Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bremerton, Washington
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Re: Leak at mast wiring deck penetration
There should be a little tube that protects the plywood there. On my mast step (Isomat-brand on a Pearson boat) this tube is part of the step and you can see it from below. The top of the tube sticks up about an inch from the mast step base to keep pooled water from finding this way out of the mast and to have it go through the drain hole instead.
I've seen tubes like this on the web (some appear to be integrated into the mast step). Mine doesn't have one, at least not that I can see from the bottom side. Just a roughly drilled hole in the deck (which is quite thick in this area, and cored with plywood, vice balsa).
I think that drip loops on the electrical cables can't hurt, but my guess is that most of the water is wicked in via the halyards, not the electrical wires. Rope just makes a much better wick than rubber/plastic insulation.
My halyards don't run inside the mast, but I think there are lots of ways for the rain to get inside -- masthead sheaves, spreader connections, etc. Once inside the mast, I suspect that some collects on radar cable, even if that isn't the primary source of the water.
I would be interested in some photos of yours -- good luck on your New Year's mast project!