Tricolor masthead wiring

debonAir

Member III
In the process of new standing rigging for the new-to-me E35 III we put in a new LED tri-color mast-head light to replace the just-barely existing incandescent fixture. The mast wiring was easy (ish) with the conduit and all, but there is no wire for the the running-lights part of the tricolor available near the mast under the headliner.

Before I start pulling boards to run a running light wire to the panel I am wondering if anyone here has done this before and can offer easy route to the panel advice.
 

e38 owner

Member III
Running vs steaming light

Our 38 has three power wires going to the mast.
Anchor Light, Steaming Light and Spreader light.

Although the 38 is a little different I remember it being a pita to run the wind instrument wires.

There are many more knowledgeable people on this sight but is there an instance where one would not want the Steaming light and Running lights on. One or the other.
If not could they be hooked to the same switch at the junction box at the mast

A little more work on google, It appears to be proper the steaming light should be used when under power
Tri Color when under Sail
Deck running lights when under power
When sailing all the lights on the tri color should light up

http://www.cruisingworld.com/how/proper-nav-lights-keep-you-safe
 
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bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
My 32-III has 5 wires going into the mast from a connector-block under the headliner just to port of the mast:

-- Two conductors to the top of the mast (power and ground for masthead anchor light, in my case)
-- Three conductors to the middle of the mast (power for steaming light, power for foredeck light, and ground)

I agree with the above, don't put steaming light and running lights on the same circuit, you want to be able to illuminate them separately (running lights while sailing at night, running lights *plus* steaming light when motoring at night)
 

debonAir

Member III
I agree with the above, don't put steaming light and running lights on the same circuit, you want to be able to illuminate them separately (running lights while sailing at night, running lights *plus* steaming light when motoring at night)
Right. I want/need to run a new separate running light circuit from the panel to the new masthead wire for the tri-color. I was looking on how to get to the panel, but I just thinking I *could* also splice in to the wire going to the existing running lights on the bow. Now... where are *those* wires becomes the question. I do have the original schematics and plumbing diagrams (I got lucky having the best PO imaginable) so I could start there. But, thanks to the link above I think I need a new mast-head vs. bow running light switch for under-power or sailing, so back to the panel!!
 
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kiwisailor

Member III
Blogs Author
If it's an 1981 E38 the DC panel has them named as follows with my translation:

Running Light = forward facing "steaming" light on mast
Bow Light = "navigation lights" red & green bow lights and stern light
Anchor Light = top of the mast
Deck Light = downward facing light on mast

I did away with the headliner connector block and the potential water leak from the mast hole and ran new ANCOR mast wiring from my panel to the keel step and up into the mast along with my other wiring. I now use an aircraft grade watertight plug/socket connector to easily disconnect/connect the wiring during the annual unstepping/stepping process.
 

debonAir

Member III
If it's an 1981 E38 the DC panel has them named as follows with my translation:

Running Light = forward facing "steaming" light on mast
Bow Light = "navigation lights" red & green bow lights and stern light
Anchor Light = top of the mast
Deck Light = downward facing light on mast

I did away with the headliner connector block and the potential water leak from the mast hole and ran new ANCOR mast wiring from my panel to the keel step and up into the mast along with my other wiring. I now use an aircraft grade watertight plug/socket connector to easily disconnect/connect the wiring during the annual unstepping/stepping process.
Mine's an 84 E35. My first thought was running all new wires alongside the VHF antenna cable that goes through the bilge. Seems to make sense to me, and also gets rid of the wire-drip issue, but for some reason my rigger (who is also my son) wanted to look harder at the problem first. I'll ask him more about his thoughts tonight. Thanks for re-introducing that thought into my head!
 

debonAir

Member III
end result

This project turned out to be easier. We ran a new wire from the panel to the mast wiring block through the same route the existing wires ran. Pulled of the trim piece against the bulkhead and ran it to the port side then through the headliner (zippers... what a great idea!!) back to panel and wired it to the fridge switch for now (fridge not working). Anyone know where I can get a switch/breaker to match the original panel?
 

sjconnor

Simon Connor
Hi all, I've been trying to get my anchor light (part of an older Aqua Signal Quikfit tricolor) working and so far have been unsuccessful. I'm attaching a picture of the wiring taken earlier today in case anyone sees anything obviously missing. The black wires go into the the screw connector (temporary) and into the main tricolor assembly that detaches. Thats the only wire that comes out of that assembly.

My next step would be to climb the mast again and bring down the assembly and test out on shore.

Anyway, any advice on troubleshooting or observations would be much appreciated.

Cheers all and keep safe.

Couldn't help snapping a few other pics and a selfie whilst I was up there :)

Simon.
Sapphire Star
Olson 34

20200526_123307.jpg20200526_123244.jpg20200526_123237.jpg20200526_123208.jpg
 

Tin Kicker

Member III
I'd start with a multimeter and check the wires before they go into the mast. Not sure where that would be in an Olson.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I believe that EY did the wiring for their boats similarly for all models with the thru-stepped spars. Our Kenyon has the exit point just under the cabin top level, so that the wiring is not visible above the vinyl headliner, until you open the zipper. Crowded exit, I should note.
12 volt two-conductor cable for the masthead anchor light fixture, 3-wire cable for the combo steaming/deck light fixture, and then the smaller multi-wire cable for the wind transducer. All crowded inside that PVC chase inside the spar. And also the VHF coax cable. (!)
:rolleyes:
IF.... I were to pull new wiring, I could down-size the wire gauge for modern LED fixtures. Matter of fact, this season we are going to replace that worthless steaming/deck light fixture with a new one. the AquaSignal fixture I installed in 2004 keeps letting the deck light bulb fall out. Poor design, IMHO.

Love the pix! Sure is a different horizon view than we are used to. :)
Simon, is your friend still sailing his Ericson 28 there too? (If I recall the model correctly)
 

sjconnor

Simon Connor
Thanks all for the advice, I found there were a few issues
1. The wiring from the switch panel into the mast needed replacing. So did that. The amount of panels and screws I needed to remove for that job was ridiculous. The test wires I was using with crocodile clips had also corroded so wasted a good half hour of testing due to that.
2. There was a bad connection inside the light assembly and so cleaned all those and reconnected until they're all working again now.
3. Somewhere in the process I blew the Anchor light bulb. (I bought a spare recently thank goodness)

At least now I know the wiring to the mast is good and the light itself works so this weekend will be up the mast again to fit it and try it out. Fingers crossed.

Am thankful with all the trips up the mast that I discovered on youtube a great way to rappel down using a Munter Hitch, so I hoist a climbing line (which has a bit of bounce to it) to the the top and leave it loose. The munter hitch on that through the carabiner and it takes about a minute to get down nice and safe, with an extra prusik line to the other halyard as a backup.

Loren - my friend is still here but he sold his Ericsson 28 (you've a good memory), and bought and done up a classic 40 footer.

Cheers all.
 
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