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Old 06-09-2009, 23:49   #1
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Mast Wiring Preference

Are there reasons why / why not to run mast wiring internally or externally? The wiring on my mast runs externally. Most of it is clipped in place. Some has come away. I am about to add some new wiring and would like to hear from others as to the reasons they have done theirs one way or the other.

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Old 07-09-2009, 01:00   #2
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I just had the wiring and lights redone on my boat. The original wiring ran between the mainsail track and the mast section. Short external conduit ran wires to the steaming light ans spreader lights. These were prone to damage and the wires behind the main track difficult to access.

When I recently re-did the wiring on my boat I opted to run the wiring internally inside a length of conduit to keep the wires clear of the internal halyards.

This keeps the wiring well protected and can be more easily accessed if necessary ( once the mast is out). The old way required the mast to be lifted and the pop rivets drilled out to remove the mainsail track. The external conduit previously used suffered from UV damage and had cracked.

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Old 07-09-2009, 01:45   #3
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Soldered, tinned LEDs

I recently replaced my steaming/deck lights with LEDs from Bebi in Fiji.

It wasn't working and being 20' up the mast I just could not get at it. Took a rigger (thanks Chris M.). I am not planning to do it again soon.

Bebi recommended (if I remember correctly) was that all joins be soldered, protected with liquid electrical tape and covered with heat shrink (with the comment that all other joints eventually corrode and fail).

The lights work now, but the real test is time...

I would happily run wiring on the outside of a wooden mast (I've done it on my wooden "radar arch" - so far so good) using tinned wire. If I was being totally obsessive I'd put some thinned epoxy resin in the holes and allow it to set before screwing. It is more vulnerable to mechanical damage though (found through rigorous scientific testing).
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:16   #4

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Your mast wiring should be internal. When I replaced mine I discovered the mast extrusion had an internal wiring channel designed as part of the spar to prevent the wires from banging around inside the mast. If I were you, I'd have a look at yours before you make a decision.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:25   #5
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I agree that internal wiring is the best due to "best protected". However, it really needs a fitted internal conduit if your halyards are also internal.

I have seen radar cable attached in an external conduit, and of course if you have a wooden mast, the wires are normally external!
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electrical, mast, wiring

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