Re: Mizzen Mast Access

Mark Erdos



When I had to run an additional cable for a new radar unit, it took a lot of finesse. Attaching the new wire to the older one and pulling it down the mast did not work. There is some sort of lip about 8-12” up the mast from the base. I assume you are pulling the wire using the access panel at the base of the mast on the port side. From this port access I manage to finesse the wire over the obstruction using a wire coat hanger to nudge it. Laying on the aft cabin top with a flashlight in my mouth I could work to see the end of the wire.


I would suggest dropping a new messenger line. I used a large magnetic nut on the end of this and a magnet to find it at the lower end. Even getting this past the obstruction is a pain. Make a really good connection/splice to the wire you want to pull down through the mast. Tie a couple of wire ties to the messenger line about one foot and again at two feet from the splice. This will serve as an indicator to the person at the bottom when the new wire is almost there. Grease the first 4’ of the new cable. Gently pull the messenger cable down through the access port looking for the wire ties to show. Once you see the second tie, you know you are almost there. It is at this time you need to use a stiff piece of wire such as a wire coat hanger to finesse the new cable. You will probably be able to see the end of it to help guide. It may help to have a second person up the mast to pull up a little bit if needed. It is not possible to pull the new wire with the messenger line past the obstruction using brute force. Ask me how I know this.


Once you have the new cable down, it is easy to poke it into the access area that houses the mainsheet electric winch (in the aft head (starboard side of the mirror).


Sorry, I do not remember the formation of the obstruction or how exactly I got around it. It just recall it being an real #$%@ to manage. I promise you, it can be done J



Hope this helps.



With best regards,





Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - San Blas Islands, Panama


From: [] On Behalf Of Gary Wells
Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2019 1:01 PM
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Mizzen Mast Access


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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