hole to ensure you are centered and then increase the drill size in one or two steps to reach the coax cable OD. Keep the rubber plug wet with water while drilling.
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Old 02-03-2010, 13:10   #7
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You may consider an Amphenol connector- they do have self sealing versions.
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