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  #1  
Old 03-01-2014
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What to do while mast is off?

I have a keel stepped mast that is currently on the ground from shipping and doing boat repair. I want to do whatever I can to it to get it ready to put back on in a couple months. That being said, I would like to change/install a wind sensor/instrument up there and wires while it's still easy.

I will most likely be getting a B&G/Simrad mfd chartplotter down the road but have been looking at Airmar and Maretron for wind sensors since they are N2K and have heard good things about them.

What would your recommendation be for a wind instrument? Would you stick with a navico based unit from B&G/Simrad or Airmar/Maretron? Ultrasonic or not?


Also, what other things should I do or inspect or change on the mast while it's down?

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Old 03-01-2014
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Re: What to do while mast is off?

Put wiring inna conduit, extra wires....justincase, change out lamps to LED, add deck lites..if ya think ya might quantum.. Check and double. Checkfasteners, stays and spreader MTS.. Mebbe add a few 'eyes" for future use; ie: running Stays, spare halyards, etc.
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Old 03-01-2014
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Re: What to do while mast is off?

Check masthead sheaves.
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Re: What to do while mast is off?

Things to do while mast is off:
Drink
Party
Make Friends

Oh, you mean on the boat...

1. Take all of the standing rigging apart. If the spreaders come off take them off. Take off the spreader end caps. Look at everything. The last time I took my mast down I discovered a crack in one spreader. Look at the bushing holding the spreaders on, etc. etc. etc. This is the easiest and best time to check your standing rigging. put on a cotton or rubber glove. Slide along every inch of rigging wire looking for snags.
2. Remove the sheaves. Check the axles. Check the sheaves. Lubricate with lithium grease. Reassemble.
3. Make a list of everything you might put on the masthead: tricolor/anchor light, wind instrument (electronic), wind instrument (manual), radio antenna, lightening rod, TV antenna, etc. Pre-wire everything. In all probability you should replace both the radio antenna and the coax down lead.
3a. Remember to put in a messenger line. you will thank me!
4. Consider everything you might want to fasten to the spreaders and mast. Signal halyards, lazy jack attachment points, spreader lights, radar reflector, deck lights, mood lighting, etc. pre-wire anything you might want in the future. If it doesn't take wires but does attach drill and tap your future attachment points.
5. Look at the mast and the boom. Is a whisker pole in your future? Mount the track. Do you have halyards banging against the mast? Put in line guides. Do you have enough attachment points for reef lines? Vang? Do you want to run a wire out in the mast for a cockpit light that hangs from the boom? Do it now!
6. Do you want mast steps? (I am a huge fan, I solo sail, I sail far offshore, I want to be able to get up and fix things without any help.) They are expensive and time consuming to install but the first time you need them in an emergency you will thank me for installing them.
7. Look inside the boom. Do you have a wire/rope outhaul? Look at the wire - it is part of the standing rigging. If you have reefing sheaves in the back of the boom do the same work you did on the top of the mast. Yes, you can do it with the mast up but it is much easier with the mast down.
8. Further to 7 - this is a good time to replace any running rigging that runs inside the mast. It is just a heck of a lot easier now.
9. Consider the electrical connections at the bottom of the mast. I replaced all the wires I had to cut with plugs. Easier to take apart, easier to put together.
10. REPLACE THE COTTER PINS! (I am shouting!) Don't use the old ones...

I can not advise you on electronics. I use Garmin equipment, I like it. I had had serious problems with Raymarine service, I try and stay away from them. Plus Raymarine had to make NMEA2000 incompatible with their gear (they use different connectors.) Cheap attempt at keeping everyone on the farm.

Hope this helps.

Fair wind and following seas.
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Last edited by svzephyr44; 03-01-2014 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Formatting
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Re: What to do while mast is off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svzephyr44 View Post
Things to do while mast is off:
Drink
Party
Make Friends

Oh, you mean on the boat...

1. Take all of the standing rigging apart. If the spreaders come off take them off. Take off the spreader end caps. Look at everything. The last time I took my mast down I discovered a crack in one spreader. Look at the bushing holding the spreaders on, etc. etc. etc. This is the easiest and best time to check your standing rigging. put on a cotton or rubber glove. Slide along every inch of rigging wire looking for snags.
2. Remove the sheaves. Check the axles. Check the sheaves. Lubricate with lithium grease. Reassemble.
3. Make a list of everything you might put on the masthead: tricolor/anchor light, wind instrument (electronic), wind instrument (manual), radio antenna, lightening rod, TV antenna, etc. Pre-wire everything. In all probability you should replace both the radio antenna and the coax down lead.
3a. Remember to put in a messenger line. you will thank me!
4. Consider everything you might want to fasten to the spreaders and mast. Signal halyards, lazy jack attachment points, spreader lights, radar reflector, deck lights, mood lighting, etc. pre-wire anything you might want in the future. If it doesn't take wires but does attach drill and tap your future attachment points.
5. Look at the mast and the boom. Is a whisker pole in your future? Mount the track. Do you have halyards banging against the mast? Put in line guides. Do you have enough attachment points for reef lines? Vang? Do you want to run a wire out in the mast for a cockpit light that hangs from the boom? Do it now!
6. Do you want mast steps? (I am a huge fan, I solo sail, I sail far offshore, I want to be able to get up and fix things without any help.) They are expensive and time consuming to install but the first time you need them in an emergency you will thank me for installing them.
7. Look inside the boom. Do you have a wire/rope outhaul? Look at the wire - it is part of the standing rigging. If you have reefing sheaves in the back of the boom do the same work you did on the top of the mast. Yes, you can do it with the mast up but it is much easier with the mast down.
8. Further to 7 - this is a good time to replace any running rigging that runs inside the mast. It is just a heck of a lot easier now.
9. Consider the electrical connections at the bottom of the mast. I replaced all the wires I had to cut with plugs. Easier to take apart, easier to put together.
10. REPLACE THE COTTER PINS! (I am shouting!) Don't use the old ones...

