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Old 09-01-2013, 10:38   #1
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Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

I need to rewire my mast. Currently it only has a steaming light. I would like to add spreader lights and a masthead light. The mast is deck stepped with wiring internal. There are no external plugs or connections. There are currently two wires that power the steaming light which is disconnected by a two pin marine plug for mast removal. There are two more pairs that are stubbed out from the cabin top and terminated. The breaker panel lists the extra pairs as "spreader light" and "spare 1". The breaker panel also has a "spare 2" but I'm not sure where it's wire is run. I'm mechanically inclined but electrical stuff confounds me. Any recommendations for tackling the project would be must appreciated. The mast is currently in the backyard on saw horses and I'm rearing to go.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:49   #2
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Re: Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

A hint I used in my new mast.
Instead of having endless paired wires I used a 12V cable to connect trailer lights to a car. It is small and contains 7 wires for low voltage. I used 2 for ground and the other 5 for the lights.
As to the wires at your cabin, try to find out what they are connected too and if you can re use them. Mark everything and write down the used colors.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:56   #3
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Re: Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

Does your mast have a plastic tubing conduit? If not you might consider adding one to run your wires. Run good quality tinned wire if you can afford it. You basically have two runs and may want those to be separate bundles of wires. One run goes to the spreaders and the other to the top. You can run one ground for all things at the top and one for the spreaders. Leave a gap in your plastic conduit at the spreaders.... maybe a foot gap. Often the best way is to run the wires thru a hole in the mast base into the cabin top. Then put your joining terminal strip there. (or below the cabin sole if you want) Pull the long top wire bundle thru first. Then the spreader bundle. Your spreader bundle may just be two wires. You need a hot for each appliance and a common ground, or multiple grounds.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:03   #4
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Re: Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

My mast has no conduit. To limit wire banging inside the mast, the entire run is enclosed in something similar to A/C pipe insulation about 1 1/2" diameter.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:14   #5
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Re: Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

This is what I have.

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Old 09-01-2013, 11:25   #6
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Re: Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

Great. Well, the hard part is getting a messenger thru any place you dont have an old wire I guess. It sounds like you dont have anything at the top of the mast and just need to go to the steaming light... right? Probably easiest to just run a ground and hot to the steaming lights and spreader lights. You already have the "standpipe" at the cabin top. Leave plenty of excess... nothing worse than being a foot short! securely attach the new wires to the old wires and pull the old ones out dragging the new ones thru. If you have to butt-connect any wires at the lights etc, Use a ratcheting crimp tool and use wire connectors that have the shrink tube built onto them. The connectors are made for specific size wire. Yours will be blue or red. proper wire size is determined by the length of run. If it's forty feet from your panel to the light, double that and look up in a "DC voltage drop" table what wire size to use. (google search)You're probably talking 14 gage or something like that on that boat. Figure a way to keep the weight of the wire from pulling down on the light/connection etc. (tywraps etc) Just think it through as you go.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:34   #7
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Re: Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

The factory wiring diagram calls for #12 wire. Are you saying to double that?
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:39   #8
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Re: Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

No . If you have the diagram , use what they say.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:44   #9
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Re: Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

Get a 100' roll of triple or quad conducter tinned wire from Defender.com. Don't use trailer wire unless its tinned. and you might as well just stick with marine wire to keep quality at top notch. This will be easy to do with the mast down, use an electricians flat snake to get your first run in, then leave a small rope/line/cord as an extra messenger if you need more in the future. radar, antenna, masthead wind speed.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:39   #10
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Re: Wires make my head hurt. Need advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhr1956 View Post
The factory wiring diagram calls for #12 wire. Are you saying to double that?
If you use LED's then 16 guage will be more than enough. Bebi makes a nice anchor light for about $50 and you can get waterproof spreader lights for about $20-$30.

Just a thought, it will be way easier to run the new wires if the mast is down. Should be an easy job on a Pearson 26.
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