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Mast conections

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Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,520
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Just curious, when the time comes, will I find connections for the mast wiring when the mast is lifted from its step? Anybody done this recently? What seems to be the average lifespan of the standing rigging of the 310?
 
Aug 24, 2009
444
Catalina 310 Sturgeon Bay, WI
Bad news Tom, unless a PO has done it, the only connection you will find is a flat wire (trailer) connector for your mast lights) everything else is in the bilge. Your VHF, TV (if you have one), and wind instrument all connect in the bilge) The wind goes to a standard little black box with a terminal strip in it. On my boat the two coax cables were actually attached with wire nuts. (I replaced both with approved connectors and VHF range improved greatly as did my TV reception. Problem is I had to remove them to pull the mast this winter. Be prepared to pull a fish (tag) line when you pull the cables, and it’s a tight fit going up. I am thinking of adding connections at the base of the mast so that this becomes a quick disconnect, but don’t plan to pull my mast again for a number of years, and not sure if I want the connectors out of sight, out of mind that long. The bilge may not be the best place for them, but at least you can service them without pulling the mast if an issue comes up.

As for the rigging, mine is a 2001 and new to me this past summer. I brought the mast down this fall for inspection and to check the rigging. In fresh water with short sailing seasons like I have in Wisconsin they say 10 years is a good life. Shorter in salt water, longer seasons and how you sail the boat (stretch the rigging). Start with a good inspection full length of the wire, check for snags (meat hooks), and check each fitting for any sign of corrosion or cracking at the swage fitting. I found some cracks and that was enough for me to make replacements on my rigging. It is costing me more but I am also using the replaceable fittings rather than having them swaged on this time.

Hope this helps

Russ
 
Sep 29, 2008
1,766
Catalina 310 #185 Quantico
Does In-Mast vs Standard Make a Difference?

How the wiring is done may make a difference depending on the type of mast you have. I actually have no idea, but from reading the descriptions of some of the folks with in-mast furling describing the amount of water they get in their bilge makes me wonder if there is a difference. :confused:
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,520
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Thanks, guys, I know now what to look for. My mast is the standard Dutchman flaking rig, built in 2003. I have been inspecting the standing rigging whenever I go up the mast, and so far, so good. It has always been in a salt-water environment, so I figure it might be a good idea to pull the mast in the next season or two, especially if we go for a long cruise.
 
Jul 1, 2009
218
Catalina 310 Sydney-Pittwater
This is an excerpt from the 310 Cat. Manual:
“Under most conditions, 1 X 19 standing rigging has a safe "working" life span of approximately
five years: seven years under ideal conditions. Factors which reduce the life of the wire are
environmental factors such as high humidity (Florida, the Caribbean, and Gulf States); high
salinity (Great Lakes, Gulf States, or mooring near a sea wall with constant salt spray); extremes
in temperature; and industrial pollution (pulp mills, generating plants, acid rains, and smog).
High loading of the rigging as required in most racing boats also induces stress in the rigging
system. Many of us have to deal with at least one of these conditions and should consider
replacing standing rigging at the five year limit.”
My insurer required an inspection and a rigger’s ‘certificate’ re soundness of the standing rigging at 10 yrs. As no rigger was prepared to commit themselves and some of the terminals were slightly bent I had to have it replaced.

Incidentally, local insurers generally do not require inspections of Catalinas below 10 years of age – which speaks for these boats’ built qualities.

All my mast wiring is is connected inside the mast (in-mast furling) at its base. Therefore, to carry out repairs or wiring replacements, I would have to pull the mast.
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,520
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Thanks, Albanach, I've had those figures in mind. I've been thinking it's about time to pull the mast, and recondition the riggiing. Something to plan on for the next season.
 
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