Electrical wires inside mast making much noise - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-10-2011
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Electrical wires inside mast making much noise

Inside the mast are the wires going to the antenae and the mast head light. They clank loudly everytime the boat swings. Its gone on all of the way from Charleston SC to Utila Honduras. I have considered drilling a hole in the mast half way and........... well something but is that a bit extreme? Any ideas? Its a Grampian 1974 30'
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Old 04-10-2011
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from the top of the mast take the wires & feed noodles(pool float noodles) over them , you will never hear them again, (can be found at the dollar store)
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Old 04-10-2011
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Years ago I did something similar on my 27 foot boat about 25 years ago. I am planning to do it again on my Etap 26 in a couple of weeks. I bought a sheet of 2" thick Ethafoam (like the pool noddle material but black). I hold it against the bottom of the mast and trace around the mast with a marker, then cut it out with a serrated steak knife so it is oversized and fits tight in the mast. I cut a V groove on the forward edge for the wires. I cut a round hole in the center for the halyards. I push them into the bottom of the mast using my whisker pole, and also from the top. The wires are pinned tight to the front of the mast. The halyards are kept centered in the mast too. So everything is absolutely silent!

Gary H. Lucas
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Old 04-11-2011
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try tie-raps, or zap-straps, or whatever you want to call them. Wrap them around the wires but don't cut them. Leave the tails long, and you will find that the self-center in the middle of the mast......use three in each position.
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Old 04-12-2011
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Oh good, this doesn't sound so bad. I wonder though? At the top of the mast I have a cap that holds the pullies for the halyards and also connects to the backstay and forestay. I imagine that I am going to need to take this whole thing off. Without a backstay and forestay I am thinking that it might be scary climbing the mast using only the support of the four side stays? Perhaps I haven't looked closely enough at the top of the mast to see where a pool float foam can fit .down the mast. I love the idea.
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Old 04-12-2011
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knothead has a spectacular aura about knothead has a spectacular aura about knothead has a spectacular aura about
Or, you could do the job right by dropping the stick and installing conduit.
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Old 04-12-2011
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I have been thinking of the same thing and have heard of a variety of such ideas involving padding, zap straps, and conduit. As for installing through the mast-head, I don't know about your boat, but on mine, the top of the masthead can be removed without unstaying the mast. This is important for maintenance of halyard sheaves etc; have a look at yours.

Sadly I have no wires running to the mast head, just a running light on the front of the mast about halfway up, so I have to unstep the mast to get at the wires.
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Old 04-13-2011
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My mast cap is welded on, so not all are removable.
I wonder if the foam tubes that (northern) hardware stores sell for insulating 1/2 or 3/4" copper tubing would be easier to get down the mast than noodles--smaller diameter.
I would not disconnect the stays.
I pulled the wiring out and used 3 zip ties every 2 feet or so and it worked, but the hardware on the mast can make noise, too. My backstay adjusters rattled like crazy. So can the halyards.
I've heard of people pouring styro "peanuts" down the mast, too. I think multihullers like it because it also adds floatation, for what that's worth to you.
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Old 04-13-2011
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The right way to do this is to install conduit. I think the next best is the wire tie method. I don't like stuffing things down the mast or using the "pool noodle" idea-- I'll guarantee the halyard will get jammed on those things, or they'll get sucked into a sheave just when you're trying to drop the sail ahead of a big squall.
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Old 04-13-2011
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Pull the rig, remove the wire harness and either put in a conduit (the best idea) or get some of the copper pipe insulation (get the best stuff you can the cheap stuff breaks down fast) and put use wire ties bigger/thicker is better.
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