Mast cable slap (ARGH!)

Re: Mast cable slap (ARGH!)

Postby Castaway » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:50 pm

I've got an extra heavy lightning conductor (#2AWG), and thinking of zip-tying the stars to it. (Did everybody who made these use three zip-ties?) And including one of those screw-mount zip ties with the hole tied into the star....and then circle that one LOOSELY around all the other wires.

That way I could pull a new wire alongside the "starred" cable through all those little rings if I needed to.


I like this idea, but you would need to be careful to get a super-smooth join between the pull through and the new cable when getting it in. Difficult to know how loose you would need to make the extra cable tie. Of course, the 'star' only works if the three cable ties are quite tightly fastened, and placed at reasonable intervals (around 1.5m, I thought, but less might be adequate).
Gerald
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Re: Mast cable slap (ARGH!)

Postby sailmon » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:59 pm

The adhesive on PVC idea is very interesting. I'm wondering if flexing of the mast would eventually break the adhesive free. Perhaps a hybrid - adhesive and a few rivets might be the best combination to keep the conduit in place. Thanks for the idea.
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Re: Mast cable slap (ARGH!)

Postby whimsy » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:40 pm

I'm at the next phase of this job--I've got my masts out and got the cables out. Turns out that the sponges had disintegrated.

They did their job well for three years. I hauled then, and when I re-launched two years later, they weren't.

So the sponges lasted between 3 and 5 years. Turns out that the light string I had holding them up might have failed soon if they hadn't, but it was still OK.

My current plan is to use a combination of cable tie stars around the big (2AWG) ground, and between them segments of plumbing insulation large enough to pull cables through the hole (1" to allow me to pull a VHF connector alongside the big wire) between the stars. to provide extra muffling and also hold all the wires together. I'll cut the 6' pieces of insulation in half and use a star every 3 feet.

Ask me in 5 years how it is working!
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Re: Mast cable slap (ARGH!)

Postby wcwcwc » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:37 am

You don't need the insulation. The cable ties wit tails attached are enough. Mine were still fine when I sold the boat after six years.
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Re: Mast cable slap (ARGH!)

Postby tnltracy » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:41 pm

wcwcwc wrote:You don't need the insulation. The cable ties wit tails attached are enough. Mine were still fine when I sold the boat after six years.


Mine did fine for couple years on my last boat as well. Just make sure they're good and snug, and enough of them
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Re: Mast cable slap (ARGH!)

Postby folotp » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:23 pm

Hi Barry,

I had the exact same idea of attaching the cable ties on the 2 AWG lightning conductor that I will be installing, and to then run the other wires through a loop tied to it. How did it work for you? Are you still satisfied after two years?

One concern I have is that the 2 AWG cable is pretty heavy so I'm worried that the cable ties may not be enough to prevent the cable from moving inside the mast. Did you run into tis problem? At what interval did you attach the tie wraps?

Thank you!

Pierre-André
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Re: Mast cable slap (ARGH!)

Postby whimsy » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:56 pm

I found that it fixed the problem "well enough" but not perfectly in my case. when Flutterby is rolling or bouncing a lot, I can hear something from inside the masts. It isn't loud enough to bother me, except for the nagging reminder that I could have done that job just a bit better! I'm not going to pull my masts to fix this, 'tho I will check on it and possibly try to improve it if I ever do pull them for some other reason.

The length and stiffness of the cable ties does matter. When I pulled them into horizontal masts, I could see that the weight of the wire bundle was enough to flatten them out, so bigger ties than I used would have been better....although the locking ends might have been too big for them to pull three of them tight on that small of a bundle. I'd recommend experimenting with various sizes, and perhaps also whether leaving then long with the tails curved or cutting them short so the tails stuck straight out seems better. (When I did sponges, I did calculate the diameter at various positions and cut the upper sponges down; I didn't cut any of my zip ties)
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Re: Mast cable slap (ARGH!)

Postby folotp » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:59 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I was afraid that the cable ties may not be able to support the weight of the 2 AWG lightning down conductor.

I think I will combine a few ideas. First thighten the lightning conductor between mast head and step keeping it in the center of the mast, and limiting its movement. I will also install cable ties every four feet, and probably do a 4 or 5 branches star configuration rather than only 3. Then tie relatively loose loops from the lightning conductor to keep the other wires from slapping.

I’ll post pictures and will update on results in the spring!
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