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Old 09-05-2012, 21:24   #1
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Another Lousy Day in Paradise - and Then -

[B]DISMASTED!!! BLEW OUT THE MAIN IN 4 PIECES!!
On a starboard tack, close hauled, 35knts - 45-50 knt gusts.
Two much pressure on the old girl! Those 71yr old mahogany masts finally blew!
No one hurt, no sails torn! Still got the mizzen!!
This happen about 3pm today - I'm going to mix myself a drink or two now!!
More later---
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Old 09-05-2012, 21:48   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoduck
DISMASTED!!! BLEW OUT THE MAIN IN 4 PIECES!!
On a starboard tack, close hauled, 35knts - 45-50 knt gusts.
Two much pressure on the old girl! Those 71yr old mahogany masts finally blew!
No one hurt, no sails torn! Still got the mizzen!!
This happen about 3pm today - I'm going to mix myself a drink or two now!!
More later---
Ouch... Take a few libations and think about it tomorrow.

Any idea of the faliure point? Mast or rigging?

What was the boat speed? Reefed?

Sorry - so many questions...

I had a stay failure a couple of years ago. 8 on board, 6 on the rail, full sails, 6 1/2 knots, close hauled - boom! We were very lucky the rig stayed up.
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Old 09-05-2012, 22:28   #3
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Re: Another shitty day in paradise - and then -

71 yr old mahogany mast finally blew up! What a rush!!
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:34   #4
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Re: Another shitty day in paradise - and then -

As a fellow owner of a boat with a tree growing out of the cabin top I would be interested to hear your thoughts on what happened.
Spreader failure, mast over the side?
Compression failure due to failed glue joints in hollow mast?
Standing rigging let go?
My tree is a 47yr old Douglas fir with one splice in each of 4 sides, staggered 20ft from top on sides, 20ft from bottom fore 'n aft.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:56   #5
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Re: Another shitty day in paradise - and then -

Sounds like a good day.. You kept your mizzen, sails and no one was killed. I am impressed you still had rag up in winds gusting to 50 knots.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:03   #6
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Re: Another shitty day in paradise - and then -

Sounds like you were tempting fate a bit having the main up in those winds but glad youre all ok and good to see youve not had a sense of humour failure about it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:28   #7
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Re: Another shitty day in paradise - and then -

Pics would be nice.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:26   #8
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Re: Another shitty day in paradise - and then -

My boat's sitting on the hard in Everett and yesterday the gusts were making her shake good. That wind out of the North has always been rough. I was thinking too that being out on the water I'd have to have her reefed all the time b/c of the gusts.

So sorry to hear you got hit with one of those trains that blow threw here once in a while. But I hear Charlie up in Bellingham can build you a new one, if it's broken up too bad.

It's odd, yesterday picking through my mahogany I noticed some great differences in its strength. Some pieces were soft and others hard and deciding which to use for sistering up my deck joists inside the cabin. I don't think they make masts from mahogany anymore.

Anyway, glad to hear no one got hurt. And hope the boat faired well too!
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:38   #9
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Re: Another shitty day in paradise - and then -

Yeah- Mahogany certainly isnt my choice - too heavy, cracks and splits easily. The boat being built in Thialand in 1941. They must have had more mahogany than spuce or fir.
The mast broke off in 4 pieces - above & below the 1st spreader, and another big chunk below that. The top of the mast is still hanging from the mizzen triatic stay - I'll have to go aloft to cut it loose.
We left James Island about 1pm and headed across to the cut between Burrows and Allen Island. The weather called for 15 - 25knts by late afternoon - we had a great sail across with everything up. Had a rough spot going through a tide rip but other than that, just a great sail. When we got to the other side in the cut the wind switched around out of the west and pretty much died out I dropped the mizzen and had to start the motor to make any speed. Once we got through the cut and out in Burrows Bay, the wind was coming south in strong gusts - we were close hauled heading to Bowman Bay not more than a mile from Allen Island private dock when a gust of wind layed us over on our ear - I had up a working jib and the main with the mizzen down - not that much sail. I was pointing up when we got hit by the gust and as soon as I got stood back up, the wind hit like a freight train, shook the whole rig like a rag doll and down she came! I got clobbered by one of those willy waa's that blow off the top of an island? Reminded me of a Mexican chubasco wind without the heat wave!
Anyway, I was lucky enough to be close to the dock on Allen Island- so I tied up to untangle the mess and 2 hrs later, we motored on to Skyline with a wrecked ship!
That'll give them something to talk about!
The mast had begun to rot from the inside out as I suspected - the worst being at the second spreader. But suprisingly enough, it wasnt that bad. one part of the mast - the 1st break - had no rot at all. One of the lower spreaders broke off. The section of the mast that broke above & below the lower spreaders was about 3 feet long. This mast had one weakness in the rigging where it still had the old fashioned double diamond which would account for the way it broke I suspect.
Anyway, onward and upward!
Aluminum? Maybe. It would stiffen up the boat, which would help. Being shoal draft, she's a little tender, but I dont want to quicken the roll either. I'd just as soon git rid of the mizzen and make a cutter out of her but that would mean new sails and the ones I've got are perfect so that's out.
My wife says we should just build a wheel house on her and call it good. I dont think she is going to be into sailing again for a while! I told her she should be thankful for the experience! It's not everyday you get dismasted!
Any one with wooden masts should know that they rot from the inside out and can sound solid as a rock when sounding with a hammer - mine did. The only way to tell would be by boring.
Are we having FUN yet???
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:44   #10
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Re: Another shitty day in paradise - and then -

mahogany rots in air. please replace with decent spruce. they do not rot in air. they are more resistant to rot.
sorry about your damage. please replace with a hard wood that works. i love spruce....so far....gooood luck and smooth sailing.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:54   #11
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Re: Another shitty day in paradise - and then -

Cheaply...there are hundreds of used Aluminum spars out there. If you wanted the natural look, you could faux paint it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 19:58   #12
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Originally Posted by zeehag
mahogany rots in air. please replace with decent spruce. they do not rot in air. they are more resistant to rot.
sorry about your damage. please replace with a hard wood that works. i love spruce....so far....gooood luck and smooth sailing.
Yup. At 71 years old that Mahogany was garbage - LOL

Reef for the gusts...

As my brother learned his very heavy ferro he learned he can carry a lot of sail and the boat is well hardened so all seems fine. Unfortunately at 6+ knots boat speed the rig loads are huge and he blew the main. $2,000 lesson in boat limits.
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Old 10-05-2012, 20:18   #13
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Re: Another Lousy Day in Paradise - and Then -

...Ya...that's the first time I heard Mahogany rots in air...another authoritative statement.
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Old 10-05-2012, 20:59   #14
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Re: Another Lousy Day in Paradise - and Then -

Not sure if your mast is square or round. If it is round Bellingham has the largest mast lathe in the world.

Pacific Northwest Boating News: On Watch | How one of the biggest lathes turned a tree into a 120-foot-tall mast | Three Sheets Northwest
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Old 10-05-2012, 21:18   #15
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Re: Another Lousy Day in Paradise - and Then -

G'Day Geo,

Sorry to hear about that... it's a bad experience for sure.

Ann and I were dismasted in our previous boat back in '96. Our aluminium tree was only about 25 years old, so your mahogany didn't do too badly. You were fortunate to be so close to shelter, and it sounds like you handled it well. We were about 75 miles SE of Cape Moreton in the Coral Sea, and I was sure glad that we had enough diesel to get to land. Didn't have much left on deck to make a jury rig out of...

We ended up with a much better spar in the long run... and much less money. I hope that your outcome is as good.

Cheers,

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