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RL24 (Rob Legg)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon everyone,

I have done countless hours of research and just wanted an opinion on if item choices should be swapped out for something better, and/or to ensure everything works together. In short I am rewiring all lighting and putting in a radio and antenna on a 24 foot trailer sailer. It is an RL 24.

At the top of the mast I will be placing this Metz antenna which I have already purchased.

The following items I have not purchased so I am open to suggestions on alternatives or better options.

I will then be running LMR-400 Ultra Flex cable from the antenna, the cable will have crimped PL259 male connections on both ends (my research on crimp vs solder is crimp has better weatherability, if anyone can attest to that). One end will feed into the SO239 female of the antenna. This cable will then go through the top of the deck through this Blue Sea cable clam. I checked cable diameter and it fits. Once through the clam and into the boat the other male connector will fit into this Shakespeare connector, which is a barrel double female PL-258.This connector will allow me to take the mast down much easier as I wont have so much slack to deal with. Once inside the boat the second length of LMR 400 UF will connect into the barrel connector and run to this Icom fixed mount VHF. It seems to me that these fixed units have female connectors on the back, just wanted to confirm with anyone so I can ensure I need double male ends again on the second length of cable.

Next, I will be wiring all navigation and interior lights with this tinned 14 gauge wire. Lights are not huge and according to the electrical load charts 14 gauge should suit my needs.

My battery will connect to this Blue Sea fuse panel with this 10 gauge tinned wire.

And lastly, I will be adding this tri light from Marine Beam to the top of the mast so we can anchor out in the lake over night.

Thank you for anyone that has any suggestions or swaps.
 

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A couple of thoughts:

I'd probably skip the extra connector in the VHF cable. If you can get a male connector through the cable clam, just unplug from the back of the radio and pull the whole thing out. You'd get rid of a couple of connections (possible failure points) that way. In the big scheme of dealing with the rigging when you take the mast down a few extra feet of coax cable will be NBD.

Also, if you already have nav lights on the bow & stern, I'd consider just adding an anchor light to the masthead and rewiring the existing lights. I don't think that you really need to worry about the masthead tricolor unless you are offshore at night. A simple LED anchor light would save $$$ and complexity. That switchable combination light looks slick but it seems unnecessary.
 

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I think that the LMR 400 is a bit of overkill for your particular application. Yes the 400 is about as good as it gets but it's awfully large diameter coax and if you have tight turns to route your wire to the radio you will find that even the Ultraflex 400 is going to be a real PITA to run, I did a similar installation on a much taller mast and most likely a significantly longer run to the radio with lots of twists and turns and I used LMR 240UltraFlex and the signal loss is negligible. The double female is a good idea,,That's exactly what I did. I don't understand Danvon's comment about pulling the whole thing out unless you were just going to have the wire dangling around on route to the radio. You may want to check out Best Boat Wire for wiring needs and The GPS store for electronics. Looks like you've got a pretty good handle on the project, have fun with it.
 

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RL24 (Rob Legg)
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90 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A couple of thoughts:

I'd probably skip the extra connector in the VHF cable. If you can get a male connector through the cable clam, just unplug from the back of the radio and pull the whole thing out. You'd get rid of a couple of connections (possible failure points) that way. In the big scheme of dealing with the rigging when you take the mast down a few extra feet of coax cable will be NBD.

Also, if you already have nav lights on the bow & stern, I'd consider just adding an anchor light to the masthead and rewiring the existing lights. I don't think that you really need to worry about the masthead tricolor unless you are offshore at night. A simple LED anchor light would save $$$ and complexity. That switchable combination light looks slick but it seems unnecessary.
So I had originally planned out doing just 1 cable run for the VHF as well. However, when the mast is down when trailering that will be about 16 feet of cable that needs to be secured. Rather than just 2 feet as the rest would be in the cabin.

Our boat doesn't have an anchor light or anything at the top of the mast. Just the steaming light midway up. I agree that the tri-light is not needed but I couldn't find a decent, small, LED anchor light. The ones I found were either too large or incandescent. Do you have a small boat with an anchor light you would recommend?
 

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RL24 (Rob Legg)
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90 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think that the LMR 400 is a bit of overkill for your particular application. Yes the 400 is about as good as it gets but it's awfully large diameter coax and if you have tight turns to route your wire to the radio you will find that even the Ultraflex 400 is going to be a real PITA to run, I did a similar installation on a much taller mast and most likely a significantly longer run to the radio with lots of twists and turns and I used LMR 240UltraFlex and the signal loss is negligible. The double female is a good idea,,That's exactly what I did. I don't understand Danvon's comment about pulling the whole thing out unless you were just going to have the wire dangling around on route to the radio. You may want to check out Best Boat Wire for wiring needs and The GPS store for electronics. Looks like you've got a pretty good handle on the project, have fun with it.
Thank you for the suggestion. I will definitely look at LMR 240 vs the 400. We don't have many turns which is why I was going for top end for signal loss. But that would make running it up the mast a much simpler task if it is quite a bit smaller, and should save me some $$ too then.
 

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So I had originally planned out doing just 1 cable run for the VHF as well. However, when the mast is down when trailering that will be about 16 feet of cable that needs to be secured. Rather than just 2 feet as the rest would be in the cabin.

Our boat doesn't have an anchor light or anything at the top of the mast. Just the steaming light midway up. I agree that the tri-light is not needed but I couldn't find a decent, small, LED anchor light. The ones I found were either too large or incandescent. Do you have a small boat with an anchor light you would recommend?
I think I used this one: https://www.fisheriessupply.com/sea-dog-line-led-fixed-mount-all-around-light

The LED anchor light is great for finding your boat in a crowded field as most of the others still have the incandenscents.
 

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I think on a 24 ft trailer sailor I would be thinking about just going with a handheld VHF. Depends on how you use the boat, but handhelds have gotten pretty darn good. Do you really need the extra range you get by having an antenna at the top of the mast?
 

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RL24 (Rob Legg)
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think on a 24 ft trailer sailor I would be thinking about just going with a handheld VHF. Depends on how you use the boat, but handhelds have gotten pretty darn good. Do you really need the extra range you get by having an antenna at the top of the mast?
Yeah I had a 5W handheld and it did not have nearly enough range when we went out to the Apostle Islands and around lake Superior.
 
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