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Old 02-04-2016, 09:43   #1
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mast - what do upgrade

I am pulling my aluminum mast to fix a deck leak. And while it is down, I'd like to do some maintenance & upgrades, like: spreader lights, new stays & turnbuckles, thicker vhf cable, tv antenna, etc.

I'd appreciate any advice on what maintenance and upgrades to do while the mast is down...?


Thanks, Rob
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:15   #2
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Re: mast - what do upgrade

New standing rigging if what you have is aged out.
New sheaves are cheap and easy
New light fixtures are much easier to instal on the ground
Any antennas that you have you may want to shift to the mast

Part of it comes down to how often you pull your mast. In New England where pulling the mast is a routine issue for winter storage there is no need o get aggressive. On the Gulf Coast it may be a decade between pulling the mast, so we tend to do everything when we get the chance.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:24   #3
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Re: mast - what do upgrade

If you're redoing the VHF coax be sure to go with RG213U from a reputable supplier.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:31   #4
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pirate Re: mast - what do upgrade

When I was in Oz Wotnames boat was still on the hard.. he wanted to redo the internal wiring for the VHF, lights etc.. was fed up with the mast slap of the past.
We removed the masthead fitting and foot then ran a moused plastic tube the length of the mast to the exit holes, drilled and pot riveted the pipe to the mast then pulled down the new wires and easily fed them through the appropriate holes at the bottom.. worked a treat.. not a slap for the 2000nm trip when launched.
If you pull any running rigging/wires mouse them first.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:37   #5
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Re: mast - what do upgrade

Put on one/two of the new generation LED deck/spreader lights.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:59   #6
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Re: mast - what do upgrade

I would do the following:

- if present, replace standing rigging 'backing plates' in the mast (unless done recently),
- replace bad rivets, do punch out the cores this time ;-),
- make darn sure those electric cables stay put,
- add mast steps, ad least till the first spreader,
- add inner stay fitting and sheave or block, unless you have one already.


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Old 02-04-2016, 13:51   #7
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Re: mast - what do upgrade

In addition to all of the above:
- Pull off your spreaders, & give them a good inspection. Including all of their fasteners on both ends.
- Pull/inspect your spreader bars (if applicable) & inspect all of the hardware for the spreaders on the mast.
- Pull off your tangs & tang bolts. Dye Penetrant test all structural mast hardware.
- Add an extra wire pair or three to your conduit, so that when you decide to add something later on, the wire's already in there.
- Check the fasteners/attachments for all of your; cleats, clutches, & winches.
- Add a spare halyard bail to the masthead.
- Consider adding a Solent or Cutter Stay, or simply the attachment points for same, along with sheave boxes.
- Inspect your topping lift fittings, & if you venture offshore, think about making it's sheave strong enough to support a halyard.
- Measure, & log, the sizes of EVERY; fastener, tang, piece of wire, & hardware on the mast. To include; lengths, diameters, thread sizes, etc. (including pretty much all but the tube itself, meaning any & all, attached structural bits too). Ditto on recording all of the part numbers, for the bulbe in Every light on the spar.
- Reseal all of your wiring connections. And check each wire for chafe, anywhere that it penetrates something.
- And finally: Take pictures of EVERYTHING on the spar, from as many angles as you can. And save copies in a couple of places. Ditto on the measurements, above.

You want to have enough notes, & pics, to be able to rebuild the entire spar, without even having to think about breaking out your climbing harness.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:33   #8
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Re: mast - what do upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetequila View Post
I am pulling my aluminum mast to fix a deck leak. And while it is down, I'd like to do some maintenance & upgrades, like: spreader lights, new stays & turnbuckles, thicker vhf cable, tv antenna, etc.

I'd appreciate any advice on what maintenance and upgrades to do while the mast is down...?


Thanks, Rob
Just make sure you use the old wiring to bring on the new.
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Old 03-04-2016, 17:04   #9
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Re: mast - what do upgrade

Mousing your wires ? Is that something like gerbils & snakes? Please elaborate.
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Old 03-04-2016, 19:42   #10
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Re: mast - what do upgrade

Couple of nice things:
A windex light.. led, takes very little juice and so nice to be able to look aloft at night for the wind angle without a torch.

A little camera, you can get them on amazon waterproof bullet camera for less than 50 bucks, runs on 12 volts. Nice when you are below or at anchor to have a look forward. and, since my mast is 64' gives you folks below a nice fright when going under a bridge.

Michael
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