E30+ Electrical wiring question

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
I would appreciate some help in locating the wiring connections for the lights on the mast (deck, steaming and anchor) at the mast base. None of these lights work on my 1984 E30+, and the bulbs look ok (I know that's no guarantee), but there is no power at the bulbs, so I'm thinking it may be the ground wire as none of the three lights is getting power and I think it's unlikely that there is a loose connection in each of the positive wires. There are four wires--a brown, a yellow, a blue and a black, which I presume is the ground for all of them.

I have found the wires for these lights under the headliner by opening the zipper in the head near the compression post, but although the wires are there, they disappear as they approach the mast area, without sign of any connections.

I have sounded the compression post area in front of the mast (inside the cabin) and it sounds hollow, so I'm wondering if I remove the teak board on the front of this panel (there are bungs/screws), whether I might find it there?

There is no access through the mast above the deck (ie. no evidence of a plate or opening).

I think I recall someone telling me a while ago that the only access to these connections is by pulling/raising the mast, but I'm hoping there might be an easier solution.

If anyone has any experience or advice on where this connection might be, please let me know. Otherwise, I have no idea how to get these lights working again. :confused:

Thanks for any help on this.



Member III
Elusive wires

They definitely made some strange runs. On mine the wires were not in the post.

They ran along the starboard side bulkhead,under the headliner, then back along the starboard deck. Start by unzipping the headliner and looking there.

Good luck.:egrin:

Randy Rutledge

Sustaining Member
Can you check the wires at the point they disappear up to the mast. By using a meter lead with a sharp tip you could pierce the insulation without doing damage and use a ground wire run from a good ground to the meter. If you have power at the hot wires then you would check the ground wire.

The above process will tell you if the problem is above the head or behind. And eliminate the possibility of a lot of unneeded disassembly

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
There is a tool called a wire tracker which is handy for these types of projects. It has two parts. The base connects to any wire (circuit detached from any power). Then with the probe you can trace the path of that wire.....the probe illuminates & gives an audible tone when near the activated wire. It works through headliner, bulkheads, etc. It costs about $35, IIRC.


Mast Wiring

Had a similar issue on my recently purchased 1980 30+. None of the mast lights worked. I looked for an in-line connector for the mast lights inside the boat but could not find one anywhere near the mast step. We pulled the mast last winter and there is a four way connector at the base of the mast. We had power from the boat to that connector so the problem appeared to be in the wiring going up the mast. A continuity check showed all the wiring going up the mast as "open". Had the same colors you mentioned so I am assuming that my wiring was original. This spring I found that for the steaming and deck light there were splices made behind the forespar mast light assembly that went bad. There were sealed crimped connectors that just oxidized over the years and a careful cleaning and resealing of those connectors solved that problem. The anchor light turned out to be a bad bulb. Hope this helps.....