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Old 05-10-2010, 14:16   #16
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Originally Posted by Heikki View Post
Here in the north winter lasts seven months by international standards. Lakes and seas will be frozen solid for a good part of the winter, so boats pretty much have to be taken to the hard. Prior doing to that, most people take the mast off. With most of the boats that is likely to be the right thing to do, as hull, spar(s), and standing rigging all compress quite differently when in extremely colds. It can easily drop to -35C / -30F here. With a bad winter it gets even colder than that.

With too much tension on the shrouds, there seems to be a risk of chain plates breaking off. With not enough tension and heavy winds, there is a risk of other kinds of rigging failure. Sure enough, it is also easier to cover the boat for snow when the mast is off.

Owning a steel boat, I do leave both of the masts up/on when the boat is lifted onto the hard. Alloy compresses more than steel when in cold, but the difference is very small. I do not have to adjust the tension of shrouds and stays at all. With a steel hull, I could leave the boat on ice as well, however, I do not want to worry about any hull inlets/outlets freezing over and failing and thus sinking the boat. It is safer to have it on hard. Every spring, there also seems to be something little to do with the hull, propeller, anodes, antifouling etc. so also that works gets done when the boat is not in the water.

The spars? They can be checked out with a bozun's chair - on annual basis as a minimum.
Good answer. Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2010, 19:48   #17
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We used to remove our mast every winter for inspection. Quite easy until the boat is certain size.

I talked to the skipper of a huge Hoek yacht and he claimed the stick is pulled out every 5 years and given full reconditioning.

But if you sail mostly locally, I think all you do is just visit the top of the stick often enough and inspect. Then pull the thing out as often as you want to repaint it.

Frankly 9 times out of 10 I have seen a mast failure it was because of the rigging - chainplates, toggles, wires, etc..

The only time I have seen a mast fail was because of the area under spreader fittings.

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Old 05-10-2010, 20:02   #18
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Boat yards make money unstepping and re stepping, covering and uncovering, decommissioning and commissioning.
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Old 06-10-2010, 16:47   #19
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Boat yards make money unstepping and re stepping, covering and uncovering, decommissioning and commissioning.
DIY

I have not tried with a 40+ footer but it was very easy in a 39' of my friends.

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Old 19-10-2010, 20:06   #20
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every year here (Massachusetts).

If not, it would take down all the power lines when they take the boat from the ramp to the boat yard

It is nice to be able to clean it, check the mast head gear, etc

The price is very reasonable to not do it (at least my hauler is reasonable)
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Old 19-10-2010, 20:16   #21
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every year here (Massachusetts).

If not, it would take down all the power lines when they take the boat from the ramp to the boat yard

It is nice to be able to clean it, check the mast head gear, etc

The price is very reasonable to not do it (at least my hauler is reasonable)
Why don't they put the power lines under ground? Or does the rigger own the yard?
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Old 19-10-2010, 20:28   #22
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Why don't they put the power lines under ground? Or does the rigger own the yard?
It is hauled at the public ramp a mile or so from the boat yard.. It is the public power lines they would take down. (Don't know why they are not underground). I would still take the mast down regardless.
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Old 19-10-2010, 20:34   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
Boat yards make money unstepping and re stepping, covering and uncovering, decommissioning and commissioning.
I am still recovering from the estimate from my boat yard! Its not like I want them to rebuild the boat!

I contracted with a private hauler to haul, unstep, store (inside heated) at a fraction of the price of the boat yard.

Plus they allow owners to work on the boat, unlike the boat yard.
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Old 19-10-2010, 20:47   #24
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I do every 5 yeas mainly for the sake of the standing rigging. Stays, Spreaders, hounds, throughbolts etc. They all need to be checked and if they are suspect they should be changed. A Mast will rarely brake due to its own fault. Its usually the rigging that lets it down.
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Old 19-10-2010, 21:08   #25
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Modern bean counter thinking thinking is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". you decide. If you are bean counter you're in trouble. Does not answer your question but it's your mast.
Make sure that all the stuff holding the thing up is in good shape, chances are mast is in good shape. Note underlining. It is not a time thing.
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Old 21-10-2010, 19:14   #26
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Modern bean counter thinking thinking is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". you decide. If you are bean counter you're in trouble. Does not answer your question but it's your mast.
Make sure that all the stuff holding the thing up is in good shape, chances are mast is in good shape. Note underlining. It is not a time thing.
I can only observe that bridges, towers, and tanks are inspected without taking them apart (I do some of this work as a profession). Inspecting them in the air is quite simple and fast, and can be very though. It is NOT a bean counter thing. I have also seen masts damaged MANY TIMES by unstepping, restepping, and storage errors. I trust my inspections. I have found faults, and I have fixed them.

So, more to consider.
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Old 21-10-2010, 20:42   #27
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I can only observe that bridges, towers, and tanks are inspected without taking them apart (I do some of this work as a profession). Inspecting them in the air is quite simple and fast, and can be very though. It is NOT a bean counter thing. I have also seen masts damaged MANY TIMES by unstepping, restepping, and storage errors. I trust my inspections. I have found faults, and I have fixed them.

So, more to consider.
My point. It was the bean counters that ceased routine inspections to save money. Inspections are constant, not every 5 weeks, months or years.
I think we are on the same page.
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Old 22-10-2010, 20:00   #28
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G'day, mate. Paint or anodizing doesn't last forever on alumninum masts. At some point, the mast is going to need to have a new coating installed if you want to prolong the working life of the mast. Look for the telltale signs of corrosion and at some point you will want to address them. I had our mast pulled when we were on the hard removing all the bottom paint. We had a painted mast and the telltale signs of corrosion told us it was time to repaint. This was also a good time to thoroughly inspect the spreader roots and mast cap welds. Also a good time to make sure the mast step is in good order and ready for the next decade or 2. All the best. Cheers.
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Old 22-10-2010, 21:31   #29
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I read somewhere that every 5 years a boat's mast should be removed. I haven't done that, given the cost to do it and no problems to fix.

What have others done? Are there any reasons to remove the mast if there are no known problem?
Nah... don't worry about it... they come down on their own when they're good and ready...

A lot depends on how old it is, and if you're poodling around a bay or about to cross an ocean.
Check it out from your bosun's chair first... annual is good. If you see anything that looks questionable get a rigger to check it out, and if you're a member of a sailing club, ask around for an honest rigger.

It goes without saying... so I'll say it... check it out before any meaningful trip.
And remember the chainplates too...
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