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Old 03-04-2019, 21:22   #1
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Boom vang - mast bail question

Tackled too many projects at once and I'm so demoralized. I almost gave up today. But then I realized how badly I wanted a boom vang.

Anyways, I started drilling through the base of my mast for my mast bail, about 1.5 inches above the mast base. I drilled through (pilot hole) on the starboard side and realized the mast isn't empty there. There is another solid object inside the mast (deck stepped). Its probably some object that holds the mast in place. Should I just drill right through that too? Or move the boom bail a bit higher? How high can I go before I'm risking a fracture at the mast if something goes wrong? On the port side, my antenna and deck/spreader light wiring goes into the mast through a hole. So if I do that, I have to move the hole 6 inches off the deck.

Photos here. The photo with the clean hole with no wires is the stbd side.
https://i.imgur.com/RJvLUwA.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/AHi3mnS.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/4L1YW1q.jpg

Note: the mast is 4.5" wide, side to side, oval shaped.
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Old 03-04-2019, 22:12   #2
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Re: Boom vang - mast bail question

Try to find the mast manufacturer and serial number. You can the contact the manufacturer or do an internet search. The info you are looking for should be publicly available but not easy to find.
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Old 04-04-2019, 00:29   #3
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Re: Boom vang - mast bail question

The mast is deck stepped.

You are drilling too low.

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Old 04-04-2019, 07:46   #4
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Re: Boom vang - mast bail question

Why not use one of the mast base bolts to install a pad eye?
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:54   #5
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Re: Boom vang - mast bail question

The simple solution is to cut threads in the hole you drilled. However, that might become a problem in the future, because someone wanting to lift the mast might not realize that the screw holding the bail is also holding the mast. You deal with that my documenting it in your Equipment and Maintenance Log.

You might also drill a very small "test well", say 9/64" diameter 2 1/2" above the deck. That will likely take you above the shoe on which the mast stands. If it doesn't, go to 3" above deck. Such a hole is too small to weaken your mast. If you have to abandon the "test well" and go elsewhere, just put some goop in it. "Bondo" or "White Lightnin'" body filler is good enuff to that purpose. When your find the right location for the hole, open up to the appropriate diameter for a tap to take your desired diameter s/s machine screw.

You can also use blind rivets if you would rather have mast and fastener made of the same material (ally).

Have fun :-)

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Old 04-04-2019, 11:12   #6
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Re: Boom vang - mast bail question

iF YOU DO A TEST HOLE, MAKE THE DRILL SIZE THE SAME AS A RIVET, IF THE HOLE NEEDS TO BE FILLED, USE A RIVET, AND FILL THE SMALL HOLE WITH SOME GOOP.
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Old 04-04-2019, 17:59   #7
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Re: Boom vang - mast bail question

No need to panic. Just go up another inch and drill another hole. or you can put a deck pad in the deck just in back of the mast and attach it there. You'll love your vang.
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Old 05-04-2019, 21:17   #8
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Re: Boom vang - mast bail question

Thanks guys. I ended up going 4 inches higher than the mast base, after speaking to a rigger who told me going a bit higher is no big deal. Angle is a bit under 45, something like 42. In the photo, boom is lifted higher than it is when under sail. If I do not have enough travel on the fiddle blocks, I will move the boom bail out 5 inches or so to get closer to 30 degrees.

https://i.imgur.com/M33XHy6.png
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