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Old 08-01-2010, 06:48   #1
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Changing-Out the Mast for a Taller Rig...

Wondered if anyone ever changed out their mast for a taller rig, and what it involved.
Many boats are under powered, like mine. If one was going to someday change the mast, wouldn't it be better to change it out to a taller one, with a larger SA/D for faster performance in light airs? Say a additional 5-8 feet or so, to keep total hight above the water to <65'. What would be involved I wonder, and would it be worth it. The current spar is around 55' I believe. single spreader.
slooped rigged. My idea would be to go up in size while adding a inner forestay (removable). All new rigging of course. Wonder what something like that would cost... need boom, new mainsail etc.

Not something that I would do/could do for many years, but since I plan on having this boat for the rest of my life... at least thats the plan... would be be worth changing out the spar for that reason?


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Old 08-01-2010, 08:16   #2
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Bob, I don't know...It would strike me as a major investment in a 25 year old + vessel. You would have to re-engineer the entire rig, $$$ and purchase a new suit of sails...and one thing always leads to another. With the possibility that at the end of it all, the incremental performance improvement would not be satisfactory to you. Return on investment.
Not to mention, the lost time on the water.

What are you calling light wind performance? under 10k ? How does she perform above that? What size headsail? have you considered a cruising chute?

I wonder if shortening the boom and changing the mainsail to a high aspect ratio sail would improve performance? Hopefully others here can offer solid technical advice.

From a monetary standpoint, I'm not seeing it.

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Old 08-01-2010, 08:30   #3
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The speed of your Endeavor is limited by the square root of the waterline length multiplied by a numerical factor. I am not sure of your hull shape but that also plays into the numerical factor to determine speed of your vessel. Once the theoretical maximum speed of your vessel is reached then the amount of sail is not a factor. The vessel digs a hole in the water. Power boats start planning to overcome the creation of the bow wave. Large ships have an underwater bulb to cut through the water to increase the speed. Maybe someone else can do a better job describing fluid dynamics.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:40   #4
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I believe the op's question is in relation to light air performance. Hull speed limitations would not apply.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:14   #5
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I read it too fast FSMike. You are correct.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:18   #6
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Unless you have unlimited resources, I think a more reasonable solution might be to increase the SA you can carry now, such as adding more roach to your main and full battens (if you haven't already), adding a staysail like you are planning, adding a very large cruising chute--IOW optimizing your downwind rig as much as possible. New spars, salis and rigging for a boat your size might cost as much as the boat might be worth...
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:57   #7
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I've been thinking of doing the same thing, but have holding back because of the cost, among other things. Others have mentioned the cost of new sails but you also have take into account the location and number of shrouds. If you are going that distance and don't want to entirely revamp your current chainplate positions, you may need to go to a double spreader rig. That would leave you with your current cap and lower shroud chainplates but you'd have to come up with another intermediate chain plate. As far as cost, It is probably a multiple 10's of thousands of dollars to completely redo a rig. I once looked at a boat that had had a completely new rig and sails installed by the most prestigious sail maker and rigger in the area. He pictured the sale as he was actually giving away the boat, the buyer was actually just paying $40,000 for the cost of the new rig.

Having said the above, I'm still thinking about getting a taller mast for better light wind sailing. I absolutely hate to turn the motor on. It's an affront to my manhood to have to throw in the towl and resort to the iron genny. In my case, the center board design limits maximum stability so that has to be taken into account. I'm thinking of getting 3'-4' taller stick that, ideally, would be carbon fiber for weight saving. Couple that with synthetic rigging and the new mast would be quite a bit lighter especially up high, where it matters. Would only have to be concerned about righting moment as it relates to the drag on the bare additional mast height. Something that I would hope would not be much of a factor.

Anyway, the place to start is with a marine architect who could design a stick that would take into account righting moment, shroud angles, etc and then go from there. You'd then what, if any, changes that would have to be made to the boat. Then you could start looking for a used stick if you wanted to keep costs down. I've had brief converstations with a carbon stick supplier and it wasn't totally wallet blowing. Doing all the fitting out work myself, could keep the cost under $10,000. Learning how to splice synthetic line would keep that cost down to a really really reasonable level. Still means a new mainsail, at the least, but then your sails may be in need of replacing, anyhow. For the headsail, would have to buy a new section of roller furling extrusion but that's a drop in the bucket compared to all the other costs. Was going to be rerigging my boat with new wire so the synthetic could actually turn out to be a money saver.

All in all, putting a taller rig in a boat may not be cheaper than selling the old boat and buying a higher performance design. In my case, don't want to throw away all the improvments I've made to my boat. There ain't no way I'm going to be able to sell the 'old lady' for a profit, in any case. Adding a new stick is actually a way to recoup some of my investment of sweat and money. Besides, I really like my 'Old Boat'. The easy motion, full keel, center board draft, and looks are what I was looking for when I bought her and still appreciate.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:01   #8
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Friends of ours recently dis-masted a J-35. I believe the insurance bill for a completely new mast/rig/sails was around 40K (canadian). With a larger rig and the design work involved, I imagine you'd be looking at a higher number.
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Old 08-01-2010, 13:08   #9
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Hi bobfnbw:

No matter how strongly anyone feels "on having this boat for the rest of your life"
things can change. Investing lots of $$$ for systematic changes in an old boat
is something you might want to reconsider. Lots of sailboats expierence light air performance where you feel as though its time to just get out and push !!!

