tuffelhunden

Junior Member
I'm new to sailing and to Ericsons. I recently purchased Windsong, a 1970 Ericson 35' MKII as a lien sale which was stripped of electronics. I plan to do long distance sailing and will be upgrading her with all new electronics but am running into an ignorance issue on my behalf: How on earth do I run new cables from the top of the mast down into the boat for my new wind metering device. I see no access panels inside the boat and none at the bottom of the mast either. Any help, pictures or video links would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

Ben
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Often, the wires exit the mast where the mast goes through the cabin top (the mast partners). This keeps the wires hidden, and it also makes it easy to run them along the cabin top, under a headliner or whatever you have lining the top of the cabin.

My bet is you'll have to pull the mast.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
If you haven't already bought an anemometer, you might consider the wireless Tack Tick (now Raymarine).
 

mfield

Member III
stripped of electronics.
Ben

I think you are very fortunate. One often buys a boat excited by all kinds of electronics which turn out to be obsolete or broken. Now you can get it right from the beginning.

You will want to run wires for your anchor/tri-color light, anemometer and a new cable for the antenna but it is very tricky to get them down the mast as the conduit (if any) will be clogged up and have screws sticking into it. I believe the 35-2 is a deck stepped mask which might be easier to remove than other models.
 

tuffelhunden

Junior Member
Thanks!

If you haven't already bought an anemometer, you might consider the wireless Tack Tick (now Raymarine).


:esad:

This is quite the adventure. I've already gotten the anometer as part of a kit (B&G Triton 2) so that I'd be able to integrate it into a Zeus3 9" with 4g radar if I continue in misadventures. The Ticktack would have been a nice go to but I was too naïve and now paying for it (unless of course I take advantage of the wonderful WestMarine return policies :egrin:) Thanks a bunch for the recommendation!!! Now I just need to start figuring out the life expectancy on the batteries and if I really want to make the regular trips up and down the mast; fortunately I've already invested in a boseman's chair now time to get the block and tackle to get my butt up there!
 

tuffelhunden

Junior Member
Often, the wires exit the mast where the mast goes through the cabin top (the mast partners). This keeps the wires hidden, and it also makes it easy to run them along the cabin top, under a headliner or whatever you have lining the top of the cabin.

My bet is you'll have to pull the mast.

Since my radio is working fine from the antennae atop the mast, I followed the antennae cable through the hull and found it entering solidly into a piece of wood between the dinette and the head wall. There doesn't appear to be a normal hole for it to route through. I still have more work to do to find the wiring for the spreader bar lights and the fore light mounted 3/4 of the way up the mast. The fun will never stop which is extremely therapeutic!

Thank you all for your advice and insights for this young pup sailor!:nerd:
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Tuff,

Some of us find radar indispensable, but I think we should look at it with a cold eye. Primary value is fog. Got much? Today, every big ship has AIS and with a transponder you can see them coming and they can also see you (if they're awake). Vesper Watchmate and similar have dedicated screens, which I consider important, and also throw the picture to chartplotters.
Radar just needs to be justified. It's a big piece of kit, draws power and confidence comes with using it a lot, which here in Santa Monica Bay I wouldn't.
 
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bolbmw

Member III
tuffelhunden I have a Zeus2 as well and recently went through this, ultimately not executing on any of the plans. Based on that research I think you made the right call with the wired anemometer. NMEA2000 on the TickTack requires a 0183 wireless adapter and then a NMEA2000 converter.

Does your boat have a Kenyon mast? If so the wiring conduit is probably behind the sail track.
 

tenders

Innocent Bystander
My '69 32 (deck-stepped mast, maybe like yours?) had the mast wiring led along the thick plywood beam that runs athwartships and holds up the mast. Your 35 may have this too - you probably don't even think about it. The wiring penetrated a rough hole drilled through that beam, through the deck, a stainless halyard organizer, and mast foot plate, and went up the mast. Some of the port side cabin lighting also ran along that beam, having come from the fuse panel on the starboard side.

It worked, I guess, for over 40 years but threading a lot of wire through a lot of inaccessible hardware under the foot of the mast was a terrible design. Water inevitably finds its was inside the mast and drains down that rough hole, eventually screwing up the wiring and saturating and rotting that beam. There was no access to that wiring and the cabin light wire failed 20 years ago, requiring a lot of troubleshooting and eventually a replacement wire run up the port side, which was how it should have been done in the first place.

