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Mast base wiring connections

Aug 26, 2016
2
Catalina 310 Lake Macquarie
I'm sure a number of you have had the mast off your boats to re-rig, can anyone confirm if the electrical wiring at the mast step is through a junction box or just individual wire connections? Presume there is sufficient slack in the wiring to lift mast and then disconnect the wires?
 
Dec 19, 2006
5,673
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda
The wiring usually goes down into the headliner into a electrical strip with all
the wires screwed to matching colors with plenty of extra wiring.
Nick
 

RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
804
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
You are likely to find any and all possibilities from matching plugs in the mast base with enough slack to raise the mast to disconnect to taped up splices of individual conductors to wires passing through to a terminal strip below somewhere. Even if certain manufacturers had a standard system, PO's often added new wires for new equipment. Be certain to be present when your mast is raised to defend your wiring against a boatyards cable cutter.
 
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Jun 21, 2004
1,588
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
There should be an access panel inside the cabin in the vicinity of the mast step & compression post. Remove the panel to determine the method in which Catalina used to join the wiring. It appears that you have a later model boat, I would bet that Catalina used a wiring strip, as Nick mentioned, with color coded wiring or printed descriptions on the wires. Just unscrew the terminal that attaches the mast wire and you are good to go. There is probably a separate junction type cable terminal for the VHF radio cable.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
13,136
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Having just removed and replaced all electrics on the mast (1974 wiring removed), I also recommend you attend the opening. Take pictures. Label the connections on both the wires in the mast and the wires on the boat. As suggested above the newer practice is to use buss blocks to make electrical connections below the mast inside the boat. Sometimes the connections are plug together connections stuffed inside the mast with the wires caulked as they protrude out of the mast base. It is a world of many solutions. You may need to vary your planned removal based on discovery. Then help a future owner and record what you found and what you did. Good luck and share your surprise package with us when you lift the mast.
 
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paulj

.
Mar 16, 2007
1,359
Catalina 310 Anacortes,Wa
ozlakemac
This is how my 2002 looked during and after mast removal. I could not replace the antenna cable because of a drip loop:banghead:. That is why I removed the mast.
I did not put a drip loop or tape on any of the cables on reinstalling mast....I used nylon cord to pull the cables thru the mount plate and support post.

I replaced all cable end connections where they came out in the bilge area.


paulj
:hook2:
 

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Aug 24, 2009
444
Catalina 310 Sturgeon Bay, WI
I'm sure a number of you have had the mast off your boats to re-rig, can anyone confirm if the electrical wiring at the mast step is through a junction box or just individual wire connections? Presume there is sufficient slack in the wiring to lift mast and then disconnect the wires?
There is a lot of helpful advice, but only Paulj responded with Catalina 310 specific information. On Mine (2001 Hull 52) with the exception of the black connector you see in Paul's photos (that is the lights by the way, steaming, deck and anchor) everything else (wind, TV and VHF had to have the connectors removed and the wires pulled as the mast was lifted. (along with a messenger) as they all had to be pulled back into the bildge and reconnected. (the instruments all connected to terminal strips in a black box) everything else was a matter of putting connectors back one. Yes there are a bunch of ways it could have been done, but it was not. Also the conduit you pull through is tight, and has a curve to it so use lots of wire lube when you pull.
Some time back Jesse on s/v smitty and I discussed if an access hole could be safely drilled (hole saw) near the base of the mast so that everything could be connectors, fished out the hole to disconnect when pulling the mast then stuffed back in place. I don't believe Jesse ever received a response from the mast manufacture if this was safe to do and maintain the strength of the mast. Some owners report having such an access plate, sure would make things nice.
So specific to the 310 that is what your likely to encounter.

Russ
s/v Long Story
 
Jul 1, 2009
220
Catalina 310 Sydney-Pittwater
I'm sure a number of you have had the mast off your boats to re-rig, can anyone confirm if the electrical wiring at the mast step is through a junction box or just individual wire connections? Presume there is sufficient slack in the wiring to lift mast and then disconnect the wires?
On my 310, hull 149,2001, all wires were connected via strip connector above deck inside the mast – similar to black wrapped connector shown in Paulj’s photo. It is just a matter of unscrewing the connectors, as the mast is lifted. Enough cable there for it.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
492
Catalina 310 278 Lyndeborough NH
ozlakemac
This is how my 2002 looked during and after mast removal. I could not replace the antenna cable because of a drip loop:banghead:. That is why I removed the mast.
I did not put a drip loop or tape on any of the cables on reinstalling mast....I used nylon cord to pull the cables thru the mount plate and support post.