Consider being happy for the blessings you have. No matter how you deal with
small issues its not likely to make a significant difference in your quality of life.
Think about what you might spend a few boat $$$ on today which would make your sailing expierence more enjoyable.

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Old 08-01-2010, 14:55   #10
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Also, be careful what you wish for. In general, the price you pay for better light wind performance is a more tender boat. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is a common characteristic of fast boats and you should be aware of it. Per the Endeavour owners web site. a factory sloop rigged 40 carries 743 sq. feet of sail, displaces 25k pounds, and has a 32' LWL.

A similar vintage Hunter 34 is an excellent light wind performer. In standard rig it carries 557 sq. ft. of sail on a 52' mast, weighs less than 12k pounds, and has a 28' LWL. Basically it amounts to a boat weighing less than half as much as your Endeavour and carrying 75% of the sail area on nearly 90% of the water line. And it is tender. When we were cruising in our H34 we often sailed away from larger boats in light winds; but we usually started reefing at 15 kts. and we usually had 2 reefs in or no mainsail up at all by 20 kts. I know there are other variables involved, and I’m talking cruising not racing; but to the extent that you can significantly improve light wind performance by carrying more sail, you may also significantly change other sailing characteristics of this boat.
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Old 08-01-2010, 15:03   #11
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The 'easy' way is to put a splice, a meter or so long, at the foot of your existing mast.
Needs all NEW standing rig but a minimum of re-engineering.
Add a new boom fixing at the old height for light airs and new big sails but also work out how to use existing sails for normal weather. Even the old jib is still useful. And existing storm sails still work fine. Doesn't change the trim of the boat much either, just adds a bit to roll inertia. And needs more careful skippering.
If the rig is coming up for replacement it's not to bad a cost.
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Old 08-01-2010, 16:32   #12
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Do you have a racing bottom or does it look like cellulite?,flush thru hulls,folding prop,are you carrying around years of accumulated crap.How old are your sails?Are you carrying a giant inflatable with a big motor. My point is that putting the boat on a diet and putting some effort in the other areas i mentioned may give you more return on investment.Dont get me wrong, i love modifying rigs but the roi is rarely worth it.
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Old 08-01-2010, 18:06   #13
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We did it with Sari Timur about 6 years back and have not regretted it. We had to have a stability survey done on the boat and then hired a rig consultant to come up with the numbers and suggestions. ?We actually had another guy looking at it as well whome we hoped to order the masts from. He does a lot of the conversions from wood to aluminium on the old 12 metre boats. It is expensive but in our case the wood ones were needing pulling every two years anyway for dry rot issues so we decided to go to aluminium. Once we did this we were quickly told aluminium is heavier than wood so needed the survey. Neither the survey nor the design cost were that expensive compared to the rig. Oh incidently the designer said we could go a lot higher than we actually did. But we are pretty happy with what we now have.


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Old 08-01-2010, 23:48   #14
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At this point, and for the foreseeable future, its just thinking out loud. But the boats bottom is sound, the sails in good shape.Endeavours are known for sailing well in medeium to heavy airs, but not so much on the light side, say 6-12 knots or so. Putting in a new stick could/would be done when the rigging and sails needed changing out anyways, so those costs would no be a factor. It would be the new spar and the additional rigging, chain plates. The righting movement is something to consider.
I used to believe carbon fiber would be a good way to go, but after reading up on some of the aspects of it, like increase lighting conductivity, and that the weight savings is sometimes lost on the lightening conductor that you have to then install... plus the added cost..
Yes I know that there are many ways to skin a cat. Adding or upgrading existing hardware is one of them, and probably what I would ultimately go with. But wanted to hear people that have done it, or contemplated it.
There is always the "over investment of the boat " idea. But I tend to reject it because the way I see it, if I didn't have this boat, I would be having something that cost probablyl 4 times more and 10 feet bigger. So I make do with a slightly smaller boat (40 feet ) which except for the head room and small galley I am totally happy with.
Putting in a wad of dough into this boat as I am already doing, to me, is still saving me over the more expensive boats I usually looked at and were attractive to. Like a FD-12, a tatoosh 50, vagabond 47... stevens 47. All of whichh would cost 4x or more plus still needed upgrades as they would all be 25+ year old boats.
So the cost of a new spar and the related hardware, to me, would be not that big of a deal. Assuming I would be keeping the boat a long time.
The idea of selling the boat and getting a bigger or faster one, is not attractive to me for several reasons.
One, I like this one.
Two, It would cost more money to do that than a new spar would cost I bet. Boats are nott moving now, brokerage costs are high, and so on.
Three, the time wasted in selling my current boat, then finding another one, then upgrading that one to my specs... is not attractive.
While this boat is not the best I can have, its a pretty good boat. The spar upgrade would be paid for when I sold my home, prior to setting off on the retirement cruise... and I guess it would be money spent with the idea that it would not be recoverable when the boat was sold, except to get a faster sale, as it would make the boat a lot more marketable, assuming it was done right.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:02   #15
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FWIW this matter has previously been discussed at length. The most simple solution is the addition of length to the bottom of the mast by using a piece of the same extrusion as the existing mast and a sleave, The mast, particularly near the base, experiences very little bending so a sleaved extension will work quite easily.

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