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Old 14-03-2015, 12:43   #1
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Creaking deck around mast (keel stepped)

Hi CF - I am sailing in the Bahamas and have noticed substantial creaking around the mast when under sail. I have a Tartan 40 1988 with a keel stepped mast.

The creaking is coming from two places - primarily at the base of the mast, and secondarily at a seemingly load bearing hand hold near the galley.

At the base of the mast, it seems like the sound is the teak shims moving (gradually working themselves out) and rubbing against the mast...i confirmed his when I removed the mast boot and saw they were protruding so I hammered them back in as best I could. I also tightened the shrouds another handful of turns, as they were quite loose. The next day sailing (I.e. Today) the creaking is worse than ever...and I can feel the reverberation in the fiberglass around the deck. Any suggestions? I'm hoping it sounds worse than it is, but it really doesn't sound good and I hope there isn't damage being done.

It seems to sound worse when we have side to side rolling motion (I.e. Beam/broad reach). Should I tighten the shrouds further?? We had to destep/step the mast earlier this year coming through the Erie Canal and did not consult a pro rigger afterwards...just tightened everything back to "where it was" prior to the de stepping.

Thanks in advance CF! Any input is appreciated!

Mark
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Old 14-03-2015, 21:27   #2
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Re: Creaking deck around mast (keel stepped)

You should get a rigger. If the shrouds are loose as you say and you don't know how much to tighten them, you oughta get a pro.


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Old 14-03-2015, 22:23   #3
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Re: Creaking deck around mast (keel stepped)

Do you have a tie rod between the deck and mast?? The tie rod keeps the deck from rising because of the compressive loads of the shrouds.
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Old 14-03-2015, 22:49   #4
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Re: Creaking deck around mast (keel stepped)

My sugestion,loose the uppers and lowers , remove the shims pieces around the partner and check if the mast is centered , use a rope around the mast deck level with the windlass or a winch, after that fit the shims even and do a proper rigging tune, spartite can do the trick here to,,,,, if the mast is centered and the rigging well tensioned the friction in the partner is minimal, if you still have the problem after that you probably need a tie rod between mast and deck..... Cheers.
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Old 15-03-2015, 02:48   #5
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Re: Creaking deck around mast (keel stepped)

If he's tightened the rig, and the wires become loose again, it makes me wonder if there's a mast step problem.

The other concern I have is if the deck is cored, has water got in and rotted the core?

I have a scary feeling about this one, guys, hope I am wrong.

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Old 15-03-2015, 03:04   #6
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Re: Creaking deck around mast (keel stepped)

Please be careful with your rig! You can compromise its integrity with incorrect tensions or adjustments!
Basic questions first. Is the mast setup correct - has it the right rake, pre-bend, cap shroud tension (at least 15%) and does the mast stay in column when sailing. Does the mast pump at all? Is there a bulkhead near the mast? Do any doors in this bulkhead still close properly with even clearances? Is there any sign of movement or damage in this bulkhead, mast step or partner area?
If you cannot answer these questions, you need help to safely move forward. As Above I'd recommend you consult a competent rigger.
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Old 15-03-2015, 09:32   #7
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Re: Creaking deck around mast (keel stepped)

a rotting or sloppy mast foot was the first thing that came to my mind also
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Old 15-03-2015, 09:45   #8
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pirate Re: Creaking deck around mast (keel stepped)

Check where the mast sits on the keel.. had some friends with a UFO that raced her hard.. they had to smash out and make a new seating on the keel.. constant over tensioning had broken it down so the base of mast was no longer 100% stable.. only affected when under sail..
Horrible job..
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