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Old 15-03-2010, 16:55   #1
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Rewiring My Stick - Pointers please!

Hey guys,
New here but I have lurked a while. I was searching for this post but never found it. Basically I need to rewire my mast, and pretty quickly as my anchor, steaming and spreader lights have gone out, and the only reason I can diagnose is a short inside the mast, all good at fixtures and at fuse box. The wire I have is original 1966 so it needs to be do anyhow.
I don't want to unstep my mast at this time, just replace the fixtures and the wiring. Anyone with experience pulling wires through a mast? And what would you'll recommend for new fixtures, I'm not really flush with extra funds but the old bronze fixtures a shot or close to so I do need to replace them. Stick is 37' tall on a cascade 29'.
Thanks in advance.
Garrett J Reed
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Old 15-03-2010, 18:15   #2
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Beware. Use tinned marine grade wire. Cry once.

Very biased opinion, and one learned the hard way.

b.
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Old 15-03-2010, 18:55   #3
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Thought of a junction box at mast base?

Have you checked the wire runs from the fuse box to the base of the mast?The problem could be in that run. If that run is OK, IMO you should think about putting a junction box inside the hull at the mast base where the wires enter. That way when you next remove the mast you don't need to cut the wires. Also when you cut the wires at the mast base you can test that power is getting to there at least.

How did you test the fittings? If the bulbs are OK and the wires to the mast base from the fuse box are carrying current, then, yes, you have to change the mast wires.

To change the mast wiring, you will need AT LEAST 2 people

Method #1
  • send someone up to the top with the new wire spool (agree tinned copper is best)
  • establish that the old wire/s are movable & intact
  • join the new wire to the end of the old wire SECURELY
  • feed the wire down to the mast base
  • join it to the old wiring from the fuse box at your new junction box
  • open a cold 4X
Method#2
  • join the new wire at the mast base & pull it to the top
  • join it to the old wiring from the fuse box at your new junction box
  • as above
If the wire/s are broken inside the mast you will need to send a messenger venetian blind chord attached to a weight down the mast & hook it out with a coat hanger or if you know a surgeon, a vaginal sound or a long pair of artery forceps are ideal for this activity. I find such items of kit to be invaluable on my boat.

Alternatively to the hassle of the messenger chord, if you have at least one intact wire you can join two new wires onto it and pull it through.

I would NOT replace the wiring in the mast if the short is discovered not to be in the mast. Just fix your immediate problem and GO SAILING. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 16-03-2010, 01:47   #4
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excellent advice,
I'll use a toner again to see exactly where I'm loosing the connection.
I had switched out the bulbs and tested the fixtures up top so its somewhere between the mast and the fuse box. Crossing fingers that its inside somewhere.
I'll update when I figure it out.
Thanks
Garrett
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