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Old 23-03-2009, 17:36   #1
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Dummy!

And when I'm done, I'll let you know how dumb. At that point perhaps I'll put it in the Sailor's Confessional.
Before that I need some advice. See the attached. Water must have got trapped inside the spreader, then froze, expanded and split the spreader. I had not even thought of this, but should have.
I look forward to the day when the water my boat is in NEVER gets hard.
Without hearing from others, my first thought is to take the shape of one of the non moronized spreaders and re squeeze the split spreader to the proper shape. If it looked good at that point I would take it to a certified welder (aluminum) and have it welded. Magnafluxing is for ferrous metals and I'm not sure if there is a similar test for aluminum, anyone know? I would certainly have a welding inspector look at it. All this may not be worth it.
I will also check into replacement and that is very likely the right answer. I await your confirmation. I'm sure though, that I could not find/order/receive/install before my boat is scheduled to go back in the water.
Dose anyone know if it would have to be replaced by the original manufacture? I suppose it I went elsewhere I would have to replace both.

Any and all comments/suggestions welcome. I would hope that at least some of them help me with my problem.

Thanks,
Extemp.
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Old 23-03-2009, 17:56   #2
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I had not even thought of this, but should have. .
Whaaa....?

You expect yourself to prethink of that problem???????

Give yourself a break!


Have you ever hear of it happening before? Is it common up there where H2O gets solid?
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Old 23-03-2009, 18:05   #3
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X-temp,
What is the normal cross sectional shape? Circular? If so, likely could replace with stock tubing. Wouldn't be tapered, but would work.

Otherwise, unless it is badly distorted, welding should be OK, if it is a weldable alloy. If concerned about strength, whittle down a hardwood dowel to approximate the interior shape of the tube and epoxy it inside using thickened epoxy mish-mash. Keeps it from kinking and adds considerably to the compressive strength.

You also might consider installing a water softener until you go south!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 23-03-2009, 18:26   #4
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Whaaa....?

You expect yourself to prethink of that problem???????
I think it is within the realm of possibility.
But I didn't catch it and now have the opportunity to postthink it . I suppose it will be far more silly if you read about this (from me) again next year.
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Have you ever hear of it happening before? Is it common up there where H2O gets solid?
I'm a new sailor, didn't know what a sailboat mast was a year and a half ago, but I have live in Canada all my life (water freezes and expands every year). I also work in construction and am forever reviewing and protecting temporary services for projects.
I don't mind dynamics and dealing with them, do it all day everyday. I do try not to be the variable.
Anyway, I'll get over it (that and alot more).
Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Extemp.
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Old 23-03-2009, 19:00   #5
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X-temp,
What is the normal cross sectional shape? Circular? If so, likely could replace with stock tubing. Wouldn't be tapered, but would work. Otherwise, unless it is badly distorted, welding should be OK, if it is a weldable alloy.
Jim
It's not round, more flat/oval with sharp edges (where it split). Kind of like an airplane wing with 2 trailing edges and symmetrical top and bottom surfaces (not like a wing).
Because water expands so wonderfully it has just made the profile more bulged then it was. I think it will be easy to get back very close to the original profile before welding.
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X-temp,
If concerned about strength, whittle down a hardwood dowel to approximate the interior shape of the tube and epoxy it inside using thickened epoxy mish-mash. Keeps it from kinking and adds considerably to the compressive strength.
Jim
The fact that it is such a critical component and where failure would be disastrous has me concerned. The stresses on these spreaders (upper) must be tremendous. Once the profile has been distorted once, it will distort that much easier a second time. Filling it with wood (or something) and helping it maintain its shape I could see would help immensely, from a structural point of view.
Anyone have a ball park on what spreaders alone would be worth (not a fair question, I'm sure)? It's a 50 foot mast with 2 sets of spreaders.
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You also might consider installing a water softener until you go south!
Cheers,
Jim
The type of water softener I need is ONLY sold down south. Not many companies are willing to ship it to Canada and if they are even willing to try, the shipping costs are just stupid! Also as I understand it, the duty on it is ridicules. Only the VERY rich can afford to bring it in.

Thanks Jim.
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Old 23-03-2009, 22:59   #6
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I would call a rigger and tell your story. I replaced the spreaders on my old catalina 30, (wood to aluminum). It may be pretty easy.

s/v MYSTIC San Diego
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Old 24-03-2009, 00:14   #7
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I would be worried about the work-hardening of aluminium and the parts on both sides of the split, where it didn't split yet. These could be weakened. This might also be a weld all along that edge.

I also wonder if maybe there already was some compression damage before the ice expanded. That spreader must have been completely filled with water!

