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Old 02-11-2015, 06:28   #1
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Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

I noticed it this morning near my marina

The mast on this boat is one of the highest at the marina maybe 45' plus. The mast had broken maybe 6' below the top with the head of the mainsail now below the new top of the mast and maybe 4' off vertical at a down facing 45 degree angle. Not a pretty site.

This is why I noticed it because I was trying to figure out from the road while driving and at the angle I had to the boat if he had some type of weird topmast sail section.

Looked to be a masthead rig since the furler was still hanging from the masthead which is now maybe 4' below the new mast top.

I was thinking if this happened to a singlehander or anyone else well offshore without the ability to get up to the top of the mast it could be a rather huge problem if the wind increased and the seas became large. This guy is lucky because it's dead calm this morning and he is near a boatyard.

Even if you had say a mast mate or something there is a problem because the halyard is still attached to the broken part of the mast........

It did look to have maybe a babystay where you might be able to get 2/3rds to 3/4ths the way up then figure out a plan from there but if it was rough it could still be a problem
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:34   #2
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

Are there any low bridges nearby?

Seems like most mast failures offshore tend to occur in the bottom half of the mast so getting up the rig is prolly your least concern when it happens.
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:36   #3
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

Yea...

You'd be in some serious doo doo with that problem and big winds and seas...


I don't know anybody who had a stick break that didn't come to the deck...
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:09   #4
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Are there any low bridges nearby?

Seems like most mast failures offshore tend to occur in the bottom half of the mast so getting up the rig is prolly your least concern when it happens.
There's one low bridge but it would have broken the mast below 1/2 way up. No, he had a clear shot in from the bay.

They will probably go over to Cobb's Marina (boatyard) for repairs. Maybe they will post something on their Facebook Page about it.

He is at Vining's Marina (Taylor's Landing) now which is right by the highway and very convenient for cruisers looking to restock. There's a Food World within one mile and a marine parts store (with used and new parts including sails) within 1/2 mile.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:09   #5
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

i saw it too live on my boat at bay point maybe lynnhaven inlet bridge looks about the right height anyway josh will know if u c him
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:40   #6
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

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i saw it too live on my boat at bay point maybe lynnhaven inlet bridge looks about the right height anyway josh will know if u c him
Okay, Thanks. So you saw him coming in this morning as he went by Bay Point?

I'm thinking he would have known not to try going under the Lesner Bridge.

ActiveCaptain says 35' at high water for that bridge and his mast was one of the tallest in the area.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:45   #7
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Okay, Thanks. So you saw him coming in this morning as he went by Bay Point?

I'm thinking he would have known not to try going under the Lesner Bridge.

ActiveCaptain says 35' at high water for that bridge and his mast was one of the tallest in the area.
I think the low bridge was mentioned as an aid to repair not as cause of damage.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:50   #8
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

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I think the low bridge was mentioned as an aid to repair not as cause of damage.
Maybe, but doubtful. (nice idea though with the right bridge and tide)

The current is super strong there. We on kayaks have to paddle at top speed and hide behind pilings coming in on an outgoing tide just to get in.

There is a second span under construction at this time also. The traffic (road), and there is a ton of it, has been rerouted just a bit.

There is a lot of water traffic as well.

The pilot boats exit and enter under this bridge and we have lots and lots of container ships and ships period coming in from the Atlantic here.

I think Sea Tow may be coming in and out of there a lot also.

There is a boat ramp near there too.

It's a very busy place..........
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:00   #9
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

about 30 years ago, I was helping a friend bring a coronado 32..I think it was...from Galviston to Ft Myers in a single passage...we were young;-)... the winds were close to 15 knots out of the NNE. We stayed a ways off shore to keep the wind...so I think it was 80 to 100 miles off as we rounded towards the south the mast broke at the spreaders. It hung for a few minutes...which seemed longer... we let the sheets go right away manage to get the Genie down without too much damage and then the top piece of the mast came down. the lower shrouds stayed in place, not sure how that happened...long time ago...as the top piece came down it ripped the main at the luff. we managed to clear up the mess. We didn't have much fuel and probably could have made Dog island or Crystal river. No yard in either pace. we took a chance and I shimmied up the mast with some line and was able to tie it off and then rig a fore and aft stay with a makeshift pulley set up for halyards. Taped and died the Genie to the boom and used a storm jib at the head. We sailed at about 4 knots with the wind off our quarter to Tampa bay bought fuel and motored down to Ft Myers. We found a used surplus down near Naples and got an other mast. I fixed the hole in the deck the mast head caused and had to go. He finished the task and ended up refurbishing the boat and sold it for a small profit. It was exciting to say the least, we had some cuts and bruises, still have a scare on the back of my leg where a strand of a stay stabbed me on the way back down the mast. I inspect the spreader area on the mast for corrosion, these days. To me that wasn't the worst tho. there was a knock down and sinking in a 23 ft irwin in Tampa bay in the '70s won't go into that embarrassment. All of it due to lack of experience and fore thought and a good measure of EGO. I must be tuff as I was sure dumb, back then. The immortality of youth, ahi?
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:12   #10
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
I noticed it this morning near my marina

The mast on this boat is one of the highest at the marina maybe 45' plus. The mast had broken maybe 6' below the top with the head of the mainsail now below the new top of the mast and maybe 4' off vertical at a down facing 45 degree angle. Not a pretty site.

This is why I noticed it because I was trying to figure out from the road while driving and at the angle I had to the boat if he had some type of weird topmast sail section.

Looked to be a masthead rig since the furler was still hanging from the masthead which is now maybe 4' below the new mast top.

I was thinking if this happened to a singlehander or anyone else well offshore without the ability to get up to the top of the mast it could be a rather huge problem if the wind increased and the seas became large. This guy is lucky because it's dead calm this morning and he is near a boatyard.

Even if you had say a mast mate or something there is a problem because the halyard is still attached to the broken part of the mast........

It did look to have maybe a babystay where you might be able to get 2/3rds to 3/4ths the way up then figure out a plan from there but if it was rough it could still be a problem
I guess that at sea you could try to complete the destruction by cranking the backstay down with a winch. Either something like that or sit there frozen with fear.
A year ago a 10 m yacht on a marina near mine had a broken bent mast ( sail down) I asked the owner what had happened, expecting a dramatic storm story.
He sheepishly said that he had hit Auckland Harbour Bridge. It has a navigation span of as I recall around 170'. He had been taking some friends for a motor and was talking to them and the strong king tide currents washed them under a lower span.
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:25   #11
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

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Originally Posted by roberthowell View Post
i saw it too live on my boat at bay point maybe lynnhaven inlet bridge looks about the right height anyway josh will know if u c him
The boat is still at Vining's and I happened to see Josh down there. He said the port upper spreader had failed and the port side rod rigging. The sail is still up.

The boat is a C&C 40 with keel stepped mast. Backstay and forestay are hanging loose with the masthead. Lowers are still good.

I asked Josh how would he handle the problem if offshore? He said he'd climb the mast using the mainsail slides (or spaces between I'm thinking) then secure himself at the top and work from there at least to get the sail down.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:14   #12
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Re: Broken Mast (with mainsail still up)

The boat is now at Cobb's Marina/Boatyard. Sail is down, mast still broken in same position.

So, now what do they do? Repair this one (inner aluminum section riveted?) or find a replacement for a C&C 40?

My experience is just replace. One bent mast (Hobie 16). Found/borrowed a replacement from an abandoned boat. Broken Carbon Fiber Nacra F-17 Mast. New replacement in 2003 was $4,500.00 plus new main which got stretched. $1,000. Plus other odds and ends.
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