Winston Collinge uses an easy and attractive way to feed a cable through the length of his mast

I’m very grateful to a previous PBO correspondent who gave me the idea of using a magnet to install a new wire down an existing mast.

On my Colvic Atlanta we had the forestay come away from the mast due to a bad repair years ago under a previous ownership, so we sourced a Seldén headbox to cure that particular problem.

A magnet and drilled nail with a fishing line attached

The magnet and drilled nail with fishing line attached. Credit: Winston Collinge

While the mast was un-stepped, we also decided to fit an AIS antenna to upgrade our current system.

The problem was, how to get the coaxial cable down the mast without pulling off the mast shoe, which, after 40 or so years, was well and truly stuck to the mast foot?

A mast on a boat

Masthead with new AIS antenna connected via the internal cable. Credit: Winston Collinge

Your reader suggested a magnet on the outside of the alloy mast to pull an iron object down the inside.

A connected fishing line was then used as a mousing line for the much heavier coaxial cable to come out at a hole drilled at the bottom of the mast.

And I have to say it all worked perfectly.

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