In 2000, I removed all the wiring, halyards etc. from the mast. I planned
to replace with new, which was quicker and simpler than fixing an unknown
In photo 1, you can see the mess of pull strings I used to lead the
wires and halyards into the mast. Position and sequence is critical,
especially with the noise-reducing loops I installed on the wiring.
In photo 2, you can see the loops of window insulation I zip-tied to
the wiring at regular intervals. The halyards run inside these loops.
This has the benefit of stopping the wires and the halyards from banging
inside the mast when the boat moves.
Here is one photo of the exit gate on the
starboard side of the mast. As you can see by the tap, oil, and
toothbrush, the gate was mounted with 4 screws tapped into the mast.
Inside the gate, there is a small bar welded at its top edge, to keep the
halyard from rubbing on the edge of the cutout as it runs through.
This is a CAD diagram of the new masthead I had made. The existing
masthead is designed for wire halyards, and cannot accomodate rope
halyards, since the sheaves are too narrow. I duplicated all the hole
alignments of the original masthead, and simply widened the slots to
use 5/8" wide sheaves.
I also added a long extension at the back of the masthead, for bolting on
the Windex wind indicator. This keeps it well clear of the VHF antenna,
which mounts to the side of the mast.
The diagram is also online as an
AutoCAD DXF file
, which was created from the original Visio source
I installed a new VHF antenna in 2004, which meant replacing the bracket
which was attached to the top of the mast. Due to clearance problems with
the masthead, I opted to install the bracket upside-down (see photo 3).
In photo 2, at the bottom right corner you can just see the strap
that supports the mast wiring.
I also replaced the halyard mast-base lead blocks at the same time. The new
blocks are bolted to the mast with two machine screws, the bottom of which
goes through the mast and the mast heel. There is a small aluminum shim
under each block to point them aft slightly, in line with the deck organizers.
The ladder you see pictured was originally purchased to work on the rubrail and
windows. It's about 3 feet wide, so this means less frequent moving of the
ladder on the ground. I found that it's also perfect for supporting the mast
when doing this kind of work. I could slide the mast forward or aft to have
the end of the mast over the deck to work on it. This was much easier than
trying to lean over the transom or the bow, not to mention safer.
The last two photos here show a close-up of the mast heel with the new lead
© 2018 Melissa Goudeseune