Adding an access hole in my mast - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-05-2011 Thread Starter
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Adding an access hole in my mast

I am somewhat new to sailing, recently purchased a1976 28' Sabre. I need to replace the VHF antenna cable, and run a cable for a new wind indicator. Is it OK to drill a 1 or 1 1/2" hole near the base of the mast to fish the new cables out or do I really need to do it right and unstep the mast. comments and other input would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-05-2011
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i can't quite remember but i think on my 26 ft paceship the antenna cable is contained inside its own small tube within the mast,making it impossible to acess even with drilling a hole
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-05-2011
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is it possible to pull the new cable[cables] using the old one[attach the new cable to the old one and pull the new cable as you pull out the old one]
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-05-2011
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It's possible to do about anything you want to do, since it's your boat. However, possible doesn't always mean it's the right thing to do. You've not only got to consider that you're creating another opportunity for water intrusion, but then you will have the "how are you going to secure the wire up the mast" issue to deal with. They VHF doesn't have to be on top of the mast, ftr.

Sounds like a good time to get a Bosun's chair, have a couple of friends over for "beer" (not provided until after the task is complete of course) and take a trip up the mast. It's always a good idea to inspect all things atop there anyway.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-05-2011
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Is it OK to drill a 1 or 1 1/2" hole ...

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Originally Posted by etwilliams View Post
I am somewhat new to sailing, recently purchased a1976 28' Sabre. I need to replace the VHF antenna cable, and run a cable for a new wind indicator. Is it OK to drill a 1 or 1 1/2" hole near the base of the mast to fish the new cables out or do I really need to do it right and unstep the mast. comments and other input would be greatly appreciated.
I built spars and rigging in a Toronto shop supplying ON, QC & eastern Canada boat builders (yeah, many years back, where did they all go!). A hole that large is overkill for diameter of cable you are talking about. If you already have VHF and instrument fittings aloft you should be able to fish new lines in with mast up/be prepared it will take a LOT LONGER than if you pulled the mast/good time to press your friends into action too. Hole shouldn't be any larger than necessary. The fewer holes the better (leaks, corrosion, UGLY), grommet the hole to avoid cable abrasion, thoroughly inspect every fitting, clean up all sharps, clean & wax spar (when do you think that was done last?), and you have a jump on next season.
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Last edited by rugosa; 11-05-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-05-2011
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I would bosun up the mast long before I cut some holes (large) in the mast to replace a cable that may be tied or in it's own conduit.

Drilling, heating or cutting a mast extrusion is a bad idea unless you really understand the design and engineering of that mast extrusion, or are in dire shape and HAVE to.
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-05-2011
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All I know is, I wouldn't do that. But can't you use the old cable to fish the new one?

Tom K

2000 Beneteau 331
Northern Chesapeake Bay

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy ~ Steven Wright
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-06-2011 Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the input. I will have the yard unstep the mast, so I can do a proper inspection and install my new equipment at the mast head properly. No shortcuts, do it right the first time. Thanks again.
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