I can not advise you on electronics. I use Garmin equipment, I like it. I had had serious problems with Raymarine service, I try and stay away from them. Plus Raymarine had to make NMEA2000 incompatible with their gear (they use different connectors.) Cheap attempt at keeping everyone on the farm.

Hope this helps.

Fair wind and following seas.
Wow, thanks! Haha, great write up. Pretty much everything running rigging wise is getting replaced. I will inspect all the standing rigging and reuse it. I'll replace it next year or so, trying to get it sailing this summer. I have the lights lined up, going to give lopolight a shot(I'll be the new guinea pig for everyone) so all electrical wiring is getting replaced, as is the antenna and it's coaxial cable. I'll give the spreaders a look over and run wires for lights. Probably put some eyes for signal lines.

I don't have a whisker pole, but I have a spin pole. Not sure how the halyards are run(they were barely hanging on and tired to the bow pulpit), so I may look into line guides. I haven't sailed this boat yet so I'm not sure about the reefing just yet. It has a vang already so that's done, just need to clean and lube the blocks and run new line.

I'd like to get some folding mast steps but I'm going to wait on that for another year. I can pull the mast at our marina another time.

Change cotter pins, check!

What kind of plugs did you use for the mast connection at the step?

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Re: What to do while mast is off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoatyardBoy View Post
Wow, thanks! Haha, great write up. Pretty much everything running rigging wise is getting replaced. I will inspect all the standing rigging and reuse it. I'll replace it next year or so, trying to get it sailing this summer. I have the lights lined up, going to give lopolight a shot
I have heard very mixed reviews about lopolight. Apparently in the begining they failed very often. They claim to have fixed the problems. I also know they have been accused of radio interference. I would do some Google time and see if I could get some current reviews.

Fair winds and following seas
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Last edited by svzephyr44; 03-01-2014 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 03-01-2014
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Re: What to do while mast is off?

And while the mast is out, don't forget to get a nice gold coin to put under it when it is stepped again. (Oh, like I'm the only one who honors the old gods here? :-)
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Re: What to do while mast is off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svzephyr44 View Post
I have heard very mixed reviews about lopolight. Apparently in the begining they failed very often. They claim to have fixed the problems. I also know they have been accused of radio interference. I would do some Google time and see if I could get some current reviews.

Fair winds and following seas
I have done my fair share of Google searching on these lights but bone have been within the last 4 years. Most complaints were from 06-08 models and we're mixed then. And the more recent posts still had the early models with the unsealed bottoms.. Now they have 6ft pigtails hanging from them so the entire unit is sealed. That's why I said I'll be the guinea pig, because there is no current reviews. All I know is that their customer service is great and replacements were always given for faulty units.




Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
And while the mast is out, don't forget to get a nice gold coin to put under it when it is stepped again. (Oh, like I'm the only one who honors the old gods here? :-)
Hmm, interesting. Never heard of this, where does one get a gold coin?


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Old 03-02-2014
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Re: What to do while mast is off?

Placing a coin under the mast:

The ceremonial practice is believed to originate from ancient Rome. One theory is that, due to the dangers of early sea travel, the coins were placed under the mast so the crew would be able to cross to the afterlife if the ship were sunk. The Romans believed it was necessary for a person to take coins with them to pay Charon, in order to cross the river Styx to the afterlife and as a result of this, coins were placed in the mouths of the dead before they were buried. Another theory for this practice is that the insertion of coins in buildings and ships may have functioned as a form of sacrifice thanking the gods for a successful construction, or a request for divine protection in the future, or both.
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Old 03-03-2014
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Re: What to do while mast is off?

Here is what I did last year when my mast was down:
* inspected and cleaned or replaced all sheaves
* replaced anchor and steaming lights with LEDs (I used Hella Marine ones)
* replaced all wiring, except for VHF
* inspected all standing rigging
* replaced halyards
* cleaned out all mast step drains
* replaced dead wind instrument (I used a homemade system built around a Davis instrument. If I were buying new I'd just get the Raymarine i40 for about $400).

Here is what I wish I had also done:
* add spinnaker crane and internal spinnaker topping lift
* add mast hardware to support a solent stay
* replace standing rigging
* replace VHF cable with a smaller diameter one
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