Slapping wires in mast. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-31-2012 Thread Starter
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Slapping wires in mast.

The internal electrical wires in my mast slap as the boat rocks. I know this is a common problem, but think there must be a solution (searched this forum without results). Not only is it annoying, but it can't be great for the wires.
I thought about pulling the lower Halyard sheave and inserting something inflatable beneath it. Problem is, even IF I could do it, this would impede the flow of water from above. Anyone have a solution. Do some manufactures install a conduit inside the mast? I would think this would be easy enough to do during manufacture. Thoughts?
Edit: After searching, posting this thread and receiving replies, I found this thread in the "similar thread" Wires slapping in mast section at the bottom of the page. Don't know how I missed it as I searched "slapping wire". Oh well, more good ideas there!

Last edited by L124C; 08-02-2012 at 11:51 AM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-31-2012
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Re: Slapping wires in mast.

I had this problem for years. It's very annoying, indeed.

Unfortunately, there's no good way to stop it, at least none which won't have problems later on.

The usual "fixes" are: foam, wire ties at various intervals, arranged in triangular form, etc., etc.

The only real way to fix it, however, is a proper conduit. And, this can normally only be done with the mast down.

A PVC conduit for the mast wires is inserted the length of the mast, and secured to the mast with aluminum rivets.

Yes, most manufacturers have some sort of conduit installed when building the boat, but you may have the same problem I did: a previous owner adding internal wires without passing them thru the existing conduit.

Good luck,

Bill
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Re: Slapping wires in mast.

I am doing my mast right now, the same way I did a previous one 25 years ago. I cut 'donuts' from polyethylene foam (trade name Ethafoam). A notch at the front of the mast carries the electrical wires, the hole in the middle carries all the halyards. The wires don't slap, and the halyards never touch metal, absolutely quiet. I use the whisker pole to push the donuts in from both ends of the mast spacing them about 3 feet apart.

Gary H. Lucas
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Re: Slapping wires in mast.

Thanks! Two questions: The Halyards don't wear the foam down? Are you at all concerned about the donuts holding water inside the mast (even if it is fresh)?

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I am doing my mast right now, the same way I did a previous one 25 years ago. I cut 'donuts' from polyethylene foam (trade name Ethafoam). A notch at the front of the mast carries the electrical wires, the hole in the middle carries all the halyards. The wires don't slap, and the halyards never touch metal, absolutely quiet. I use the whisker pole to push the donuts in from both ends of the mast spacing them about 3 feet apart.

Gary H. Lucas
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Re: Slapping wires in mast.

I assume you drill holes for the rivets on Port or Starboard (not fore or aft) to minimize weakening the rig. I assume the intrusion is minimal (and I have a stout spar) but I would want to do it strategically.
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I had this problem for years. It's very annoying, indeed.
Unfortunately, there's no good way to stop it, at least none which won't have problems later on.
The usual "fixes" are: foam, wire ties at various intervals, arranged in triangular form, etc., etc.
The only real way to fix it, however, is a proper conduit. And, this can normally only be done with the mast down.
A PVC conduit for the mast wires is inserted the length of the mast, and secured to the mast with aluminum rivets.
Yes, most manufacturers have some sort of conduit installed when building the boat, but you may have the same problem I did: a previous owner adding internal wires without passing them thru the existing conduit.
Good luck,

Bill
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Re: Slapping wires in mast.

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Thanks! Two questions: The Halyards don't wear the foam down? Are you at all concerned about the donuts holding water inside the mast (even if it is fresh)?
Polyethylene foam is very slick, and halyards don't move much except when raising or lowering the sails. The foam cost so little, and replacing it when you take the mast down is no big deal, if it wears excessively. It doesn't absorb water, and tilting of your boat will ensure that water on top runs off pretty quick. Besides you mast gets hot in the sun and drives off any moisture. Way less of a problem than the foot of a mast sitting in a wet bilge!

Gary H. Lucas
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