New mast light connector

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This summer Aegir fixed the mast light connector on the deck which has been a long time on the TO DO list. Our boat has a nice design and is well planned however it had one weekness with the mast light connector on the deck. In the picture you see that the original connector is about 7 cm long and is located in front of the mast. It is fixed with 3 screws to the deck.

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The problem is that the genoa sail passes the connector basically at each turn when the sails are up. The forces are quite strong and the genoa ripped the connector everytime lose.

We were wondering how long it was actually working when the boat was new. We checked the designs on other boats but most of them had the mast light connector at the side or behind the mast.

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 I thought about adding a metal rod from the mast over the connector to the deck so that the genoa hits the rod and not directly the connector. But this was not a satisfying solutions. We found connectors that guided the cable 90 degrees however, they were quite bulky and expensive but they were a good option if we would not find an alternative. I had some very flat connector design in mind and I checked if there were plastic plugs with an opening for cabeling. Of course the need was so special that I did not find what I was looking for. When I went to the local hard ware store to check options I found a piece that had the main features I was looking for.

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The part is used to cover the lamp connectors at the sealing so it was quite big. However, it was flat and had an opening for the cable which came out of the deck. I could cut the piece to the desired size, put an insulation layer and fix it with screws to the deck. The opening would guide the cable directly to the mast and away from the path the genoa was moving. That was the idea at least. Velamo was quite sceptical after seeing the lamp cover but gave me my creative freedom.

I went to the boat and took pictures and measures of the whole where the cables are located and used some imaging tool to define where I would cut the lamp cover.

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Luckily the opening for the cable was long enough to cover the hole for the cables. With those info I cut the piece, added a rubber membrane to protect the hole from water and inserted the holes for the screws. I also bought a lamp cable which is one insulated thick cable with two cables inside. As connector I used a two pole water proof connector that I also have used last year to attache the new LED mast light.

Once the piece was ready I still had to wait couple of days to find the time to add it. In the mean time the old mast connector was fixed with duct tape to the deck. Neither a beautiful sight but also not very water proof.

The day had come that I was able to fix the piece and the cable to the deck and I am very pleased with the result.

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On the bottom right side of the mast you see the modified lamp piece with the cable coming out towards the mast. The connector on the that side is already attached but the connector on the mast side is still the old one. It still required a couple of more days until that could be fixed as the connectors required soldering of the wires and in our home harbor access to electricity is not easy.

Finally during our summer holiday we found the time to fix it. Of course I chose the hour before an upcoming thunderstorm but at least the evening was cool enough to concentrate on that. The soldering was not smooth at all and I won’t get into details about the frustration but Velamo helped with the soldering and we finally got the connector attached and to connect to the mast.

I am especially happy about the flat profile from the side.

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The biggest joy was the moment we turned on the mast light switch and we saw the light shining like a star on our mast.

After testing the installation for many days during our summer holiday the result is still positive, the connector is still tight in place and the light is working even though there have been many rough movements of the genoa over it.

Also Vellamo liked the final design which was the best reward.

 

 

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Aegir

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