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Mast wiring in 1996 MKIII

Discussion in 'Catalina 30' started by Tucson Sailor, Feb 23, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    39 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    We're considering replacing the wind instrument and mast wiring on our 1996 Cat 30 MKIII. I hope to access the above-deck wiring through one of the halyard exit plates at the base of the mast. I recall connecting the wiring plugs when we stepped the mast but, how is the mast wiring led through the deck on the MKIII? Does the wiring end up inside the compression post? I know Catalina does many things differently from boat to boat. I'm just hoping someone has already tackled this project. Thanks, Tim Prouty
     


  2. mortyd

    mortyd

    Joined Dec 11, 2004
    937 posts, 12 likes
    Catalina 30
    US easy living
    just curious where you got the idea that catalina does things differently from boat to boat. if it wasn't from catalina i'd sure double check with them. might save you lots of trouble. be very careful what you hear from other sailors.
     


  3. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    39 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    Not all things but some differences. Four Cat 30s in our marina; 87, 89, 93 and 96. Three Universal 25s; the 93 has the M3-20. Different alternator brackets. Different wiring harnesses. Two inch heat exchangers versus three inch. Different travelers, different turning blocks coming off the mast. Different sheet stoppers port and starboard. Different head cabinets (not just model changes). Different head through-hull setup. I realize some changes are upgrades or improvements for which I am grateful. But it would not surprise me if the wiring path Catalina took from the mast step to the cockpit varied now and again. I'm just checking with the group before I start my project. Ill take your advice and contact Catalina as well. Thanks, Tim
     


  4. NoAgenda

    NoAgenda

    Joined Apr 18, 2012
    36 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30TRWK
    US LaSalle,Mi
    I have a 1992 MKII, On our boat there is a tube that goes thru the deck about in the centered with the mast. It sticks up about an inch on our boat. There isn't enough wire on ours to pull thru the Halyard exit. IRRC ours has a 4 or 5 pin trailer type connector. The wiring is in the post.
     


  5. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    1,788 posts, 185 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk III
    US Barnegat, NJ
    On our 93 the wire comes up a tube like NoAgenda reports. From the bilge it looks like the wires come out of the compression post. When I bought the boat the wind instrument wires were sticking out of the starboard halyard exit block when the PO had cut/stripped and twisted together. Another one of my spring projects.
    Here is a link to the water proof connector I plan to use: http://www.imarineusa.com/AirmarD00218H.aspx
     


  6. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    39 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    Thank you No Agenda and Ward!
     


  7. reprieve

    reprieve

    Joined Dec 3, 2003
    14 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 30
    6205 US mobile
    Look in the bilge and see if there is not a junction box for electronics then a bundle for electrical.
     


  8. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,899 posts, 2,066 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Pictures of the Catalina 30 MKIII appear to show the mast is deck stepped.
    My Cal35C is deck stepped. Here are images of how I solved my problems with rewiring.
    Mast Step pipes for thru deck wires.
    [​IMG]

    On compression post, Wiring block.
    [​IMG]
    Wires came down outside the compression post. Issue with retrofitting and no access.
    So, @LeslieTroyer came up with a great suggestion. A chase.
    [​IMG]
     


    Ward H and LeslieTroyer like this.
  9. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    1,788 posts, 185 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk III
    US Barnegat, NJ
    John,
    I assume the white cable on the right is coax and black cable on left is DC. Did you leave those connectors above the mast step?

    Nice solution I may copy.
     


  10. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    39 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    Thanks all and to dock mate Rick Farnham for assistance:

    So my mast wiring (lights, wind and VHF) comes in through the deck via a tube that exits below the compression post into the bilge. It appears to be very tight in there with very little give. From there it runs to the panel area.

    Both my anchor and steaming lights turned on/off with the anchor light switch. The steaming light switch did nothing. The deck light switch did nothing. I opened the mast base at the starboard halyard block exit plate. We pulled the mast-side of the trailer plug out to find the wiring was jury rigged. In addition to the VHF coax and the wind instrument wire, there were two duplex cables coming down. One was larger with two wires (ground and power). I determined that to be the anchor light. The smaller one had four wires with one snipped short that fed the ground, steaming light and the deck light. The steaming light wire was spliced to the anchor light wire. First clue.

    That led us to test the deck-side of the trailer plug. We found no power at the steaming light plug connector. After testing, the deck light bulb is apparently bad. I rewired the anchor light separately as it should be. I rewired the steaming light to the deck light switch so I can run at night and tucked it all away due to rain. Next I will check the steaming light wire inside working from the panel out to the compression post and locate the problem. Once I either find/fix the short or run a new steaming light wire, I will rewire the mast wires to their correct switches and replace the deck light bulb.
    Thanks,
    Tim
     


  11. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,899 posts, 2,066 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    No Ward. The black cable is coax that runs from the VHF/AIS splitter to the antenna atop the mast. I decide no connectors reduces signal loss. Once I had the cable in the boat I attached the standard connector. Easy deal.
    The grey cable on the right is Radar. Same situation. You want a cable with no breaks.
    The DC current runs through the white wires that connect to the block.

