leaking deck stepped mast

steven

Member III
I know there have been posts that addressed this but I can't find them.
Apologies if I am going over old ground.

E35-2 with deck stepped mast.

Water drips from the electrical wire that goes up through the cabin liner (next to the compression post) into the mast.
I'm concerned about where else the water might be going - for example into the mast step.

How is the water in the mast supposed to get out of the mast ?
For sure not down the wire into the cabin.

thanks for help.

--Steve
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
There should be a weep hole in the mast shoe. It may be small, may be plugged, but it should be there. FWIW, I thought that the electrical passage needed a little protection, so I glued a pvc nipple into the hole to act as a dam. Also - though I'm sure there was plywood in there somewhere, when I hogged out the hole to allow passage of the VHF and Radar cables, it appeared to go through about five inches of solid fiberglass on an E29.

Electrical dam is covered with blue tape in this photo - I now forget which of the several problems this was taken to illustrate...
IMG_2143.jpeg
Edit - I think this was supposed to document corrosion - had to "tap" it convincingly with a hammer to get the boot to let go of the mast during haul-out. The crane was actually lifting the boat out of the water by the spreaders... o_O Weep-hole maybe probably should have been enlarged...
 

wynkoop

Member III
Silver Maiden suffered from this issue. Last time the mast was down I sealed the hell out of the hole where the wires passed through and as far as I know no more issue, but the damage was already done and the cabin needs it's dead balsa dealt with.

I also had to drill weep holes in the mast and shoe on Silver Maiden. She had none.
 

garryh

Member III
btw, Ancor maks a round jacketed five conductor mast cable which makes it a whole lot easier to achieve a leak proof seal passing through a compressible gland vs a bunch of individual wires and a whole lot of goop. If you are confident in your connections and existing wire is good, you could use 5-6' of this from inside the cabin up into the mast and connect to existing wires. The next challenge would be to extricate two of the conductors part way up for the steaming and spreader lights... a bit of a tester but doable.
 

garryh

Member III
(the other benefit of the 5 conductor cable is that, although it does need to be fixed inside the mast or conduit at the top, it provides its own strain relief vs hanging individual wires)
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
The problem I had with the 5-conductor cable was that some of the conductors had to stop at the spreaders and others had to go all the way to the top.
Of course the real solution (some day!) there is to have a proper junction box at the base, another at the spreaders, and perhaps one up top.
 

garryh

Member III
I have a steaming light/deck light combo just below the spreaders... will dispense with the spreader lights as redundant. My 'plan' is to cut into the jacket at that point and free up say 2-3' above it of two of the conductors and run a separate ground wire down for those two fixtures. That will leave me with two positive conductors for the anchor light and trilight plus ground at the top of the mast... will seal up the slit cable with adhesive shrink tubing and goop.
 

garryh

Member III
"would you pot the hole with epoxy (from inside the cabin) ? "
I would fashion a plug of hardwood dowel or broom handle or whatever fits and use goop (4200, LifeCaulk etc) to seal it into place.
Next time mast is down, seal from above as well with some kind of plate over the hole with goop (or another plug if an extended tube).
 
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