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Old 25-10-2015, 07:16   #1
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How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

Hi,

I have a Beneteau Oceanis 40 without in mast furling. When the boat rolls there are (I assume) cables or ducting or halliards that knock against the inside of the mast. It can be quite annoying when everything else is silent. How can I fix this?

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Old 25-10-2015, 08:46   #2
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

The internal halyards can be silenced by keeping tension on them. Normally the mast, as delivered by the boat builder, will have all of the basic electrical cables secured to the inner wall of the mast.
So the likely cause of noise are the cables delivered during and after commissioning - VHF antenna cable, wind instrument cable, etc.
The common practice is to secure all cables in a conduit (e.g. PVC tubing) to the inner wall of the mast. It requires the mast to be unstepped and is a little tricky to install, but any decent boat yard should have experience doing this.
The cheaper, but less permanent, solution is to encase the cables in foam insulation like that used for hot water pipes. The cables will still slap around in the mast, but the sound will be deadened.
The quick and dirty approach might be to tension those loose cables between the masthead and the exit hole at the base of the mast.

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Old 25-10-2015, 09:43   #3
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

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Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
The cheaper, but less permanent, solution is to encase the cables in foam insulation like that used for hot water pipes. The cables will still slap around in the mast, but the sound will be deadened.
Did that on mine and never heard anything again. But the thought of the cost and hassle of stepping the mast, and the knowledge that there is no harm being done, might make the sound a little less annoying.
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Old 26-10-2015, 00:17   #4
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

Thanks for the replies. I had not planned on taking the mast down



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Old 26-10-2015, 02:52   #5
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

Tension the halyards.
For the wires, fit a loop of bungee around them, using something akin to a Prusik knot, or anything similar. But make it loose enough that it can slide, & leave a good length of tale on the bungee.
Now make a tool out of a piece of coathanger, to use to push the bungee gripper knot minimum 6" up the wiring bundle, inside of the mast.
Then make sure that both the wires & the bungee are well protected from chafe, & tension the lower end of the bungee as snugly as you dare.

Ah, & it'd be wise to secure the wires in a similar, & or more secure fashion, at the top of the spar first.
If you're good at coathanger magic, it doesn't take much of a hole to lasso & then secure everything.

The following is hypothetical mind you, meaning that I've not tried it live, but...
Barring the above, if you're feeling brave & or foolish, you could try using spray foam in a can, at a couple of locations in the mast. It'll hold the wires in place for a time, & the halyards should, wear holes in it appropriate for their travels. Knock on wood.
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Old 26-10-2015, 03:30   #6
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

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Tension the halyards.
For the wires, fit a loop of bungee around them, using something akin to a Prusik knot, or anything similar. But make it loose enough that it can slide, & leave a good length of tale on the bungee.
Now make a tool out of a piece of coathanger, to use to push the bungee gripper knot minimum 6" up the wiring bundle, inside of the mast.
Then make sure that both the wires & the bungee are well protected from chafe, & tension the lower end of the bungee as snugly as you dare.

Ah, & it'd be wise to secure the wires in a similar, & or more secure fashion, at the top of the spar first.
If you're good at coathanger magic, it doesn't take much of a hole to lasso & then secure everything.

The following is hypothetical mind you, meaning that I've not tried it live, but...
Barring the above, if you're feeling brave & or foolish, you could try using spray foam in a can, at a couple of locations in the mast. It'll hold the wires in place for a time, & the halyards should, wear holes in it appropriate for their travels. Knock on wood.
I like these suggestions. The second one does sound a bit risky and would probably result in the halliards getting messy with the foam.

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Old 26-10-2015, 05:25   #7
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

Foam would hold water though, I had thought of this myself as I have the same issue, I had even thought about filling a balloon with foam. I believe un-stepping the mast is the only real answer, then you need to re-wire it, buy new lights and antenna, replace sheaves, so save some money first before it comes down.
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Old 26-10-2015, 11:05   #8
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

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I like these suggestions. The second one does sound a bit risky and would probably result in the halliards getting messy with the foam.