    I had old wires but could not find their path through the compression post, to remove and replace. I cut them at the mast step. I sealed the wires in caulk.

    I stripped and powder coated the mast base. I also cleaned up weep holes at the bottom of the mast. This let’s and water that gets into the mast an exit at the bottom of the mast.
     


  12. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    39 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    Well.......I found power to all three wires of the plug right up to the compression post exit tube in the bilge. With a dead connection in the deck-level trailer plug, I figured the compression post wiring had to be replaced. I bought 10 feet of 4x14 sheathed trailer wire and opened the mast at the halyard block exit point. When the trailer plug deck wire would not move I determined the top of the compression post at the deck level had been filled with spray-in foam. In closing the post to prevent leaks Catalina effectively froze the wire in place! Out came the bent coat hangar to break up the foam and release the wiring. Maybe there is a chemical that would have broken it down because my knuckles are bruised after the battle. If there is such a solvent then I will consider putting the foam back in my deck tube.

    Once the wire was released I was able to attach the new cable spliced to the old wire in the bilge and pull the new wire up through the deck. I sewed and taped the old and new wires together so as not to have them separate inside the post. Based upon the drawing I had, I did not think the tube at the deck continued unbroken to the bilge. I think there is a short tube at the deck and another in the bilge. I'm not sure an electrician's tape would find its way out on my boat.

    So I now have new 4x14 wiring from the bilge to the deck and new plugs from the deck to the mast wiring. The mast lights all work as designed. What's frustrating is that I found a taped, 4-wire splice in the trailer wiring that was about 3 feet below the deck INSIDE the compression post. There is no way a guy could diagnose and fix that problem without ripping the wire out. WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING?? Thanks for the help and case closed. Tim
     


  13. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    1,788 posts, 185 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk III
    US Barnegat, NJ
    @Tucson Sailor
    Great information and detail. On my project list is new mast lights and inspecting the wiring before having the mast stepped. If I find the mast wire needs replacing I think I'll run all new from the panel up through the post as well now I have a guide to follow.
    Thanks
     


    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  14. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,673 posts, 566 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    @jssailem - nice wire chase but you need to apply some varnish or oil to it to make it look really good ===
     


  15. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,899 posts, 2,066 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    I agree. Task for this year.
     


  16. George Da Porge

    George Da Porge

    Joined Nov 15, 2014
    126 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30T
    US Green Bay
    A question jssailem - with your VHF & radar cables one piece (which makes perfect sense), when you drop the mast I assume you need to pull those out all the way from the radio/radar display? Is that correct? If yes, how did you route them through the boat, so the removal was fairly easy? Thx!
     


  17. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,899 posts, 2,066 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    @George Da Porge Note I have a Cal35Cruiser not a Catalina. One of the design differences is Cal did not use a fiberglass pan to build the boat interior. They made a wooden frame and then inserted it into the hull and attached the frame to the hull with fiberglass tabs. The result is I have open space beneath my cabin sole that I used to run my cabling from the mast base to the Navigation Station. When --- If I remove the mast and have to deal with these cables I will first of all remove the cables from the radios and locate the cables at the base of the mast compression post. When the mast is crane lifted from the boat I'll just pull the cables out of the holes in the mast base and tie them up at the base of the mast.
    I do not expect to have to remove the mast in the near future. In 2016 I did a total mast/rigging refit. I tried to consider all possibilities. If I was to upgrade my radar to digital the analog cable can be hauled down the mast and into the cabin. It will serve as the messenger line for the digital cable the digital cables are much smaller diameter than the analog cable on my present radar unit.
     


  18. NSSCPopeye

    NSSCPopeye

    Joined May 9, 2012
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 30 mkIII
    US North Star Sail Club
    Tucson and Others with Radar on Mast - We sail a Catalina 30 MKIII, 1995 on the Great Lakes. When I took the mast down 3 years ago I found a massive nest of wires stuffed into the base of the mast. We have cables coming down for: Wind; TV; VHF; Radar; and all the usual Mast lights. Most of these simply connected with open screw in type bus strips inside the base of the mast, no insulation around them at all. The Radar had 9 wires inside it's bundle. Because it all had to fit back inside the base of the mast, I searched for over a year for the best waterproof connectors that would be small enough. I found a terrific product, called Deutsch Connectors, from WireCare.com. On your browser, pull up "wirecare.com"; then pick "Connectors"; then pick "Deutsch". They keep everything very small, but they do require a special crimping tool for the wire connections into the sockets and pins. WireCare will rent you the tool for a week, and it is fantastic, it works without soldering. I made separate dis-connectible connections for each wire, and everything worked the first time, and they were not expensive. I cannot recommend these enough, they really work, and it's all mechanical.
    Robert M
     



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