Wiring in Centaur mast

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Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by TyroSailor » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:31 pm

Evening all :)

While my mast is down I want to replace the existing original incandescent anchor light at its head with a modern LED one and add a new LED tricolour. I believe they're available in a single unit at some vast cost. The steaming light halfway up the front of the mast could do with replacing too. I'd also like to replace the old wires and get rid of the noise caused by the wires banging about inside the mast when the boat rocks at night.

There are three gland fittings near the mast step: for the steaming and anchor lights and the VHF aerial, and they're all showing their age too.

- How easy is it to replace these gland fittings? And fit a new one for the tricolour?
- What's the best way of getting the new wires into the mast?
- Is it possible to sound-insulate the wires from the mast? I'd thought of pushing in lengths of water-pipe-insulating foam tubing as the wires go in, but I wonder if there are obstructions (reinforcement at the gooseneck and spreaders maybe) that would get in the way.

Thanks for your (anticipated) help.
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by rhumlady » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:16 pm

No info on led lights etc but sound insulation can be done by placing three tywraps at 120 degrees to each other about 1 to 1.5 metres apart along the length of the cable run. I made up the cable run alongside the mast. When you remove the old cable use string of somebody as a mouse wire.
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by TyroSailor » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:40 pm

Hi Derek

I saw that idea about cable ties (?) on another site and was a bit sceptical - but it works, does it? Certainly seems easier than a foam tube all the way up and would avoid any problems with reinforcements at gooseneck & spreaders. How, I wonder, do I get one out at the steaming light? And do I want deck lights too...?

My masthead cap looks as it it's welded on so fixing the new fitting could be entertaining :?
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by rhumlady » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:38 pm

It does work as I did it in a previous boat. You need to take good measurements from the mast and mark the cable to suit. Once the cable is positioned in the mast you then go fishing to get the loose ends. As you say, the steaming light is the awkward one. You do need to get tension on the cables going from top to bottom. I used a 4mm cord tied in along with the cables. Hopefully this gives some food for thought.
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by TyroSailor » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:15 pm

Thanks (rather belatedly!) for this. I've decided (after discussion with Roger from Concerto) to have just a tricolour up top, and to suspend a portable, plug-in anchor light from the backstay (perhaps in lieu of the ensign) when necessary. I shall certainly try the cable-tie solution for silencing what will be three wires - tricolour, steaming and VHF. (No electronic windex to worry about). And I shall simple drill a slightly larger hole in the mast cap to get the new (tinned) cable through.
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by Nigel Birch » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:34 pm

You could get away with one three way cable for tricolor/steaming by using a common ground....
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by philipstevens » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:36 pm

not if the tricolour is at the top, and the steaming is halfway up the mast.
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by TyroSailor » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:58 pm

...which, of course, they are.

The NASA Supernova combined tricolour and anchor light does exactly this, though. However, I've decided to settle for the NASA Supernova Tricolour and a separate anchor light which I shall plug in and hoist in the rigging when necessary. And a new steaming light, and new VHF aerial and cable (the old one is cracked). I've got round the problem of removing the heel and cap by enlarging the hole in the side near the bottom slightly so I can get all three cables through, together with their cable ties, to quieten them down.

Heel and cap can stay in place - a bit of a shame, then, that I've sheared off the head of one of the five bolts holding the heel in. :(
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast - anchor light

Post by TyroSailor » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:17 pm

To ressurect this old thread from last year, I can report that the NASA tricolour is working fine but I'm still looking for a satisfactory plug-in LED automatic-switched anchor light that I can hang in the rigging. I did buy one from the chandler at Lymington Town Quay but it was so dim that I took it back after one night's use.

Any ideas?
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by Jolly Roger » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:27 pm

Steve

I bought one of these and am happy with its perfomance.
https://boatlamps.co.uk/collections/anc ... -led-light
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by TyroSailor » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:13 pm

Cheers Roger

That looks exactly like the one I bought at Lymington, which had a not-very-bright tungsten filament bulb in it, despite them telling me it had two bulbs, one bright and one less so. The light-sensitive switch worked OK, but I don't think it was fully waterproof either. Maybe I was unlucky and got an older model or something?

You sailing over the winter or laying up?
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by Jolly Roger » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:09 pm

Steve

Mine does seem to be waterproof as the O-ring to the bowl was lightly lubricated and the cable entry seems to be sealed, but worth checking the last point. Did you buy the LED bulb version, if not then fit the LED bulb which is available from boat lamps. One final point, he one I included the link has a longer cable than some others on the market which might prove useful for anyone interested to buy one.

I went sailing about 10 days ago, but will remain in the water for most of the winter. If there is a nice day, then I may be out catching the breeze. Then haul out for a couple of months to do some work.
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by Fulmar433 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:00 pm

I have one of the Davis Mega Lights as in the link, but one of the older ones pre LED bulbs. I'm not particularly happy with the light it emits and was going to buy an LED bulb for it. I have, however had it a long while, probably in excess of 10 years and used it a lot and never had a problem with it leaking.
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast - anchor light

Post by TyroSailor » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:10 pm

Thanks chaps. I might give that a go. Force 4 have them (at a price) so I might go there and have a good look before I buy one at a more sensible price.

I think I might have had a dud/old one before.
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Re: Wiring in Centaur mast

Post by Fulmar433 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:56 pm

Strangely I came across the packaging for my Davis Mega Light in the garage the other day, complete with the spare bulb, that should really be on the boat! The price label on it is £31.99, which makes £34.95 from Force 4 and £29.50 fro Boatlamps seem quite reasonable as I bought my one so long ago.
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