Circe | Friday, April 2, 2010

With the morning taken up with another job, I had a few hours in the afternoon to take advantage of a fine early spring day and rewire the mast outdoors.

I began by removing the old light fixtures from the mast head and lower part of the mast (the so-called steaming light, technically called a masthead light regardless of where it's installed).  I initially tried pulling new wires through to the top of the mast by using the old wires, which would save a step, but discovered that previous ownership had pulled a series of soft, open-cell foam globules up the mast, apparently in an attempt to quiet the wires.  This, combined with other hidden factors at work within the extrusion, caused the wires to bunch up within and halted progress.

I pulled out all the wiring and found that at least the foam bits  had been more or less secured together with small stuff, leaving messenger lines running to the top and bottom of the spar.  Therefore, I could pull out most or all of the foam without much difficulty.


With a wire snake from the bottom of the spar, I pulled a messenger line from the top of the mast back down; for some reason I'd not been able to get the snake down from the top.  Then, it was straightforward to pull a pair of wires and a VHF cable to the top of the mast, using long, heavy-duty cable ties spaced every so often to spring the wire bundle against the side of the mast to prevent undue movement.  Similarly, I pulled three wires to the steaming light location for the new fixture there.

I installed the new lights--an all-round white light on top of the mast for an anchor light, and a masthead (steaming) light with downward-facing deck light at the lower location, near where the original had been installed--and secured the wiring inside the new fixtures, which completed the installation.



As the second part of wiring chase from the mast to the inside of the boat, I installed an angled rail base fitting on the spar, over a fortuitously-located hole in the extrusion, and pulled the wiring through, leaving ample excess for eventual passage into the cabin, where I'd cut and make up the ends to the terminal block accordingly once the mast was stepped.  The outside diameter of the rail mount, 1-1/8", matched the diameter of the fitting in the deck, so I'd use a length of 1-1/8" hose to pass the wires through.  Sorry for the washed-out picture

Finally, I strung three new halyards--main, spinnaker, and jib.  All that remained, mast-wise, was to install the masthead mount for the wireless wind anemometer and the new rigging, which I'd do soon.

Over the coming several weeks, I'd continue work on Circe's small punch list, wrapping up the various ongoing varnish projects, mast work, trim installation, and other tidbits, but the major work was complete, and from here I'd be redirecting my daily efforts towards another project also in the shop.  Further updates on Circe to follow as dictated by noteworthy progress.

Total Time Billed on This Job Today:  3 hours

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