I would replace both and inspect the other spreaders for similar signs of damage. But a rigger should do that, they must see this sort of thing all the time.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 24-03-2009, 17:10   #8
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I have to ask if you're SURE the damage was caused by water inside the spreader turning to ice. I'm not real sure that a spreader would be watertight - look at the mounting at the mast. It would have to be welded / gasket sealed there as well as on the outboard ends. Then figure in any riveted eyes for flag halyards, etc and you have a fairly porous tube with lots of water exit points.

Also, if your mast was stored in the position shown in the photo, then the spreader would have to have been completely full in order to split at the top like that.

Doesn't make sense to me....
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Old 24-03-2009, 20:38   #9
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I think Mark and Nick raise good points. This should be easy to assess by a rigger and replacement may be the better solution and not that much cost. The failure seems odd and the resaons may not be so clear.
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Old 24-03-2009, 23:54   #10
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I'm cheap (uh frugal) but I would replace it and not try to weld it. Aluminum loses significant amounts of strength (>40% depending on the alloy) when welded. Spreaders are in pure compression and it will be lots weaker after welding.
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Old 25-03-2009, 18:01   #11
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Originally Posted by mike hollins View Post
I would call a rigger and tell your story. I replaced the spreaders on my old catalina 30, (wood to aluminum). It may be pretty easy.

s/v MYSTIC San Diego
I have no doubt that it would be easy, except to paying the bill.
I was quoted $850.00usd plus exchange, shipping, tax and brokerage fees from the States to Canada for a pair of new ones from Off-Shore Spar (original manufacture). Plus I also would have to ship one of my old ones to them first in order to match them.
Is this expensive, the base price I mean?
Can I have some one local make them or would matching them be a problem?
How much were yours?

Thanks,
Extemp.
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Old 25-03-2009, 18:12   #12
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I would be worried about the work-hardening of aluminium and the parts on both sides of the split, where it didn't split yet. These could be weakened. This might also be a weld all along that edge.

I also wonder if maybe there already was some compression damage before the ice expanded. That spreader must have been completely filled with water!

I would replace both and inspect the other spreaders for similar signs of damage. But a rigger should do that, they must see this sort of thing all the time.

cheers,
Nick.
Any reason you think there may have been some compression damage already?
It may very well have been filled (close to full) with water, it was turned and sloped downward.
I've waffled (internal brain function description) a bit, but I think I've convince myself to replace them.
It's now just a matter of educating myself and getting "best value".
Any suggestions?

Regards,
Extemp.
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Old 25-03-2009, 18:37   #13
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I have to ask if you're SURE the damage was caused by water inside the spreader turning to ice. I'm not real sure that a spreader would be watertight - look at the mounting at the mast. It would have to be welded / gasket sealed there as well as on the outboard ends. Then figure in any riveted eyes for flag halyards, etc and you have a fairly porous tube with lots of water exit points.

Also, if your mast was stored in the position shown in the photo, then the spreader would have to have been completely full in order to split at the top like that.

Doesn't make sense to me....
I'm convinced it was freezing water. I'll check for sure but I think at the end that the shrouds go by is solid with a cap piece trapping the shrouds after that. Sometimes we get rain at JUST above freezing temperature and then it will freeze. This would leave any small holes plugged. After that, it would have to go above freezing quit a bit and for a bit of time in order that the holes unplugged. Depending on the cycle, this could allow much more water in the second time (in the larger upper openings) with nowhere for it to go. Then it would be full of water and once frozen would expand and split the spreader easily. It may sound like pretty bad luck to have this come about this way, but I can see it easily playing out something like this.
Also from the picture picture, it's hard to appreciate how much of an angle (downward) the spreader is at.

Regardless of how it got this way, I'm sure I will replace them instead of trying to fix it. I also know that I did not sail my boat that hard that there was, at anytime an overly stressed situation.
I suppose it could have just been defective/weak, but I don't think so.

Regards,
Extemp.
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Old 25-03-2009, 18:46   #14
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I think Mark and Nick raise good points. This should be easy to assess by a rigger and replacement may be the better solution and not that much cost. The failure seems odd and the resaons may not be so clear.
I won't rule out other possiblities, but until I get a closer look, that's how I've got it figured.
Can you tell me about the different quality of spreaders and or gauge, or other things I don't know about spreaders?

Thanks,
Extemp.
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Old 25-03-2009, 18:49   #15
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I'm cheap (uh frugal) but I would replace it and not try to weld it. Aluminum loses significant amounts of strength (>40% depending on the alloy) when welded. Spreaders are in pure compression and it will be lots weaker after welding.
Thanks,
I sure it's just not worth taking a chance on.

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