When I embarked on a substantial project digging out and replacing that beam two years ago, I re-ran the mast wiring so it exits the deck near the mast, then has a connection to the mast which is easily accessible from the deck, then penetrates the mast a few inches above the deck. If the mast lights go out now, at least you can troubleshoot where the problem lies.

I removed all mast electronics in this process. Cup-style anemometer: nifty gadget, but absolutely not worth the complexity of the moving, delicate, hard-to-replace parts, nor the wiring up the mast. Electronic wind direction: a Windex is lighter, cheaper, more sensitive, and uncomplicated. Mast antenna: my boat came to me with a transom-mounted antenna which has always been more than adequate and is exceptionally easy to replace, so I did not add this. So the only things going up the mast now are an LED Windex light (top of mast), an LED steaming light (3/4 up the mast), and two spreader lights (1/3 up the mast), which are the traditional tractor-style incandescent bulbs that are so inexpensive, so infrequently used, and so easy to replace that I couldn't justify replacing with LEDs.

Radar: SO MUCH ELECTRICITY. Would involve a complete revamping of the power and wiring in the boat and on the mast. I just don't use the boat in a way that would make this worthwhile.

Speedometer: Taken out years ago, not worth the hole in the boat. Now that there's a GPS in every pocket and an iPad with navigational software on board, the value of the mechanical, imprecise speed-through-the-water is almost zero. Never have to worry about cleaning the barnacles off of that dumb speed wheel again, or the through-hull leaking.
 

tuffelhunden

Junior Member
My '69 32 (deck-stepped mast, maybe like yours?) had the mast wiring led along the thick plywood beam that runs athwartships and holds up the mast. Your 35 may have this too - you probably don't even think about it. The wiring penetrated a rough hole drilled through that beam, through the deck, a stainless halyard organizer, and mast foot plate, and went up the mast. Some of the port side cabin lighting also ran along that beam, having come from the fuse panel on the starboard side.

It worked, I guess, for over 40 years but threading a lot of wire through a lot of inaccessible hardware under the foot of the mast was a terrible design. Water inevitably finds its was inside the mast and drains down that rough hole, eventually screwing up the wiring and saturating and rotting that beam. There was no access to that wiring and the cabin light wire failed 20 years ago, requiring a lot of troubleshooting and eventually a replacement wire run up the port side, which was how it should have been done in the first place.

When I embarked on a substantial project digging out and replacing that beam two years ago, I re-ran the mast wiring so it exits the deck near the mast, then has a connection to the mast which is easily accessible from the deck, then penetrates the mast a few inches above the deck. If the mast lights go out now, at least you can troubleshoot where the problem lies.

I removed all mast electronics in this process. Cup-style anemometer: nifty gadget, but absolutely not worth the complexity of the moving, delicate, hard-to-replace parts, nor the wiring up the mast. Electronic wind direction: a Windex is lighter, cheaper, more sensitive, and uncomplicated. Mast antenna: my boat came to me with a transom-mounted antenna which has always been more than adequate and is exceptionally easy to replace, so I did not add this. So the only things going up the mast now are an LED Windex light (top of mast), an LED steaming light (3/4 up the mast), and two spreader lights (1/3 up the mast), which are the traditional tractor-style incandescent bulbs that are so inexpensive, so infrequently used, and so easy to replace that I couldn't justify replacing with LEDs.

Radar: SO MUCH ELECTRICITY. Would involve a complete revamping of the power and wiring in the boat and on the mast. I just don't use the boat in a way that would make this worthwhile.

Speedometer: Taken out years ago, not worth the hole in the boat. Now that there's a GPS in every pocket and an iPad with navigational software on board, the value of the mechanical, imprecise speed-through-the-water is almost zero. Never have to worry about cleaning the barnacles off of that dumb speed wheel again, or the through-hull leaking.

Your description of how yours was sounds like much the same as what I've got; I just need to go check my bulkhead again and look up from the bilge access with a mirror to confirm. I also noticed rotting of the mast step the last time I crawled down there and will be replacing that soon as well. Should be a fun project with me attempting to devise a way to do it without removing the mast. Glad I've done a lot of unconventional repairs to everything from buildings to bulldozers and everything in between!

