Mast Modifications

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 quantity.
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 file.
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 blocks installed.
© 2018 Melissa Goudeseune