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I can see the foam working If the halliards get a bit messy inside the mast who cares. My only thing is putting holes in the mast. A structural concern.
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Old 26-10-2015, 11:39   #9
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

Have a similar issue with our mast. Has anyone tried sliding pool noodle up the wires?

On my last boat a previous owner had tried stuffing the mast with packing styrofoam noodles. Didn't work and was a terrible mess when i re-wired the mast.


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Old 26-10-2015, 11:51   #10
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

If it is the furling rig, apply some force on the outhaul.

If it is the cables, move them to the conduct.

If it is the hallyards, make them tight.

At times, making a stubborn halyard slack works too.

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Old 26-10-2015, 11:58   #11
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
If it is the furling rig, apply some force on the outhaul.

If it is the cables, move them to the conduct.

If it is the hallyards, make them tight.

At times, making a stubborn halyard slack works too.

b.
The later makes sense. Good thinking.
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Old 26-10-2015, 12:24   #12
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

I've seen this idea of using cable ties to provide a flexible stand-off from the mast but I've not tried it myself.

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Old 26-10-2015, 15:51   #13
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

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I've seen this idea of using cable ties to provide a flexible stand-off from the mast but I've not tried it myself.

I've done this twice. luckily I needed to replace the wires anyway. pull the wires...attaching a pull cord before hand. if you miss that part then you can get a fish tape long enough to run from the mast head to the base. when pulling the new wires up attach four zip-ties at the cardinal points, every two to three feet. use the zip-ties that are 16" to two foot long, as they are thick. you can cut then shorter, but no less than three or four inches longer than the largest diameter of the mast. The first time I did it was with external halyards and the other had internal halyards. Never had any interference with the halyards. the first boat was quiet for five years before I sold her. the second one I had for three years and a friend still owns it with no problem six years. probably wouldn't work with internal mast furling. Do keep internal halyards tight tho. I've found a little snug is not quite enough, when rolling. I have heard them slap a couple times when being waked and rolled back and forth about 20 degrees ;-( some power boaters have no cooth.
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Old 26-10-2015, 19:01   #14
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

I love your cable ties way! I have never heard of it before. Brilliant thinking.

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Old 26-10-2015, 21:44   #15
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Re: How do I stop things in the mast making noise?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Foam would hold water though, I had thought of this myself as I have the same issue, I had even thought about filling a balloon with foam. I believe un-stepping the mast is the only real answer, then you need to re-wire it, buy new lights and antenna, replace sheaves, so save some money first before it comes down.
I'm not sure that the foam holding water would be a big problem as;
- Zip tying big sponges to the wiring inside of the mast in several spots, is an old racer's trick, as it's lighter than running conduit. And they never caused any problems.

Also, FYI, there are lighter solutions than conduit, such as various types of fiberglass tubing, & other similar materials.
And, IIRC, Nigel Calder may detail how to attach conduit to the inside of a mast.
That, & needs be, I can dig up conduit substitute recommendations, as there's an old thread on the topic over on SA Forums.

To attach conduit to the mast is reasonably simple (or so goes the theory). All one needs do, is to have a small hole in the spar every few feet, & use a coat hanger/bent welding rod tool to pull the conduit tight against the inside of the mast wall. Then drill both the mast & conduit simultaneously. Followed by inserting a pop rivet into said hole (just use soft rivets). All while never releasing the conduit with your coat hanger tool.
- Then, poof, run your wires down the conduit, & you're GTG.

Also, on the foam & it holding water thing. While I haven't read the tips, I believe that Selden, & a few other spar makers, delineate how to internally seal one's mast @ the deck level, so as to minimize water draining down through them into the bilges.
That, & deck stepped masts aren't exactly sieve like at their bases. So, on this one, I'd say call a spar maker or three if in doubt.

Regarding getting foam on the halyards, either;
- Run some junk lines in place of the halyards when applying the foam, & then reinstall them afterwards. Or...
- Tape up your halyards heavily in the area where you're going to be applying the foam. Electrical tape should work well, as it's stretchy, & conformal. As well as being flexible enough to go anywhere that an untaped halyard will. And then, post foaming, unwrap them.

I do, however concur, that this problem is best tackled, by far, when the mast is horizontal, & everything's much easier to reach. Especially including accessing the inside of the tube.
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