Re: Replacing standing rigging - advice for other jobs?
Scott SV Tengah
We replaced our VHF last year and our AIS antenna on the mizzen this year. Cables replaced with both. BIG BIG difference compared to the original 12 year old antenna. The original Banten antennas on ours were "one piece" so a non-removable cable came out of the bottom of the antenna. I replaced wiring with RG-8X cables. LMR-400 would be better, but good luck fitting that in. I tried and failed but maybe it's easier if the mast is down. I actually ran new VHF cable all the way to the helm station. My AIS could "see" maybe 10 miles previously and now I've seen targets as far as 45 miles out. I'm sure my transmission has gotten a lot better, too.
I used the Shakespeare 5215 for both VHF and AIS. I know there's some line of thought that you should get an AIS specific antenna as it is tuned for the specific AIS frequencies but I wanted it to possibly function as a backup VHF antenna, if necessary. The thread fits perfectly in the hole in the mast where the old Banten antenna sat. Use self amalgamating rubber wrap and good electrical tape on the connectors. I zip tied the tape for good measure.
One silly thing that I really really love is our photosensitive anchor light. Confirm that your A54 has the same Aqua Signal housing as we do, however.
When we're anchored for a week or so, I just leave the anchor light switch on the entire time. The bulb lights up at dusk. Earlier we'd end up leaving the anchor light on if there's any chance we would be away. Sure, LEDs are supposed to last forever, but on a boat....
Also, our tricolor bulb was quite dim - this fixed it:
hope this helps!
2007 A54 #69