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Old 09-03-2012, 13:17   #1
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How Long is Too Long to Store a Mast?

I have 3 more years before I can comfortably leave the corp life and go sailing... but would like to get the boat (a 46x25' CAT) earlier and start messing around with it... this means I need to get it as close to Atlanta as possible and I have narrowed down the choices to either Chattanoga via the Miss & Tenn Rivers or Augusta via the Savannah River. In either case I am going to have to leave the mast at the port of entry as there are too many fixed bridges at far less than that the 70' clearance I would need...

So, this means perhaps leaving the mast at a yard for 3 yrs.... I have visions of coming back to pick it up and it not being there or it was back over by a fork lift a few times... has anyone ever stored a mast that long? I wonder what they would charge...

I know I could buy a trawler version but I really like sailing and that is what I want once I get out of corp jail... guess I could buy a trawler now and trade it in on a sailing version later... hum...maybe...

Anyway, thoughts on storing a mast for 3yrs ? Dumb idea?

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Old 09-03-2012, 13:26   #2
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

Too bad the beam is so large on the cat. Otherwise you could have it trucked to your back yard in Atlanta, well unless you live in Buckhead.

I had my 42 Pearson trucked to central Florida and have had my mast stored for over 2 years. I built a rack for it and made sure it was completely flat and level. Wanted to make sure when I put it back up it would still be straight. Otherwise don't see any problems. People store masts for years on a regular basis while overhauling old boats.

If you are leaving it at a marina or some other place out of your control I would make really sure that it was insured or someone would be responsible for getting the mast back to you in the same condition you left it. I have heard of issues with boat insurance NOT covering a mast that was not in/on the boat so I would confirm that with your insurance carrier. If they don't cover it then get something in writing from wherever you store the mast.
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Old 09-03-2012, 13:29   #3
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

By the way, have you thought about up the Chattahoochee to Columbus? Depending on which side of Atlanta you are on that might be closer.
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Old 09-03-2012, 13:50   #4
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

Thanks Skip... no I have not thought about that... is there enough water in the Chattahoochee up to Columbus, I would need about 4ft... I assume there are fixed bridges that way too... but I will "fly" over it tonight on google earth...

It would be farther than Chattanoga and about the same as Augusta.. so worth thinking about...

I did also toy around with the idea of trying to get it lifted/trucked into the J Storm Thurmond Reservoir but I bet that would not be cheap... Still if I could get it into JSTR I would at least be able to sail it til I head out... kinda cold in the winter thou...

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Old 09-03-2012, 14:18   #5
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

Mine was in storage for ten years before i bought my boat, so no big deal.
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Old 09-03-2012, 14:44   #6
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

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Originally Posted by capcook View Post
Thanks Skip... no I have not thought about that... is there enough water in the Chattahoochee up to Columbus, I would need about 4ft... I assume there are fixed bridges that way too... but I will "fly" over it tonight on google earth...

It would be farther than Chattanoga and about the same as Augusta.. so worth thinking about...

I did also toy around with the idea of trying to get it lifted/trucked into the J Storm Thurmond Reservoir but I bet that would not be cheap... Still if I could get it into JSTR I would at least be able to sail it til I head out... kinda cold in the winter thou...

Cheers
Cost me $1200 to move the boat 80 miles from Green Cove Springs to Gainesville (FL not GA) but I only have 13' beam. For your beam would take special permits, night move only, double escorts and possibly more. But even if it costs $2-$3000 to move it you will more than save that cost in storage (if you have a place close to home you can park it) and driving time back and forth to the boat.

From my house the closest boat yard is almost 2 hour drive one way. I have the boat on my property just outside town and its 20 mins away. At that distance I can go out after work and work on the boat. If I forget some essential tool or part at home it's close enough I can go back to get it.

I used to live on Lake Lanier and met some guys with a 60' wood ketch on the lake so I know you can get bigger boats into the area.

Not sure what draft will make it to Columbus but they do advertise themselves as a port city and think they used to run barges up that far. I think 4' might make it if the levels aren't down too far due to drought.
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Old 09-03-2012, 15:00   #7
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

I can't imagine having to worry about mast storage. We have both indoor and outdoor mast ffacilities at torresen in Muskegon, Mich. Stuff is safe here. The stick would be untouched if we never paid storage fees. The midwest is great. If you really worry, carry the stick on deck. I personally would rather have it available even if it lay over the deck the whole time. You never know when you will want to add something to it or re-wire.
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Old 09-03-2012, 15:15   #8
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

The biggest thing you'll need to worry about even if you find a good yard to store it in is the financial viability of the yard. If they go bankrupt, getting your mast out could be a real hassle. Other than that, Should be no problem at a good storage yard. Strip off all the running rigging and stick on clear identifiers of who to call if there is an issue.
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Old 09-03-2012, 15:45   #9
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

I wouldn't store it for that long. Days only.

The workers will forget it's there and sooner or later one will be careless and it'll get damaged.

On the other hand the crims will always know where it is, and anytime any of them needs a spare part you're running the local store.

I built a boat in Wewak. One of the locals backed a truck into it a while after I sold it.

I'd strongly suggest that you not buy an expensive boat until you're ready to get the full use of it. Get something cheap and suitable for the area and sell it when it's time.
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Old 09-03-2012, 15:55   #10
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

Pull the mast and either carry horizontally on deck as Nicholson58 suggested or have it trucked home.
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Old 09-03-2012, 17:48   #11
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

Don't know how flexible your hours are, but over the years I've seen a lot of Atlanta folk keep their boats at St. Simons Island and commute most weekends during the sailing season.
There are also marinas in Brunswick these days.
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Old 09-03-2012, 19:01   #12
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Re: How long is too long to store a mast ??

I guess I don't get it. Maybe its just a midwest thing. Most of us leave our hatches blocked open all winter and I store materials below the hull. There are several mast racks outdoors and many more indoors. Masts are commonly packed away with radar units installed as well as other equipment and halyards. Nothing ever happens to any of it and the yard is never locked. If yard storage is a problem then keep the stick with the boat or find a farmer with a pole barn who can store it for you. If you truely can't use the boat for a few years then don't buy, store, insure, worry about it. You might even change your mind by then.

BTW, put your mast as high in the rack as possible. There are two more shelves below the snow in this photo.
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Old 10-03-2012, 00:55   #13
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I recently bought a carbon fibre mast and rigging that had been stored in the open in a Texas boatyard. All good but was just a small town where everyone knew everything. I agree that main risk is financial viability of the yard and changing personnel.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:04   #14
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Re: How Long is Too Long to Store a Mast?

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I recently bought a carbon fibre mast and rigging that had been stored in the open in a Texas boatyard. All good but was just a small town where everyone knew everything. I agree that main risk is financial viability of the yard and changing personnel.
Took these yesterday from the never locked entry gate. I have never heard of anyone having a problem.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:52   #15
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Re: How Long is Too Long to Store a Mast?

You should have it shrink wrapped if you store it. The yucky dust in those places gets into everything. Also, the bees will nest inside the mast. Maybe take the rigging home.... easy to steal. A mast no so easy to steal. Up here the boneheads are stealing everything metal; house wiring, copper pipe, bronze fire hose caps, highway bridge railing! etc.
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