I like the idea of the access port near the bottom of the mast. How did you run your power supply and what did you use as a cover for the hole in the mast that you made? (Any chance you could post a picture or two?) I foresee this turning into me going up and down the mast a few times but I think the overall outcome will be well worth subduing my rational desire not to go up in the boseman's chair repeatedly. With a couple of safety lines, I should be alright provided I fix the mast step first unless I really want to risk falling in the drink or worse...:egrin:

Others with a strong objection to the access port near the bottom of the mast, please advise why and a decent alternate solution if you don't mind.
 

tuffelhunden

Junior Member
tuffelhunden I have a Zeus2 as well and recently went through this, ultimately not executing on any of the plans. Based on that research I think you made the right call with the wired anemometer. NMEA2000 on the TickTack requires a 0183 wireless adapter and then a NMEA2000 converter.

Does your boat have a Kenyon mast? If so the wiring conduit is probably behind the sail track.

How do I identify the make of the mast? Most everything on the boat seems stock (I even have the E35 sail and jib; whether it is OEM replacement or original I don't know but they are definitely old but undamaged thankfully.) The sail track bottom is about 2' above the deck with no extension covering the mast which leads me to believe the wiring is internal to the mast but I'll be looking a bit closer this evening.
 

tuffelhunden

Junior Member
Stepped mast issues!

Found the wiring behind the molding at the aft corner near the head door. Was delighted to finally find it! Unfortunately, the wiring does not move freely up through the hole at the top going up into the mast. I saw a lot of cracks (some with about 2mm of separation) located around the base of the step inside the cabin. Looked down into the bilge and found a rotting block of wood that the stepped mast support sits on. I can only presume that the support that the block of wood provides is being compromised which has caused too much stress on the fiberglass. I'll be replacing the block with either a hardwood or possibly a solid block of PVC (any other ideas would be welcomed.)

Perhaps after I repair the supports to the mast I'll make my way up and start to remedy some of my other lighting issues up the mast!
 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
G10 fiberglass is what you want for the block at the bilge end. Check McMaster-Carr for sizes.
 

Hanktoo

Member III
mast cables

tuff, i'll see if i can dig up a picture. unfortunately, where the cables come down along the mast post is not a straight shot. They go into a tube in the mast plate which is off center which makes pulling them without the mast out a challenge. I did it with mast out and it was still no picnic.
 

LemmyK

Member II
I need to run a new coaxial cable for the VHF, and a new transducer wire for the wind instruments. This second wire comes up through a hole that it shares with an unused cut off coax cable. I can't make either of these budge. There's a plug of expanding foam about 10" up from the bottom of the mast that goes up perhaps another 10", effectively gluing the wires in place at the bottom. I'm debating removing all the foam or just working a larger hole into the foam around these individual wires. The person who sold me the wind instrument wire said that once upon a time they supplied Ericson with their 'stock' instruments (Signet Marine). I think these two wires may be original and they may be running through a conduit.

Does anyone know if this is true and if it's a tube or a track with the wires tied to it every few feet or so (have seen this on a Pearson)? If the latter, I won't be pulling the old stuff or routing any new stuff along the same path. I'd be grateful for any advice or experience with this - I have a crane and a rigger booked for Tuesday!
 

LemmyK

Member II
This thread says there should be a conduit. Likely riveted about every six feet, and small-ish in diameter.
 

tenders

Innocent Bystander
Do you see rivets running up the forward edge of the mast? There isn’t much magic holding up a conduit, if it’s in there.
 

LemmyK

Member II
I read up on this after leaving the boat for the day. I'll look tomorrow. I'm hoping that removing the foam will allow me to pull the old transducer wire and coaxial out and be replaced with just a new transducer wire. I'll run the new coax the same way the current one is done if it looks like it's going to be too crowded in there.
 

Hanktoo

Member III
I can tell you when I did mine there was no conduit in the mast. There is however a short and to my mind, narrow tube on the mast plate that all the wires must pass through. the difficulty I found is that this tube does not line up straight with the hole in the ceiling liner coming into the head area making it a curve and more difficult to pull wires. I do recall there being some foam somewhere up the mast but it was not entirely solid the entire diameter so it was easy to get wires past that point. My mast was down at the time so that part was relatively easy
 

LemmyK

Member II
The foam in mine goes up further than I can shove a 52" piece of 5/8 aluminum tube. I have long arms too. I've given up on getting through it.
I did find a conduit on the stbd side that contains coaxial and wires for the windex light. I'm pretty sure the transducer wire will fit in there too. I'll just have to fish it out through a different hole at the top. If I'm lucky I can figure out which of the other wires are for the masthead light. The steaming light can wait.
It's supposed to start raining tomorrow through the weekend. Yippee.
 
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