Mast Conduit and Primed

One last thing to do before I can paint Madsu’s mast, and that’s installing conduit for wiring inside the mast.

Madsu had no steaming or anchor light, and last season I got by with a portable LED that I’d hoist when needed. It worked ok but wasn’t great. When I redid the electrical system last month I installed enough circuits to incude a steaming light and masthead anchor light.

I debated whether it was worth the trouble of running conduit up the mast – but figure if I don’t I’ll be regretting it the first night an anchor as the wires clang away inside the mast.

I opted for 3/4 inch PVC conduit that will have more than enough room for the 3 wires I need to run – plus room for VHF coaxial should I decide to add a masthead antennae later. I got a laugh when I saw the label on the conduit – C22 for a C22. Nice.

Of course the conduit has to be secured, or it will bang around. This is easier said than done.

The conduit is riveted in place using a technique I read about online somewhere. Starting at the base of the mast I was able to hold the conduit in place while I drilled a hole in the mast and the conduit and popped in a rivet.

From there it’s a matter of drilling a hole 6 inches or so along, using a small Allen key to hook the conduit through the hole (in order to hold it in place), then drill another hole a further six inches along and pop a rivet in. After I was done, I filled all the extra holes and was ready to etch, condition and prime.

The mast got it’s first layer of base coat this afternoon – the boom got its 3rd and final coat of base. I should be able to get a couple more coats of base on the mast tomorrow, then on to the topcoat in a couple of days, assuming the weather holds.

One thought on “Mast Conduit and Primed”

  1. Hey Robert:

    Don’t forget to pull an extra nylon runner in through the conduit (and leave it there permanently) before you put the mast up. It will come in handy the next time your need to pull some wires through. If you have trouble getting it in, you can use an old wireman’s trick: take a small ball of Kleenex and tie a length of thread or dental floss to it and use a vacuum cleaner to suck the ball through the conduit from one end to the other, then you can use the thread to pull in the runner.

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