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Old 29-04-2019, 14:05   #46
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Re: VHF cable stuck in the mast

You might also try sharpening the teeth on the grabbing tool into points and bending them in more to get a better chance at snagging the insulation.
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Old 29-04-2019, 15:14   #47
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Re: VHF cable stuck in the mast

I suggest an electricians snake with a Shepardís hook formed on the end, which you then should be able to drop down in and pull up the cable as it slides into the constricted u part of the hook.
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Old 29-04-2019, 21:53   #48
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Re: VHF cable stuck in the mast

Been there, done that.
Pull the cable out from the bottom, pass down a snake from the top at the same time or after and start afresh?
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:37   #49
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Re: VHF cable stuck in the mast

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Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
Been there, done that.
Pull the cable out from the bottom, pass down a snake from the top at the same time or after and start afresh?
I'm with you. However I believe the OP suggested that access to the base of the mast was restricted once stepped.

>IF< the coax can be removed from the bottom, instead of pulling up the replacement, it might be easier to feed it down from the mast head. There would be much less stress/weight on the coax-to-messenger connection.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:32   #50
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Re: VHF cable stuck in the mast

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Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
Very difficult situation that. Perhaps the endoscope could be attached to a stout clawed grabber tool, wherein the endoscope provides you with sight to guide the grabber tool.

There are many versions of grabber tools, most are flimsy. You likely will need one with adequate length and adequate grasping force to be able to pull up the 25 meters of coax cable. Also of issue is whether the cable is jammed and difficult to vertically raise.

Pushing up is like pushing on a string, but pulling on a smooth cylinder is also difficult because the cable lacks anything to grasp and the protective insulative jacket is inherently hard and slippery. Fiddling about, up mast get's old, frustrating and unproductive fast.

Sorry to say it but you might be facing pulling the mast.

A preferred alternative would be to send down another length of cable as a replacement, but you likely will need to remove the broken ended one first so as to clear the conduit to allow a new cable to be inserted the full length. You can use a standard electrician's fish tape to aid in pulling the new cable line, get a professional grade of the electrician's tape, they are stiffer and of great length than your DIYer grade. If you have extra length of coax on your broken cable you might be able to reutilize it and not need to purchase new cabling. Never a fun task, but less of a PITA and less expensive than stepping a mast.

Or you could just install an antenna much lower than the top of the mast until the next time you step the mast; you would only be giving up some distance of communication capability on the VHF, so not the end of the world. Few power boaters have antenna that are anywhere near as tall as sailboat masts, particularly your rather tall mast. Less chatter received from the radio can be a welcome thing, as I find such the most annoying thing on a boat, almost as bad as waking up to hear a commuter traffic report on your radio alarm clock. Distant chatter being of less value and greater annoyance. The next worst bit of troublesome electronics being the wind gauge, wherein a passenger will keep reading out loud the velocity of each gust, until I turn the damn thing off and state: "Yes, it is breezy." I have never needed to know the exact speed of the wind to sail a boat, nor a read out of its APA. A broken windex being a WGAD. Not like it will change the conditions or direction. Just Sail!
Good stuff. I agree with all of that.
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