SailNet Community banner
  • SailNet is a forum community dedicated to Sailing enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about sailing, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, repairs, reviews, maintenance, and more!

Mast Down or Up for New Wind Instr.

2662 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  knothead

It will cost me almost $550 to de-step and restep my mast over the winter. I hadn't planned on it, but last year I did it to replace halyards and a windex. Well when the yard restepped the mast they bumped something and misaligned the windex, so that was pretty much useless. Over the summer my Datamarine Wind Instrument has decided to start to fail. The wind speed is okay (I think)) but the indicator direction is messed up. It is off by 180 deg. I tried to recalibrate, but with no luck. It is also slow to respond to wind changes. I am thinking of replacing it with Raymarine ST60+ Wind Unit.

I'd rather not unstep the mast to install, but will need to replace the cable and the masthead unit if I decide to go this route. Option one is to climb the mast and pull off the Datamarine unit and pull out the cable with the new cable spliced in to the other end of the cable. I would then install the new masthead unit. and complete the assemble on the ground. I have never gone up my mast and weigh about 235, so hauling me up isn't easy. I could buy a solo climbing set-up, but that is almost as much as unstepping and restepping the mast. The other option is to unstep/restep and work the whole thing from the ground.



1 - 13 of 13 Posts
If your boat is on the hard, you will be much safer unstepping the mast. Do NOT go up the mast if the boat is on the hard, unless you're using a cherry picker crane or platform lift to do so.
Boat is currently in the water.

I know not to go up mast on the hard. Want to understand if trying to do fix/replace a mast head sending unit is doable while possibly sawing back and forth. If not, I'll unstep the mast.


Yes, it is doable from a boasun's chair, but it is far easier to do with the mast down... :)
Just as a side note, I also have old Datamarine instruments that have seen better days and am looking at these for replacements.
Sail Boat Instruments!
I like that I won't have to make new cut-outs.

I had a yard install a raymarine without unstepping the mast. Some marinas have platforms you can do this from shore, others doe not. This is one way you do not have to climb a mast...........Otherwise, yes it can be done from a bosuns chair or equal.

I have all Raymarine gear on the Dehler. Never again. Their wind instruments are a joke. Bird lands, system is toast or at least needs someone to go up mast for repairs. High wind comes along, likely the same outcome.

I forget the name off hand but there is a company that makes wind instruments without the silly little exposed whirly bird gizmo. Next time I am by the goodie store I will get the info if you like or maybe someone here knows. I believe their masthead reader can be hooked up to ST60 so the whole unit will not have to be replaced in my case.

To make life easier take a look at thiswind instrument. From what I have seen it is reasonably priced compared to other units.
Wellbutrin lawsuit info
I have TackTick and seem t be the only one who has had persistent problems with the syncing of the masthead transducer and the display. The outages are now transient and tolerable, but it took a replacement of the transducer to get there. When it works, it works fine. There's a slight delay, which may be attributable to the LCD display. The display is also wireless, BTW, so the installation is about as easy as it gets.

I see folks go up the mast on the hard all the time. If you go straight up, what's the problem?
I'd go up the mast while it's in the water of course. Cheap and easy. No need to buy $500+ worth of gear to go up a pole. Wear sticky gloves and shoes to 'help' the grinder, and go on a diet. Better for your heart, and the grinders. ;)

Or find someone lighter to go up the mast. The instrument itself can't be that hard to install.
Just cause people do it all the time, doesn't make it a good or safe thing to do. When a boat is on the hard, it has NO RIGHTING MOMENT. If the stands slip due to the torque caused by the person's weight aloft, the boat will fall over and the person will smash in to the ground...

I see folks go up the mast on the hard all the time. If you go straight up, what's the problem?
I have a practically brand new datamarine wind unit, not the masthead unit, the reader. Let me know if your interested?

BTW, I installed Tack Tick and love it. Yes, on rare occasion one of the displays will go blank, certainly not anymore annoying than having to clean your speed transducer once and a while ;)

Also, I would mention that Tack Tick is selling just the wind units for your exact scenerio...I would look at them before you buy. Mounting a photo on the wall takes more skill than installing the mast head unit ;)
Whether or not to unstep the mast really comes down to whether or not the wire passes through easily. On a lot of deck stepped masts, it's next to impossible to pull a wire through. The easiest way to find out is to send a person aloft to pull while a second person is at the base of the mast pulling on the same wire. If it moves up and down easily, you're golden. But sadly, that isn't likely.
If you are keel stepped, your chances are much better.
Either way, you should keep in mind the added difficulty and time in doing these kind of jobs at the top of a mast. Especially if you are planning to do it yourself and don't have a lot of experience. It is almost certain that you will run into a snag or two.

One more thing. If you do un-step the stick to do this work. Have the rigger remove the Windex (unless you are going to replace it anyway) before they drop it. And have him leave both the Windex and the wind instrument off until the mast is stepped again. It's not that hard to go up and put them on later. And a lot less expensive if they get hung up on the crane cable.
See less See more
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.