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  #1  
Old 03-20-2009
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Drilling in Mast

When we bought our 1984 catalina 27 the coax for the VHF was cut off at the point of exit on the mast. I have not gotten the nerve to climb the mast to run a new cable.
What I was wondering is would it harm the mast if I drilled another hole about a foot above the exit point and pulled the cable out and put a new connector on it?
I am eventulally going to drop the mast and rewire everything but that is not until next fall I think. I am using a temporary anttenae at this time.
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Old 03-20-2009
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To be honest i am painting my mast right now and looks like a piece of swiss cheese from the PO drilling extra holes for hardware.
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Old 03-20-2009
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As long as it's not a huge hole and you don't drill into anything important inside it, you should be fine.
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That's what I was thinking and it is much easier to drill than to climb.
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Old 03-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnferrell View Post
That's what I was thinking and it is much easier to drill than to climb.
A couple of points;
I am not a big fan of drilling any extra unnecessary holes anywhere. For me it would be just another source for water and moisture to get in. I certainly would not want water in my mast step. And make sure you place it where the structural integrity of the mast is not compromised.

Second, I'm not sure I understand the hesitation to go up the mast. I have no idea how big the mast is on a Catalina 27, but I would think it would be strong enough to support you. If the mast is not strong enough to support somebody, than I would think it would be light enough to drop fairly easily.

Going aloft is something that should become routine. If you are like me and weight has become an issue, (last time I was cranked up the cranker looked at me and said "Never Again."), find the lightest crew around and offer them a case of beer for the effort.

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Old 03-20-2009
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Its not the strengt h of the mast it is the chicken in me. I have only had the nerve to get as far as spreaders but I will eventually make it to the top. I have the mast mate for climbing and last time I was attempting the climb the admiral was holding my safety line and she was getting nervous and I think that made me nervous. It might be easier to attempt at night when I can't see. And the middle has increased since my youth. It would be worth a case of beer to get somebody up the mast to replace the achor lightbulb and coaxial cable for radio.
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Old 03-20-2009
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John

My advice is to listen to sailortjk1.

Because I quite enjoy going up the mast, I do not have first hand knowledge of the fear of climbing. My good buddy, a much younger, much more fit policeman would buy me a case of single malt before he would climb as far as you have. Each to his own - he can break up the bar fights on Saturday night - I can climb the mast.

Holes are good in Swiss cheese, on a boat, limit the number you have. Get a teenage that likes to go sailing with you. For he or she, going up the mast will be a lark. Run that new wire - it probably needs to be replaced anyway.

You will get the mast climbed, you will get better reception on the radio and you will not have to climb.

Oh, BTW (by the way) send your digital camera up with the climber. Have the climber take five or six picture of every single connection, every halyard block, every stay and shroud tang, everything at the top. Then, in the comfort of your computer chair you can inspect the entire mast and all accouterments. And yes - lots of pictures, from every angle or everything.

Cheers

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Old 03-20-2009
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John-
Harm? Probably not. HOWEVER. Coax cable has a finite life, often five years. Unless it is properly sealed, to keep moisture out, and properly suspended, to prevent stretch and sag, it will degrade and since most folks don't start with the best grade in the first place, you might want to hold off with the drill and replace the entire cable, now, to make sure you have a good cable. (And perhaps the antenna, too.)

If the cable has been sitting with an exposed end--it has been wicking moisture into the entire coax shield and along the center conductor, and the process of degradation has been ongoing since the PO cut it.

It might still work. Or, it might not work well enough on a distress call.
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Good points. I guess I will have to get up my nerve and climb the mast. Or bribe one of me nephews. Thanks for all.
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