September 12, 2011.
I built the mast for a 44 foot catamaran the other day and yesterday the schedule finally allowed for us to step the mast. The mast is huge and unwieldy with a shitload of wires hanging out the bottom. There are wires for the steaming light, the deck lights, the anchor light, the VHF, the television antenna and 2 pairs for the radar.
After the big deck stepped thing was stood up and tensioned I had to run all the wires down into the boat and hook everything up. First up I determined which wires were for the steaming light, hooked em' up. Check, done. Then the deck lights. Check, done. Next was the anchor light. Beep. Excuse me? What was that? Beeeeep. Shit, There’s a horn on the mast, I forgot. Crap. After hooking the horn wires to the correct breaker I was left with a conundrum. One pair of wires too few. Shit, no anchor light.
After sticking a Bore Scope into the bottom of the mast I found that there wasn't a pair of wires lurking in the mast base that we had overlooked. That meant a trip up the mast to see if there was even a wire hooked to the masthead light.
The masthead light was installed in South Africa and when I got up to the masthead I was a little perplexed when I saw that there was a wire from the fixture and down into the masthead. I gave the wire a little tug to see if I could gauge how much wire ran down into the mast by how heavy it was. And it popped right out of the top of the mast at the slightest tug. It seems that somewhere along the line the wire had been broken 5 feet below the masthead and never replaced. With the mystery solved I ran another wire down the mast and the anchor light does its thing. Sounds like one of those “f@#k it, they can fix it when it gets to America type things”.