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Old 25-10-2008, 17:43   #1
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need help with mast wiring

I am trying to replace two wires in the main mast of my pearson 365, the coax and wind indicator wire. I an using the old wires to pull the new ones down through the mast.
the problem is I found the old wiring in the mast is twisted into a knot and will not pass thru the 1" hole near the base. To complicate things more there is only 2" between the mast and a bulkhead at the hole. Did I say I'm trying not to pull the mast.
Is it posible to safely drill or cut a circular or oblong access hole in the opposite side of the mast? If so, how big ? If not ,any other ideas ?
Thanks
Roy
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Old 25-10-2008, 18:37   #2
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I'm replacing wires now in a Catana 431 cat, fortunately, the mast is horizontal. If you are having problems, remove the wires entirely, pulling a 500# test nylon line after them. Hook your new wires up to this leader, tape them together every 18" to keep them straight and not twisting. Then go to Home Depot and get a squeeze bottle of wire lubricant, squirt it generously on every inch of the cables as they enter the mast conduit (they are entering a conduit, correct?). Have someone at the masthead pulling the leader, another person feeding freshly lubed cables into the mast base. Be patient, communicate effectively, pull the wire bundle back when there is a problem, then feed again. Have several beers afterward to lubricate your soul for doing good work. The difficulty will be soldering the Coax connector up at the mast head, afterward. Still, it's easier than trying to snake the cables down the mast from up there.
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Old 25-10-2008, 23:27   #3
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How much bigger is the knot than the hole?Is it possible to enlarge the hole with a round file/rasp?
Anyway you say you are replacing the wires so it is ok to butcher the knot as long as you can fish out the following wire?
If you want more ideas you need to clarify the situation,but asuming you are working on a keel stepped mast,it is ok to drill a hole on the opposite side .But try to keep at least three inches away from the butt.
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Old 26-10-2008, 00:04   #4
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If you do not have an access hole at the base of your mast now may be the time to consider making one.
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Old 26-10-2008, 05:11   #5
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I've considered using a plumbers-snake to push/pull wires in the mast.
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Old 26-10-2008, 09:35   #6
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I think you'll discover it's easier to feed the plumber's (steel) or electrician's (fiberglass) snakes DOWN from the masthead than UP from the base. It has to do with kinking and friction working against you. Then, substitute the 500# test parachute cord to do the active pulling of cables. You can tie in a piece of rag or sponge, soaked in the lubricant jelly, to clean and prep the conduit prior to actually hauling up the cable bundle. Just do the pre-lube in stages to make sure the entire conduit is clean and slippery. It all washes off with water, so there's no problem afterward.
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Old 26-10-2008, 09:49   #7
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I guess I was a little light on the description of the problem. The wires in question are not only wrapped around each other, but most of the other wires in the mast making the knot to large to pull thru the 1" hole and the other wires are attached at the other end,(ie lights). There is only 1 1/2" to 2" between the hole and a bulkhead making expanding the hole impossible. The wires exit the mast aprox. 1 ft above the Step.
And ideas how large of an access hole I can safely make?
Thanks to all.
Roy
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Old 26-10-2008, 12:17   #8
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ARE THE WIRES CONTAINED IN A CONDUIT, INSIDE THE MAST?
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Old 26-10-2008, 12:33   #9
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I think you would agree Roy, that you're caught between a rock and a hard place. Bite the bullet, hoist the mast, and work on it horizontally. The price of derigging the mast is probably a tenth of replacing it.
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Old 26-10-2008, 14:01   #10
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You can probably put a slot as long as a halyard exit and twice as wide there.After that you could put a tag line on the coax and push as much as possible back into the mast at the top.Thump the mast a bit on the way down and see if you can get any slack at the bottom.If you cant it may mean the wires are twisted together in the conduit.You may have to reinstal them all.The spreader/steaming wires could be a problem.Check out the conduit access there.Dishwash detergent is a good lubricant.
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Old 26-10-2008, 14:59   #11
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I replaced my mast wiring in June. It took less than an hour, but the mast was horizontal. Aren't tabernacles Great??
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Old 26-10-2008, 15:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy I. Olsen View Post
I am trying to replace two wires in the main mast of my pearson 365, the coax and wind indicator wire. I an using the old wires to pull the new ones down through the mast.
the problem is I found the old wiring in the mast is twisted into a knot and will not pass thru the 1" hole near the base. To complicate things more there is only 2" between the mast and a bulkhead at the hole. Did I say I'm trying not to pull the mast.
Is it posible to safely drill or cut a circular or oblong access hole in the opposite side of the mast? If so, how big ? If not ,any other ideas ?
Thanks
Roy

Roy,

I cut a 1 1/2" hole in the bottom of my mast for pulling wires. That was 5 years ago and there is no problem that I see in making it even bigger.

I do remember it was really LOUD...... use ear plugs!
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Old 26-10-2008, 17:19   #13
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or replace ALL the wires in the bundle by pulling them all out
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Old 26-10-2008, 18:15   #14
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gettinthere and sandy daugherty: BRAVO!!! Best answer yet! As someone, who I admire greatly, said: "You can't fix the sore tooth of a tiger with a dime store pen knife". JUST DO IT.
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