Mizzen Mast Access

Gary Wells

OK, I am at an impasse with my mizzen mast.  We haven't quite gotten to the arbitration stage yet, but we have a situation of a stubborn lack of cooperation. 

My trusty wind generator threw a blade a couple of months ago.  Since it is a gen 1 Air-X (you know the one .. you can hear it several islands away!) I decided to have mercy on all my anchorage-mates and upgrade the generator to a quieter, more happy-hour-inducing model.  The mount-up was simple enough; actually things fit together quite well with only a half-millimeter or so difference here and there requiring a bit of sanding and a Dremel.  Then, it all fell apart ..  from the top.

The old Air-X was a self-regulated provider of 24VDC from the top of the mizzen straight through to the battery switch (via the ammeter and shutoff/idle switch) and it required only two wires (plus an 'earth' to the mast).  .

The new generator is a three-phase AC machine with a remote controller/convertor/regulator and it requires a three-wire drop to the box. 

Now 2x10Ga wire managed (barely) to fit down the mast, but the 3x10 won't.  During the process of learning this, the technicians lost and then removed the original wire, then they tried pulling it by connecting it to a no-longer-in-use small coaxial cable, and that connection parted, and finally they used the remaining messenger line .. and broke it.

Normally, it should not be hard to drop a new messenger, but hey have tried for 2 days and used several methods to no avail. There simply must be something blocking a passageway somewhere that they can't fish their way through. 


I'm  hoping someone might have a secret-handshake trick up their sleeve before we go to the next step; which is either to drill an access hole in the front of the mast and use the large forward channel (I hope it goes all the way without obstruction) or else we may have to unstep her and get it done that way .. although even that isn't a sure bet, I guess. 

This is a genuine "oh, it should take about 4 hours" job that has turned into 3 days of frustration for us as well as the technicians. 


We are in Martinique, so I am presuming that when they say they are 'out of options' they truly are. I know they have consulted with other experts around here so I don't feel like I am working with un-knowledgeable technicians.  BUT ..  there is a vast amount of knowledge here so I am hoping to garner a couple of options/ideas.

We definitely don't want to drill a second access hole in the top (cap) plate on the mizzen ...  that could be a structural issue.  I personally don;' want to drill through to the front of the mast, even thought this is a pretty good option, because even if the wire does come all the way down, there may be no way to silence it from banging around inside the larger passageway. 

Anyway, any suggestions will be very welcomed and thoroughly discussed.



Gary W

SM209 "Adagio"

Le Marin, Marinique


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