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Old 21-09-2005, 15:09   #1
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Broken Mast

I spoke with a broker today about a boat that I'm interested in on YW. He told me that this 43' boat had recently fallen off its stands and subsequently suffered a broken mast (somewhere near the top). Instead of replacing it, the owner had the mast company make a sleeve that fits inside the broken sections.

Is this a common repair technique and considered safe? It sounds like a dangerous patch to me.

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Old 21-09-2005, 15:26   #2
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Done properly it's not a problem. Some masts are made in two sections, one sleeved into the other and through riveted.
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Old 21-09-2005, 17:00   #3
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I forget which manufacturer advised me, that the inner sleeve connector must be at least 3 times as long as the wider dimension (diameter) of an “oval” extrustion. That is the overlap must be at least 1.5 times largest diameter - on each side of the splice. Fasteners, exposed to the elements, must be drilled and tapped, and spaced closely (perhaps 1.5" centres). I wouldn’t use blind rivets in any location.

As Rick I said,”Done properly it's not a problem” - especially nearer the ends.

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Old 21-09-2005, 19:05   #4
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If it fell hard enough to break the mast, I would be far more concerned about the integrity of the hull than the mast. I would make sure whatever surveyor you hire knows the specifics of how and where it fell.
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Old 21-09-2005, 19:39   #5
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According to the broker, the hull only suffered a few scrapes below the water line that have already been repaired. I am concerned about other (unseen) damage to the hull, bulkheads and standing rigging.

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Old 21-09-2005, 20:01   #6
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That is what I am thinking. Seperation of bulkheads from the hull, and crushed fiberglass covered by a thin patch would give me real pause while considering the purchase of this boat. Not to say that the repairs could not have been done right, but anytime someone tells me that it is just a scratch, I get worried. Consider the force put on the fiberglass if the boat weighs 10000-20000, and fell over on it's beam. the impact point would have traveled 8' to 10' before hitting the ground. That is a lot of force on an inch or less of fiberglass. And, if the mast broke at the top, that means lots of stress on the chainplates and rig, as well as the deck. I think removing a chain plate for one of the upper shrouds on the downside of the impact would tell you something.
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Old 21-09-2005, 23:49   #7
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Kirby, you have a Broker you can trust that much?? Mate, buy him, Marry him, whatever, just don't lose him. A Broker you can trust that much is rare, very rare and probably worth their weight (literaly) in Gold
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Old 22-09-2005, 07:19   #8
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Personal Opinion...

This may or may not be "accepted practice" among surveyors, etc... but I would RUN, not walk away from any boat that fell of its jack stands.

Too many things could go wrong with such an enormous impact. Even if there isn't structural damage (bukheads, hull, stringers, chainplates, etc...) there might be incidental damage to things like the water system, electrical, and any other equipment on board.

Take it from me. I looked at a bunch of "bargain boats" before I found a good price on the one I just purchased. Each bargain boat had some issue with it that when properly accounted for in terms of dollars... made the total purchase price about equal to a good boat at market value.

I wouldn't take a chance on it. It's way too much money to risk the unknowns of a large impact like that. Even things that don't come up in survey could have been affected by the "great crash." Things that will work one day, and break the next.

Just be patient and keep on looking. I'm sure there are more of these model boats out there you can see. I flew about 1000 miles (and then sailed back about 1300 miles) to find the right boat.

Good luck... and keep looking!
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Old 22-09-2005, 14:00   #9
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Old 22-09-2005, 14:26   #10
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The story is still cloudy, but a few details are starting to emerge. As I now understand it, the boat didn't actually crash to the ground. Instead, it gently floated to Earth cradled by angels. Well, maybe not angels. I was told that it slid off of the stands and fell against another boat, breaking the mast in the process. So far, no photos of the incident, no documentation, nada.

If this boat wasn't in such great condition (excluding the gentle crash), I would mark it off my list. For now, I'll just continue to express concern to this owner while I look for another boat. I have all winter to shop.
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Old 22-09-2005, 18:02   #11
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Softened impact

Masts don't break easily. The impact of the fall may have been borne by the mast and not damaged the hull. I would look for damage at the end of the mast and the structures surrounding it. The broken mast could be the boats savior. I wouldn't give up on it just yet.
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