1.16.2011

Tampa Bay Sailboat Rigging | Mast Rewiring | Westsail 32 |SSMR

One of our major projects that needed to be completed before our next long distance cruise was the rewiring of the mast. It could have been done by lowering the mast but we choose to remove the mast to complete this project. We pulled the mast a day before we hauled out to do the bottom work. We used SSMR on Salt Creek in St Petersburg. They are located right across from the Harborage Marina High and Dry boat storage and fuel docks. Our haul out location was right next door at a do it yourself yard.
The crew at SSMR (Steve, Andrew and Jennifer) is exceptional and has extensive rigging experience. They allowed me to wire the mast myself and were eager to offer consultative assistance. I purchased some of the new fixtures from SSMR but also had some of my own from other vendors.
Steve and Andrew assisted with the Mast removal after I had the rig loosened and ready to go. The tabernacle hinge pin was seized inside of the compression tube and we had a bit of difficulty removing it. We used a load of rigging anti-seizing grease when we replaced the pin. Bud Taplin shipped a new pin and it was delivered two days before the mast was ready to be stepped.
The old mast wiring was wrapped in black foam that began to deteriorate and was spewing flicks of black foam all over the deck out of the bottom of the mast opening. The old wire was not tinned and had started to corrode and become brittle. We had a wire break off of the steaming light last year in Puerto Rico. It was just tired; it had served well over time but was due to be replaced.
We installed a new VHF antenna, LED tri-color nav light, LED anchor light and a steaming light with a forward deck spot. We also installed a new SSB antenna. We used stainless rigging wire and attached one end to the topping lift tang with several lashings of high strength small diameter rope through the eye that was swaged on the end of the rigging wire. The other end was lashed to the radar tower on the stern of the boat using the same method as the upper end. The rope will serve as insulators just as a halyard would on a halyard hoisted antennae. Total cost was only $78 for the SSB antenna.
We pulled the wire into a 1½ inch PVC conduit that had opening cut into it for the wires to exit at the various sites. We then inserted the conduit into the mast and fastened it with rivets to secure it solid to the mast. The wiring and fixture install took about three days to complete. Steve and Andrew from SSMR checked in often and gave me excellent guidance along the way.
We removed all tangs and thoroughly cleaned and inspected them. Mast pins were replaced and greased to prevent seizing in the future. SSMR completed a detailed inspection of all standing rigging. We are in good shape and ready for another extended cruise.
We stepped the mast, tuned the rig, made all of the electrical connections and moved Mary Rose back to her slip at the Harborage Marina.
SSMR is certainly on our preferred vendor list and we highly recommend them for your rigging needs. You can contact them at 727-823-4800 Please tell them that Mary Rose sent you and take them to lunch and they will show you a place called Munch’s. A wonderful breakfast and lunch spot in the same place for over 50 years.

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