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post #1 of 22 Old 04-16-2019 Thread Starter
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Mast rewiring questions

Currently my mast only has wiring up to the steaming light. Iím replacing the steaming light and adding a windex light and an anchor light, with all new wiring.

This is a trailer sailer so itíll have to have a connector on the deck. The one Iím looking at is a four-pin connector. That gives me a common ground and three hots.


Is it OK to run a common ground up the mast for all three lights, or is that bad form?

Would it be better to split the ground into three right after the socket and then run three pairs of wires up the mast? If so, what sort of crimping do you do to split a wire in three?

Also, do you attach the wires to something at the top of the mast so that theyíre not hanging from the lights or crimps?


Thanks, this is my first external wiring project.

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post #2 of 22 Old 04-16-2019
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Re: Mast rewiring questions

I'm not the best guy to talk to about electrics . However I did rewire our mast a few yrs. ago . I'm not really sure about the common grnd. But if everything is grounded , sounds good to me . I do know one thing for sure if the mast is bonded don't use that for a ground .
Hopefully your mast has a conduit extruded into it , if not you need to do something about that . Wires should never be hanging by their attachment , tie it off some how so the weight of the wire is not effecting the attachment .

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Re: Mast rewiring questions

If there is no conduit, maybe snug fitting chunks of polyethylene foam spaced out with long push sticks .Include a tag line to facilitate pulling another wire just in case plans morph.
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-16-2019
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Re: Mast rewiring questions

AFAIK, the common ground would be OK. You won't have as much redundancy, and obviously will have everything on the same circuit. Anchor lights are typically shown closer to deck level. I would still hang something low to see, as well as the light at the top of the mast. When I was in a jam to fix my deck stepped mast wiring quickly, I used a trailer light coupling. They are pretty water resistant-ish, and have a few wires to play with. This worked pretty well because the wiring went through a hole in the top of the mast step, keeping it protected inside the mast itself. There are various strategies for dealing with wiring inside the mast. If you do not run halyards internally, then all you need to worry about is keeping the wires from banging around in there. One solution is to tie three zip ties at a time with the tails spreading out to keep the wire bundle away from the side. Another is to glue or rivet a pvc pipe to the inside of the mast to use as a wire conduit. My favorite is to fill the entire mast with spray foam, thus, insuring you will not be able to make repairs when a wire fails in a week.

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post #5 of 22 Old 04-16-2019
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Re: Mast rewiring questions

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Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
AFAIK, the common ground would be OK. You won't have as much redundancy, and obviously will have everything on the same circuit. Anchor lights are typically shown closer to deck level. I would still hang something low to see, as well as the light at the top of the mast. When I was in a jam to fix my deck stepped mast wiring quickly, I used a trailer light coupling. They are pretty water resistant-ish, and have a few wires to play with. This worked pretty well because the wiring went through a hole in the top of the mast step, keeping it protected inside the mast itself. There are various strategies for dealing with wiring inside the mast. If you do not run halyards internally, then all you need to worry about is keeping the wires from banging around in there. One solution is to tie three zip ties at a time with the tails spreading out to keep the wire bundle away from the side. Another is to glue or rivet a pvc pipe to the inside of the mast to use as a wire conduit. My favorite is to fill the entire mast with spray foam, thus, insuring you will not be able to make repairs when a wire fails in a week.
Are you also a victim of Previous Owner Spray Foam Syndrome?
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-17-2019
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Re: Mast rewiring questions

A common ground wire on electrical circuits might cause voltage drop due to the diameter of the wire. But in your case only one of the lights will be operational and the current draw of the windex is negligable. Go for it.
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-17-2019
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Re: Mast rewiring questions

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A common ground wire on electrical circuits might cause voltage drop due to the diameter of the wire. But in your case only one of the lights will be operational and the current draw of the windex is negligable. Go for it.
Agree, but I would probably go up a size in wire on the neg to allow for it.

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post #8 of 22 Old 04-17-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Mast rewiring questions

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My favorite is to fill the entire mast with spray foam, thus, insuring you will not be able to make repairs when a wire fails in a week.
Haha!




Space is a bit of an issue. My mast is *small*. As in, you canít fit your hand inside of it. I have four internal halyards, and soon several wires. Itís going to be tight in there.

I was thinking Iíd cable tie the wires together and slide them though foam disks from a craft store to keep them from making too much noise when they bang around.

Iím trying to think of what sort of thing Iíd put inside the top of that mast to hang the wires from. Maybe a small u-bolt to cinch them against the wall of the mast?

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post #9 of 22 Old 04-17-2019
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Re: Mast rewiring questions

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Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
I was thinking Iíd cable tie the wires together and slide them though foam disks from a craft store to keep them from making too much noise when they bang around.
Are you planning to run the halyards through the foam disks?

No experience with this myself, but I once read that some people put three zip ties every so many feet, leaving long tails on them, and spread 120 degrees to 'suspend' the wires within the mast cross-section. For me, a far greater source of noise is a slapping halyard. I've never noticed noise from my wiring, but then again, I have no idea about the innards of my still new to me boat. YMMV
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-17-2019
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Re: Mast rewiring questions

Quote:
Are you also a victim of Previous Owner Spray Foam Syndrome?
Haven't run into POSF syndrome on this boat. However, my house would float, if there was a flood.

Quote:
Iím trying to think of what sort of thing Iíd put inside the top of that mast to hang the wires from. Maybe a small u-bolt to cinch them against the wall of the mast?
If you have enough access at the top of the mast, you could use a wire retainer that is riveted from the outside.
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