Mast Crushed by Spreaders

Zen Zero

New member
Joined
11 Mar 2011
Messages
1,591
Location
Boat:Syvota, Epirus, Greece. Me:Rome, Italy
Visit site
I took my mast down recently - for the first time, probably, in the boat's history. There are dimples in the in the mast, evidently caused by the crosstrees compressing the aluminium profile, due to too much shroud tension maybe, or an ancient injury (I've been part owner only for the last two years).

My options seem to be:
1. do nothing - the dimples are not large and I don't know how long they've been there
2. insert an internal sleeve
3. put on an external collar
4. buy a new mast
Can any one think of any others?
How common is this type of deformation? I searched the forum before posting and found one entry about damage caused by a collision.
How would one avoid such a thing happening in the future?

Thanks!
 

Hoolie

Well-known member
Joined
3 Mar 2005
Messages
7,835
Location
Hants/Lozère
Visit site
The masts on my last 2 boats have had spacers across the mast section at the spreader root. (2 panel rigs)

Unfortunately it's not the sort of thing that one can fit as an afterthought.

Presumably they were fitted inside the mast during manufacture, But how can you tell whether or not they're fitted as they can't be seen externally?
 
Joined
25 Feb 2010
Messages
12,982
Visit site
Without pictures and more information about the boat, rig etc then I doubt that anyone can give anything more than a guess by way of an answer.
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
41,194
Visit site
Suggest you consult a rigger. Difficult to really comment without seeing it "in the flesh". If the mast has not been down for some time would probably benefit from a complete check anyway including fittings and standing rigging.
 

john_morris_uk

Well-known member
Joined
3 Jul 2002
Messages
27,386
Location
At sea somewhere.
yachtserendipity.wordpress.com
I have heard of this happening and read about a couple of possible cures before. I seem to remember that its possible to put a stainless or thickwalled aluminium sleeve through the mast where the bolts for the spreaders go and if the deformation is really bad to rivet plates or cheeks to double the thickness of the mast at the point where the rippling has occurred. A good rigger should be able to advise.

I doubt whether its over tensioning of the rig that's caused it. The reverse might be that it might have been jarring from the rig being too slack? There are very few cruising rigs that are set up too tight. (IMHO)
 
Last edited:

Seajet

...
Joined
23 Sep 2010
Messages
29,177
Location
West Sussex / Hants
Visit site
John Morris UK,

I agree with the gist of your comments, but too tight on the cap shrouds - ie spreader ends - and a bit slack on the lowers, especially if sailed a touch hard would result in the snags described if no compression tubes were fitted.

Also a thin walled mast would help such damage to happen; I knew of one such boat which, on realising they had a bought a **** mast on the very cheap - one could stand at the deck beside and waggle it, with all the rigging set up ! - deliberately set off in a F7 across Channel...

They got a lot more than they'd bargained for and what sounded a pretty hairy time, ( I'm happy to say, as there were no lives lost ) but did get a brand spanking new 'proper' mast out of insurance, ie raising the premiums of all decent, seamanlike types...

I agree a stainless collar rivetted on should help a lot, and have seen this done, but I'd have a chat with Sailspar, 01206 251348; I have no connection with them apart from finding them extremely helpful when considering rigging for a new production boat ( which didn't happen in the end for other reasons but they remained helpful ! ).
 
Last edited:

boguing

Active member
Joined
5 Nov 2005
Messages
2,227
Location
Styx Marina
Visit site
First thing I would do is drill out the rivets on the fitting.

There has been at least one spreader root design that had a lump on the back that needed a hole milled into the mast. Good idea?

If that is the case I'd roll a doubler out of Alu plate, rivet and epoxy it on and change the root fitting.

If it's not the case, I'd do the doubler and either shape the existing fitting to fit the (larger because of the doublers) curvature, or fill the gap with a thick epoxy.
 

Boathook

Well-known member
Joined
5 Oct 2001
Messages
7,892
Location
Surrey & boat in Dorset.
Visit site
We had something similar many years ago. The round spreaders on a wrap round s/s bracket on the mast had pushed in on one side. New spreaders mounted on alloy brackets were fitted above the old position and the existing bracket reformed and put back to take the inner stays. According to Kemps (now Selden) this made the mast back to 'new'. This work was done a rigger who liased with Kemps, etc.
 

Zen Zero

New member
Joined
11 Mar 2011
Messages
1,591
Location
Boat:Syvota, Epirus, Greece. Me:Rome, Italy
Visit site
photostream
This should be a photo of the damaged area. On closer inspection I believe it is due to an impact possibly when the boat was swept away in a raft of 6 boats and a piece of pontoon when the river was in spate. I have an appointment with a rigger sometime next week.
 

Bilgediver

Well-known member
Joined
6 Jun 2001
Messages
8,108
Location
Scotland
Visit site
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zen00zero/5520624801/?v=1?ref=nf

This should link to a photo I took yesterday of the point where the damage appears worst. On second thoughts it appears to have been caused by a collision rather than from an over-tightened rig.

Whoopsie......Not very nice!!!!! Yes a bash on the end of a spreader when masts clash can easily do this. I am sure the rigger will come up with similar ideas to those given here for an effective repair . Let us know!
 

30boat

N/A
Joined
26 Oct 2001
Messages
8,558
Location
Portugal
Visit site
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zen00zero/5520624801/?v=1?ref=nf

This should link to a photo I took yesterday of the point where the damage appears worst. On second thoughts it appears to have been caused by a collision rather than from an over-tightened rig.

The fix I'm thinking of involves cutting that section off and then join the spar again with a stainless inside sleeve.Any metal working shop with a metal bending machine will make you one.3mm plate will do.Use monel rivets and plenty of Duralac between metals.Then make a distance piece of the same thickness as the removed section to put under the mast step so the mast height remains the same. Don't worry about strength most modern masts are joined in this way.You'll have to place the spreader fittings a bit above or below the current position but that's not a problem.
Not very difficult and certainly much cheaper than a new mast.
 

Zen Zero

New member
Joined
11 Mar 2011
Messages
1,591
Location
Boat:Syvota, Epirus, Greece. Me:Rome, Italy
Visit site
The rigger is going to remove the spreader brackets, fill the dents with epoxy, cover with an aluminium "collar" and then replace the spreaders. This seems like a good solution to me in that:
- The event that most probably caused the damage occurred more than 5 years ago and the mast has been sailed without problems since then.
- The Collar will spread the load beyond the damaged area.

I'm also getting a complete mast and boom overhaul while we're at it.

I'm quite looking forward to getting my boat back in the water, with a mast on it!

Thanks again to everyone for your ideas and advice.
 
Top