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downeast450 03-24-2012 09:10 AM

Mast wiring access panel
 
I am doing some work on the base of my mast. I have never opened the wiring access panel before. Ten ss machine screws secure a rectangular aluminum plate in the side of the mast about 6 inches above the base. Since I was doing other work I decided to remove it and clean things up. Ha! Removing it is a bigger chore than I had anticipated.

After removing all the fasteners the only thing left holding it in place was the "sealant" that was used to bed it by the PO. It may be 5200?!! How in the world would I have gained access to the wiring with the mast up if I had needed to? I have "tapped", pried, added solvent and I have the mast lying on its side at waist level! My next effort will be to apply gradual pressure using a C-clamp while warming things with a heat gun. I expect even 5200 will give up. It goes back on with either nothing or butyl caulk. What a PITA it would have been to confront this with the mast up and the wires "in there somewhere" needing attention.

Can you get your mast wiring access panel off?

Down

hellosailor 03-24-2012 11:23 AM

Re: Mast wiring access panel
 
Down, I needed an impact driver the first time I tried to remove an access panel. One of those tools you always figure would be real handy once in a great while. Sure is. It can really motivate philips head screws without smashing the slots up.

downeast450 03-25-2012 03:20 PM

Re: Mast wiring access panel
 
Hello,

With some care all the screws cooperated . I thought having them removed was a real milestone in removing the panel. NOT! The visible bead of sealant looks like silicone but it sure acts stronger than I would have expected for old silicone. It is my plan to eliminate the inspection plate to make room for a couple of "cheek plates" to accommodate a new mast step / tabernacle. I would just weld it in place without removing it if it didn't have the sealant there. I need to clean it first.

If I were putting it back as a removable inspection panel I would use Butyl tape as a sealant, or none. Perhaps just a good smearing with Lancote?

Down


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