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Old 06-04-2015, 22:35   #1
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Spreader Broke at weld

I recently bought a 1972 Columbia 26 MKII. I sailed it from Mobile, Alabama to New Orleans, Louisiana. On the 2nd night, things got a little hectic and the port spreader broke off the mast at the weld. I motored the rest of the way home. I'm just trying to figure out the best (and cheapest) way to fix the problem. Most spreaders I see are bolted on, while this was welded directly to the mast. Should I buy some bolt-on brackets and keep the same spreader bar/end? (If so, where's the best place/site to buy, and should I chop off the other one and replace it too? Will the hole in the mast be a problem?) Or should I try to get someone to re-weld it? Thanks so much for any advice.
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Old 06-04-2015, 22:40   #2
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

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Old 06-04-2015, 23:29   #3
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

Is that actually a hole in the mast now? I'd be worried about the integrity of the mast at this point. Get a pro to check it out.
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Old 06-04-2015, 23:48   #4
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

The mast is probably just fine but this will cost you some to get repaired. You'll have to pull the stick and they'll probably weld a doubler plate over the puka before reattaching the spreader. Whatever you do to this side, do to the other side as it's probably close to failing also. I've never been fond of spreaders locked to the mast. A little bit of movement fore and aft allows them to self align so you won't have the issue that you've had. A slightly larger diameter tube than the spreader welded to the mast that the spreader would slip into would allow a bit of movement.
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Old 07-04-2015, 00:12   #5
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

Spreaders welded to the mast wtf! best bet for you is to rivet a plate in both sides and bolt new spreaders or the actual ones if they are ok,
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:23   #6
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

the failure and why is not important. get a spreader kit from sparcraft and install it. it will have a bar that goes through the mast. spreaders connect at both ends. drill and tap the flange and your done. since you were motoring around with slack rigging I would check the mast to see if it is straight. all that whipping around under power may have caused it to bend permanently. considering 40 years old it may have other areas that need to be inspected weld wise. go to a welding supply store get some ink dye penetrate and check all the welds and suspect areas for cracks. weld corroded away at the flange vase from appearance. and there is plenty to suggest further deterioration
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Old 07-04-2015, 09:56   #7
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

Wow! I have a 1966 Columbia 29 MarkII with spreaders affixed to mast. The mounts look like stainless. I'm certainly going to inspect before this weekend. I like the sparcraft idea.
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Old 07-04-2015, 15:25   #8
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

The spreaders aren't actually welded to the mast. The thing that broke off was the spreader socket. The spreader slides into it, but I have no doubt that the spreader and socket are so corroded together that you'll never get them apart.

Since a substantial portion of the mast wall is now missing, fixing this problem is going to require welding a doubling plate on both sides, and then replacing the spreaders.

I like the suggestion of one of the other posters: you may be able to get a spreader mount kit from one of the spar makers still going. That may well be a LeFill mast. They made most of the spars for west coast boats, and they're still in business in LA.

In any case, the first step is going to be pulling the mast, and for that you should get a rigger or a yard involved.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-04-2015, 16:15   #9
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

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Originally Posted by sainted View Post
In any case, the first step is going to be pulling the mast, and for that you should get a rigger or a yard involved.

Best of luck!
If this is a deck stepped mast (I don't know) why not just build
a gin pole and DYI it? We do this all the time at my lake on boats up to 25'
I don't know and certainly cant reccomend a fix
so I ask this question to build my own knowledge base
Would it be feasable to obtain 2 thin stainless plates, weld a bracket on each
and then pop rivit the plates onto the mast and attache the spreaders to the brackets? Would a pop riveted on doubler be sufficiant? Or does it need to be welded on?
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Old 07-04-2015, 16:51   #10
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

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Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
If this is a deck stepped mast (I don't know) why not just build
a gin pole and DYI it? We do this all the time at my lake on boats up to 25'
I don't know and certainly cant reccomend a fix
so I ask this question to build my own knowledge base
Would it be feasable to obtain 2 thin stainless plates, weld a bracket on each
and then pop rivit the plates onto the mast and attache the spreaders to the brackets? Would a pop riveted on doubler be sufficiant? Or does it need to be welded on?
Welding on mast is a no no for us, first of all , vertical welding lines have so far no isues , longitudinal welding lines over time weak the área and we see few catastrofic failures over those welding áreas, in fact most mast makers stop welding the top of the mast heads, spreaders work in compresión, they need vertical articulation if the rigging is discontinuos and can be bolted to brackets with no articulation at all if the rigging is continuos , so you can make custom aluminium plates for both sides and rivet the plates to the mast Wall with no isues at all , i point aluminium because SS is prone to react with the aluminium if you cant isolate both materials, monel rivets do the trick , and just your imagination to fit the brackets to the plate , welding is a option... cheers.
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Old 07-04-2015, 16:59   #11
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

Hi,
Pull the mast lay it down,cut/grind corroded area tig weild spacer then spreader socket/receiver.Step mast.

was stay over taut?Hard stressed ?


All the Best
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Old 07-04-2015, 17:44   #12
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

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Welding on mast is a no no for us, first of all , vertical welding lines have so far no isues , longitudinal welding lines over time weak the área and we see few catastrofic failures over those welding áreas, in fact most mast makers stop welding the top of the mast heads, spreaders work in compresión, they need vertical articulation if the rigging is discontinuos and can be bolted to brackets with no articulation at all if the rigging is continuos , so you can make custom aluminium plates for both sides and rivet the plates to the mast Wall with no isues at all , i point aluminium because SS is prone to react with the aluminium if you cant isolate both materials, monel rivets do the trick , and just your imagination to fit the brackets to the plate , welding is a option... cheers.
Dude, a third of his mast is gone! Yeah, welding can work harden metal, but you might as well tell this guy to get a new mast. Pop riveting a plate to the side of this mast will not restore its structural integrity, and the other side of the mast is likely almost as bad.

Many spar makers weld masts. In fact, most fairly long masts (60' plus) start out as two sections which are then are welded in the middle. Any who, this is a Columbia 26. The loads on this rig are minimal.
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Old 07-04-2015, 17:53   #13
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

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Originally Posted by sainted View Post
Dude, a third of his mast is gone! Yeah, welding can work harden metal, but you might as well tell this guy to get a new mast. Pop riveting a plate to the side of this mast will not restore its structural integrity, and the other side of the mast is likely almost as bad.

Many spar makers weld masts. In fact, most fairly long masts (60' plus) start out as two sections which are then are welded in the middle. Any who, this is a Columbia 26. The loads on this rig are minimal.
No,, riveting a plate dont make any diference structural talking since the hole is small, a wide enough plate do the job and riveted, welding in such a old spar is a bad idea, and no , mast makers stop most if not all the welding , Zspar, Sparcraft, Selden, etc.. unless is especifical no structural load they Weld some stuff, and mast over 60 or less in 2 parts are joined in most cases by a sleeve and riveted, 60 ft welded in the midle , 2 parts , yeah sure, ... by the way no idea if you notice , but im a rigger by trade,,, cheers...
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Old 08-04-2015, 00:12   #14
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

When I lived on Margarita Island, Venezuela, I bought a 10m Danboat (Auberg design) that had been dismasted. The wooden box mast broke in 3 pieces. The spreaders were bolted through the mast with "L" brackets fore and aft. Beating into moderate seas caused enough movement in the mainstays that the forward windward L bracket fatigued and broke. Allowance must be made for a slight amount of movement in the spreaders.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:40   #15
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Re: Spreader Broke at weld

No knowledgeable welder will weld new aluminum to 40yr. old aluminum.
At least not with any kind of guarantee.
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