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Old 05-05-2005, 20:30   #1
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Mast wiring

I am in process of rewiring my boat and mast. 1st time doing so this could be a basic question. I am installing a masthead anchor light, steaming light at spreaders and foredeck light at spreaders. I have run four conductors to spreaders and two of the four conitunie on to mast head. I am planning on using one of the four as common negitive return to pannel. 1st question is this a good idea? 2nd what type of connector to use at spreaders? I figure I have five wires to cooncet at that point. Is there a better way?
Thanks Ted
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Old 06-05-2005, 02:44   #2
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You should have a power & ground for each set of lights. If you were to loose the ground to one, they'll all go out.

Hopefully your using tinned (marine) wire. The mast is one of the worst places for corrosion.

Each pair of wires should have its own casing, like a lamp cord. And the wiring should run down a conduit inside the mast, especially if you have internal halyards. Just the wire weaving back and forth can cause it to slightly bend the wire and evenually break at the solid end.

All connections should be well crimped and sealed with a silicone.

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Old 06-05-2005, 13:14   #3
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When running wire inside the mast , do something to dampen their movement a bit. Otherwise, at anchor, dock or mooring when there is movement, you will hear ting ting ting.
Those foam hair curlers can help . Wrap them around the wire so the foam will hit the mast instead of the wire. You wont regret it.
Cheers
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Old 06-05-2005, 19:10   #4
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Watch out for silicones!

If you use silicone sealer use electronic grade which contains no acetic acid. If you smell what seems to be vinegar in your silicone do not let it contact any electrical conductors because they will corrode.

Also, recognize that there is no reason to expect silicon sealer to stay adhered to most insulation jacket materials and, therefore, you can expect ultimate leaking.

Self-amalgamating tapes will seal.

3M makes a product: Scotchkote an electrical coating for sealing against abnormal weathering and moisture conditions...part #43906 and is not expensive.
Rick
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Old 07-05-2005, 02:51   #5
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Rick is right!!!

I didn't mean to mislead.

Working on boats I only use the 3M's 4200 and 101 white sealants, with exceptions, and that is what I was refering to. They don't have the acetic acids. I should have been more specific.

The tapes are much better but not available in the local marine stores. But found some at a radio shop just for my antenna.
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