Cable slap within mast - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-11-2010
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Cable slap within mast

Previous owner removed and rewired the mast. In the water the rocking causes the cable inside the mast to slap against the mast's interior wall. I never stops. Sailing, moored, whenever the boat gently rocks.

I am looking for a solution short of pulling the mast.

I have removed a couple of the lower fittings and attempted to snag the cable using safety wire but the access holes are so small I am not able to do this.

I have also considered going up the mast a bit and removing a screw and shooting a can of Great Stuff expanding foam into the hole.

Before I try that I want to know if any of you have been able to solve a similar problem without removing your mast.

Thanks
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Old 07-11-2010
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Climb the mast, tie some twine around the wires, disconnect the wires from the light fixture(s) and drop the wires back down into the mast so that you can use the twine to pull them back up. Secure the twine to the masthead and climb back down. Pull the wires out of the bottom of the mast and get some zip-ties that are long enough so that when you tighten them around the wires the leftover "tail" is longer than the widest part of the inside of the mast. Secure a zip-tie every couple of feet along the wire (make sure they are on good and tight), then climb back up the mast and pull the wires back up (you'll probably need to have someone feeding the wires/zip-ties into the bottom of the mast). Reattach the wires to the fixtures, climb back down the mast, and enjoy a quiet beer.
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Old 07-11-2010
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go to the top of the mast disconnect wires & slip some swim noodles over the wires. Depending on how tall your mast is will determin how many you need (only $1.00 each at the dollar store) also they may only go as low as the steaming light. if banging is from below the steaming light, may require unsteping the mast.
dont use great stuff - will bind on halyards & hold water leading to corrosion
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Old 07-11-2010
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No access from the bottom so the twine idea won't work with out major disassembly of the headliner and trim.


the slap is (in my opinion) in the lower third of the mast. No halyards within the mast so that does not present a problem. I guess the water retention might pose some but as this is a 40+ year old boat I don't think it would be substantial.

Great thinking on both ideas though.

Thanks.
Anyone else?
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Old 07-12-2010
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instead of great stuff why not a balloon of some sort? or from the top down slide pipe insulation over the wires. or ???
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Old 07-12-2010
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Balloons won't work as they will tend to lose air... however, drilling a small hole, inserting a heavy balloon and filling it with Greatstuff might work well. It would also prevent the foam from sticking to the interior of the mast and the wiring.
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Old 07-12-2010
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Believe it or not, I have seen boats with masts that were full of styrofoam beads. I could never figure out the strategy behind such beads, but they might well have been used for just such a purpose.
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well that gives me an idea, fill it with packing peanuts. Increased capsize resistance too!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malovich View Post
well that gives me an idea, fill it with packing peanuts. Increased capsize resistance too!
I think that packing peanuts, at least some types, will soak up too much water. That would make for an awful lot of weight aloft (and one would REALLY want to avoid the cornstarch-based ones, as they dissolve in water). The times I've seen masts with styrofoam "bits" it has always been something resembling the stuff in bean-bag chairs.
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Old 07-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fparry View Post
Previous owner removed and rewired the mast. In the water the rocking causes the cable inside the mast to slap against the mast's interior wall. I never stops. Sailing, moored, whenever the boat gently rocks.

I am looking for a solution short of pulling the mast.

I have removed a couple of the lower fittings and attempted to snag the cable using safety wire but the access holes are so small I am not able to do this.

I have also considered going up the mast a bit and removing a screw and shooting a can of Great Stuff expanding foam into the hole.

Before I try that I want to know if any of you have been able to solve a similar problem without removing your mast.

Thanks
With all due respect. Micky mousing a job because you don't want to pull the mast on a 27' boat doesn't make a lot of sense.
You and a couple of buddies could pull the mast and do a proper job with only the cost of a small crane. You might even find a yacht club that will let you use their gin pole.

I installed some lazy jacks on a mast that someone had squirted expanding foam into once. The first hole that I drilled a little above the spreader to attach the hardware shot a solid stream of water out for about five minutes. Squirting foam into your mast is a really bad idea. Even if it's in a balloon.
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