I replaced all cable end connections where they came out in the bilge area.
paulj
:hook2:
Your photos showed the information I am looking for (even though this is an older thread).

Recently purchased a 2004 Catalina 310. There are (expected) problems with the electronics. Replacing the old SeaTalk 1 Raytheon with a current Garmin technology and NMEA 2000 communication bus.

I wasn't sure if the radar and wind device wiring could be simply pulled through without unstepping the mast.

The Catalina mast light wiring does not have a connection at the base of the compression post. Appears to be a connector that is above the mast step.

All other cables do. The VHF antenna, TV/Radio antenna, Radar, wind sensors are (were) readily accessible after lifting the main cabin sole access panel by the forward bulkhead.

I have to climb the mast to install the new wind sensors and radar. Since this boat has in-mast furling and we are near the end of the season, I will do this come Spring when the halyards are freed up. It will also be the time to add in a spinnaker halyard.
 
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Aug 29, 2016
82
Catalina 2004 310 (Hull #250) BC
Your photos showed the information I am looking for (even though this is an older thread).

Recently purchased a 2004 Catalina 310. There are (expected) problems with the electronics. Replacing the old SeaTalk 1 Raytheon with a current Garmin technology and NMEA 2000 communication bus.

I wasn't sure if the radar and wind device wiring could be simply pulled through without unstepping the mast.

The Catalina mast light wiring does not have a connection at the base of the compression post. Appears to be a connector that is above the mast step.

All other cables do. The VHF antenna, TV/Radio antenna, Radar, wind sensors are (were) readily accessible after lifting the main cabin sole access panel by the forward bulkhead.

I have to climb the mast to install the new wind sensors and radar. Since this boat has in-mast furling and we are near the end of the season, I will do this come Spring when the halyards are freed up. It will also be the time to add in a spinnaker halyard.
I will be tackling a similar task soon. Also have a 2004 with in mast furling.

I bought Garmin and plan to install new mast mounted radar, an NMEA 2000 backbone, MFD, VHF etc Please take lots photos...I haven’t figured out yet how to tap into the mast and find the conduit to lead the radar wiring down the mast. Luckily there is a bus bar already in the bilge area just behind the base for the wind instruments.
Have just started sketching a schematic plan so everything else seems a far ways away...
 
Jan 22, 2008
492
Catalina 310 278 Lyndeborough NH
These are the photos exploring the existing wiring and the beginnings of the transformation. The only images of locating the wires going up the mast compression post are videos. I will take stills when I go to the boat this week.

The Garmin GPSmap 1242xsv Plus is mounted on a new Navpod GP1170 (I purchased the non pre-cut version for cost purposes). The existing Raytheon C80 ST Wind and ST4000 Autopilot fill the two 4-inch positions for now. These two will be replaced come Spring. Fortunately, they use the same cutout.

I am in the process of replacing all of the instruments AND the electrical panel. I have replaced the two 4D lead acid batteries that failed (noted on the survey) with two Battle Born lithium batteries and a lead acid starting battery.

The 1000 watt inverter was also not up to the task of running the microwave or electric teapot (wife's requirements). In the process of installing a Victron MultiPlus 12V 2000 Watt inverter/charger.

Updating the electrical panel with Blue Sea's 8084 AC/DC panel to better match the Victron Multiplus inverter/charger requirements.

Other changes to come:
• replace the boarding ladder with one similar to the one used on the 309 and 315
• install "German Main Sheeting" leading the main sheet back past the main winches on BOTH sides to facilitate single handling (see this video:
@1:25)
 

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Jul 26, 2020
1
Catalina 310 60 Lake Grapevine, TX
My name is Keith and I'm new to this forum, having recently converted from power boating (my entire life) to sailing, and the proud owner of a recently purchased 2001 Catalina 310, Hull #60, named "Sapphire", located on Grapevine Lake in Grapevine, TX.

@jepomer , curious to know more about the boarding ladder you're planning to replace on your C-310 that is used on the C-309/315 that you mentioned in your post above. If you could provide a link to the one you intend to use that would be great! We back our boat into our slip and that ladder is pretty high on my list of things I'd like to improve upon. Thanks in advance!
 
