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Old 18-02-2016, 17:45   #1
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Mast step issues, Bristol 24, deck stepped mast

Ahoy folks,

So I'm in the process of making an offer on a 1976 Bristol 24. I've just had the boat surveyed and an issue did arise with the mast step. The shrouds are very loose, as it's winter and the boat hasn't been sailed in over a year, so the rigging hasn't been tuned up. However the problem is, the mast seemed to jiggle/move when it was pushed/pulled from port to starboard. This indicates a problem with the mast step, the surveyor reckons (deck stepped mast).

There is also some cracking in the fiberglass above the archway to the v-berth, which is essentially the compression support for the mast.

There is no cracking on deck around the mast, or any signs of sloping, which the surveyor reckons does not indicate a compression problem. But he suggests dropping the mast, seeing what's going on under there and either repairing it or having it repaired before raising sail. Which I fully agree with.

However the boat is only a bit more than $3,000---and I'd hate to have a HUGE expense (i.e. thousands!!) right off the bat...does anyone have any suggestions as to what the problem might be and what kind of solution might be needed?

I;m still new to sailboats (only been sailing a few years) and this is the first sailboat I will be buying and owning outright, so if my description seems lacking it's because I'm a newbie

Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 19-02-2016, 04:36   #2
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Re: Mast step issues, Bristol 24, deck stepped mast

I would run away from it. Don't believe the shrouds are loose for the season... they are loose because the mast is sinking.
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Old 19-02-2016, 04:48   #3
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Re: Mast step issues, Bristol 24, deck stepped mast

If you haven't yet, I would suggest posting on the Bristol owners Yahoo group. It's a very active and helpful group.

I don't know about the mast jiggling (maybe it's because the shrouds are so loose?), but I can say that the cracking in the fiberglass above the archway seems to be pretty common on Bristol 24s. There were a few old threads about it on the Yahoo group, and if I remember correctly it's caused by over tensioning the rig. Our first boat was a Bristol 24 that had the same cracking and it didn't prove to be a problem. It was a tough little boat that handled whatever conditions we were brave enough to tackle.

Good luck.
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