Originally Posted by andreas.mehlin
Is this the Windswept who lost it's mast around the marshall islands?
I can't go anywhere without people showing up who know of my boat and part of the story behind it and the wonderful people that built it. Yes this boat is Windswept, and yes it was demasted near the Marshall Islands.
To share with you background data:
This was the 2nd trimaran built by the former owners. It was built for their retirement
and they sailed it around the South Pacific
for nearly 7 years.
It is my belief that the sail plan designer
was the root cause of the demasting. The designer
should have focused on who would sail the boat. A retired couple that frequently sailed with no crew. Instead, the designer supplied called for a 79ft rotating mast with a full baton main sail and a large head
sail. Yes Windswept won races. However, in general the boat was just too fast no matter how much they reduced sail. They told me they usually just kept the main on the third reef.
The mast was supported with a main forestay that also supported a head
sail and two backwards leading side stays located at the 7/8th mark. This is the same design found by the way on most multihulls. The problem with this design is a single
failure leads to a demasting.
I entered the picture on a sailing trip from Thailand to Hawaii
. The Marshall Islands were on the way and I just experienced stepping and rigging
a mast in Thailand. Therefore, I was no afraid to take on the project. I jury rigged a mast from a light post and made up to 200 nautical miles made good in a single
My background is engineering. More specifically I sold the equipment
that helped makes power plants and oil
refineries safer. I wouldn't have sold much equipment
if it had the safety
integrity level of tri-pod supported mast. Further, none of my clients would have accepted the continual headache of full baton main sails
. Therefore, I spent the entire trip trying to figure out how to build a safer rig.
I haven't been alone in this search, however, I was starting with a fantastic platform to work from. Crowther is the one that gave me the idea that mounting the mast in the back of the boat is a valid position for a multi-hull. His boat Shot-Over won races and is still sailing today. Instead of a massive genoa
, as others have been doing, I turned to the history books
and looked really hard at a proven Pacific design called the crab claw
I had Rolly Tasker sails make me what are perhaps the worlds two largest crab claw sails ever to be flown. Large yes, however, they are still smaller sails and easier to move around then the sails they replaced. Wind
tunnel testing has shown crab claws are 190% more efficient then the combination of head and main sail. The biggest difference is come from the lift
provided by the crab claw. It has a greater horizontal element then the largely vertical element found in a head/main combination.
Engineering is about problem identification, and problem correction. It is my job. I wouldn't want the mast to come crashing down on me as it did here and continues to happen to others with the same design.
This is how my mast ended up on the rear box wall with a new mast step. I then simply rotated the former backward leading side stays and make them into forward leading sidestays. The net result is I cured a little problem. You can completely remove the head stays and the mast is fine. I don't intead to test this out under full sail, however, according to my math it will still stand if the main forestay were to break again.
To handle the forward pressures on the mast, I added two new chain plates and attached a spar to the back of the mast. This is currently redundant.
Lets talk about the mast. In searching the web for ideas I came across several 79ft masts nearly identical and just around 10 years old. Two sections put together placed into a shipping
container makes this size common among bigger sail boats. They were being offered pretty cheap
compared to a brand new mast complete with all the rigging. I subsequently learned why. After about 10 years there is good way to know you have a strong mast and rigging that hasn't been compromised.
The problem is corrosion
and metal fatigue. I wasn't keen on intial cost of the mast, didn't like the fact that all the rigging wire and fittings should be tossed out every 5-6 years, and certainly didn't like the idea of replacing the mast every 10 years. Therefore, I looked to other materials.
I selected wood from Laos. It is the same light and flexible wood the British Navy
used in their fleet. If it was good enough for their massive ships, it should be good enough for mine. To make it even stronger, it was bonded together with epoxy
, wrapped in fiberglass
soaked in epoxy
, then epoxy painted. A crew of 12 workers spent 6 weeks forming, shaping and finishing the mast to specifications.
To suppor the mast I selected rope
form New Zealand
. Not just any old rope
. High quality Dyneema
. Each of my rigging lines has a breaking capacity higher then the entire weight of the boat. Even though the maker advertised low stretch, I found some initial stretch on the shake down trip, and they were easy to firm up.
I will be posting
more photos here shortly.
The main reason I have not listed a price is, I am considering using a broker. I would need to consult with that person first before setting a reasonable price.
I drew out the equity on my home in Hawaii to afford this boat and all the months of changes. I also am coming up on one full year of my time in this project.
I am willing to speak off this post by private e-mail. Tell me when/where you would want to take over ownership
. I am not willing to finance.
This said, I might consider a partnership
in the boat for someone with a business plan, strong capital for the startup of the business, and my involvement to ensure the total investment is still safe. Like I said my original plan was to take it to Hawaii where it would be a perfect high-end charter
boat. However, I dont' have the funds to pay the huge docking
costs or buy a slip in Hawaii.
Photos to follow.