Jan 22, 2008
492
Catalina 310 278 Lyndeborough NH
My name is Keith and I'm new to this forum, having recently converted from power boating (my entire life) to sailing, and the proud owner of a recently purchased 2001 Catalina 310, Hull #60, named "Sapphire", located on Grapevine Lake in Grapevine, TX.

@jepomer , curious to know more about the boarding ladder you're planning to replace on your C-310 that is used on the C-309/315 that you mentioned in your post above. If you could provide a link to the one you intend to use that would be great! We back our boat into our slip and that ladder is pretty high on my list of things I'd like to improve upon. Thanks in advance!
Keith,

My wife is only 5 ft tall with short legs. She would love to use the transom walk through. The previous owner added quick pins to the existing ladder, but the ladder does not align as easily as one might think. Perhaps our boarding ladder has been torqued at some point in the past.

I have not yet settled on which boarding ladder to use. I am trying to find the one that is used on the Catalina 309 and 315. These boats add a cover over the extendible ladder to avoid a trip hazard for anyone walking through that area that the hinges and collapsed ladder would provide.

The attached file gives the deck hardware measurements and placements.
 

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Jan 22, 2008
492
Catalina 310 278 Lyndeborough NH
I'll have may 310 in my yard by Oct 20 weather permitting. There are several projects and maintenance items (nothing serious) that need to be done and will be more conveniently done at home.

One of the things I have discovered is how the floors and trim are easily removed exposing the fiberglass inner liner. This construction technique also has allowed dirt and things to fall behind the pieces.

After removing these pieces, I will fully clean the fiberglass behind.

The plumbing hoses will also be replaced. I want to make this boat smell much like a new one — especially eliminating the current head oder with something other than "cover up" perfumes.

I already removed the exhausted 4D lead acid batteries. I replaced them with two Battle Born Lithium batteries and a separate SLI lead acid battery. The Vectron inverter/charger wiring will be completed once the boat is back home.
 
Dec 16, 2011
213
Catalina 310 Atlantic Highlands
My name is Keith and I'm new to this forum, having recently converted from power boating (my entire life) to sailing, and the proud owner of a recently purchased 2001 Catalina 310, Hull #60, named "Sapphire", located on Grapevine Lake in Grapevine, TX.

@jepomer , curious to know more about the boarding ladder you're planning to replace on your C-310 that is used on the C-309/315 that you mentioned in your post above. If you could provide a link to the one you intend to use that would be great! We back our boat into our slip and that ladder is pretty high on my list of things I'd like to improve upon. Thanks in advance!
Here is a thread on replacing the swim ladder with one that stores flat and pulls out and then down.
 
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Dec 16, 2011
213
Catalina 310 Atlantic Highlands
How did you get these monsters out? i'm going to be doing the same over this winter.
Very carefully, and on the hard. I muscled them up out of the compartment and onto the floor, then dragged them to the companionway steps, then lifted them a step at a time, keeping my center of balance directly over the battery. Once in the cockpit I dragged to the stern where I had a ladder set up (the kind that sets up like an “A”). Then I got onto the ladder and extremely carefully while leaning into the ladder so I would fall backwards I moved them down, rung by rung. I then muscled them up and into the back of my SUV. It was horrible, and I’ll never do it again without help. Getting the new ones into the boat was even worse...at least on the way out I had gravity on my side. In fact, with one of the new ones trying to get back into the boat I did slip and fell down a rung. I managed to sort-of-gently get the battery onto the ground, but at the expense of my knuckles and hand. I would strongly encourage you have at least one more person helping you (if not two) and if I had to do it over again I would have not replaced them like-for-like but taken advantage of the opportunity to rework the power system. But I was impatient and a swap out seemed to be the quickest way to be back up and running. Never again.
 
Nov 16, 2012
930
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
How did you get these monsters out? i'm going to be doing the same over this winter.
I didn’t think it was that bad. I did mine in the water, at the slip. Slow and steady, with lots of breaks. I also wrapped them in a plastic bag, to minimize the contact with residual acid on the outside. Still burned some holes in my shorts! I switched to 4 golf cart 6 V batteries and a major rewiring project at the same time. Great upgrade!
 

KZW

.
May 17, 2014
721
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
Getting four golf cart batteries in the boat was easy. Getting the 4Ds out was work. I go stern in at my slip. Snugged the port side up to the stub dock and swung the batteries over. Keep your back straight.
 
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