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Old 31-05-2016, 09:48   #1
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Would this make you run away?

Went to view a boat we're considering purchasing this past weekend.
Boat looks good, will get ALL the surveys done if we make an offer and it's accepted.

Question: Would this make you run away? It's the point where the mast transits through the deck. What you're seeing is black plastic shims, spray foam (expanding) and a big hose clamp holding the shims.



It looks like a fix to align the mast.

(Data point, this is a 1997 C400 with in-boom furling, maybe this is not the OEM mast?)

This was not noted in a 2014 survey, so it was either done after 2014 or it is not unusual.

Let me know if this would prevent you from making an offer.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 31-05-2016, 10:24   #2
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Re: Would this make you run away?

Shims are normal. Spray foam is probably to keep out water, so no, it would not stop me at all.
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Old 31-05-2016, 11:12   #3
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Re: Would this make you run away?

Quote:
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Shims are normal. Spray foam is probably to keep out water, so no, it would not stop me at all.
Exactly. Standard to have shims around the mast where it passes through the deck.

Reason, the hole in the deck needs to be bigger than the mast or it would be almost impossible to pull and restep the mast. The shims are then needed not for centering but to cushion and brace the mast so it doesn't flop around in the hole.
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Old 31-05-2016, 11:23   #4
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Re: Would this make you run away?

Thank you, sorry about the uneducated post, our current ride is deck-stepped.

I appreciate your help!
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Old 31-05-2016, 11:31   #5
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Re: Would this make you run away?

Like others have said, it's normal. That however is either incomplete or sloppy.


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Old 31-05-2016, 11:36   #6
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Re: Would this make you run away?

It wouldn't make me run away either, but I question the need for shims, surely if rig is properly tensioned, mast wouldn't contact deck, and surely shims wouldn't provide much if any additional stiffening to the mast?

But then the PO of my boat had a towel stuffed in that space, I never have figured out why.
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Old 31-05-2016, 11:38   #7
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Re: Would this make you run away?

I agree with all those above saying that this is quite normal and not a problem; however, I'm not a fan of that spray foam. The shims are fine, but the foam can be blocking and trapping moisture when a leak in the mast boot forms. 'and this will occur in the future. The covering from below might be there for cosmetic reasons, but I would recommend something that allows ventilation.

As the boat ages, there will be leaks. Areas like this that can trap moisture and then promote corrosion.
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Old 31-05-2016, 11:49   #8
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Re: Would this make you run away?

The shims serve to stabilize the position of the mast in the deck opening. This prevents movement that would disturb the sealant and allow water to enter.
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Old 31-05-2016, 11:52   #9
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Re: Would this make you run away?

I concur that this isn't the neatest job I've ever seen but installing shims there is a necessity. I had them fall out of a boat once and beating into the wind the mast started pumping and banging against the deck collar. Jury rigged the shims back in asap.
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Old 31-05-2016, 12:06   #10
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Re: Would this make you run away?

Normally you put them in from the top. Looks like these were drove in from the bottom maybe after they fell out and the yellow looks like expanded gorilla glue to me to keep them in place.
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Old 31-05-2016, 12:18   #11
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Re: Would this make you run away?

Am I the only one surprised to see tapered shims on the inside rather than outside? Wont they fall out?
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Old 31-05-2016, 13:06   #12
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Re: Would this make you run away?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
It wouldn't make me run away either, but I question the need for shims, surely if rig is properly tensioned, mast wouldn't contact deck, and surely shims wouldn't provide much if any additional stiffening to the mast?

But then the PO of my boat had a towel stuffed in that space, I never have figured out why.
The use of "shims" is normal, & they're use is typically referred to as deck chocking (sometimes blocking). And on most boats, their thickness, in front of & behind the spar, in the hole in the deck, is a tool which you can use to assist in tuning the mast. By altering their various, respective thicknesses to vary how much space there is in front of, & behind the spar.

They're used for this, this way, in conjunction with tuninng; the shrouds, forestays, backstay, & sometimes the placement of the butt of the mast. So as to tune the amount of bend in the spar, & where it occurs. As well as to fix the mast's position at deck level, in the boat.

You may have heard of Spartite. Which is a 2-part, mixable rubber, which you pour into the gap in between the mast & the deck (collar/hole). Once you know where you prefer things positioned, so that then, when it hardens, you have a monolithinc block around the mast tube. Over which the mast boot, a waterproof cover (usually canvas) is fitted. So that no water enters the cabin from around the sides of the mast.

Not too long ago, wooden wedges were the norm. And on many vessels are still used. But even pour in place foam, along with wedges is commonly used.

However, your concern is valid. And you might negotiate with/talk to the owner, to see about pulling them out, while you're all present. For a more detailed inspection of that part of the spar. Including having a rigger onsite for same. As well as to do a full rigging inspection.
For this is normally a question that you'd ask him, during or after his inspection. And such an inspection is wise on any sailboat purchase.

HTH


PS: Having them coming up from below, as opposed to being put in from above isn't all that uncommon. Though it makes them a tiny bit prone to dropping out, if the spar were to move a lot for some reason. But that's fairly uncommon, & if it happens (that much mast movement) then odds are you've got bigger problems which need your immediate attention.
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Old 31-05-2016, 13:18   #13
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Re: Would this make you run away?

shims to an aluminum mast equate to wedges with a wood mast., all normal. needed to keep mast in place. rig loosens. shims relocate--all need frequent maintenance.
NO reason to run away.
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Old 31-05-2016, 15:45   #14
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Re: Would this make you run away?

BTW, the wedges, AKA mast chocking/deck chocking, are what provide the extra support to a keel stepped mast. That's known as "end fixity".
And it's much more support than a step on deck gives to a deck stepped mast. Thus allowing for the use of a lighter weight, more slender tube, with a keel stepped spar.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:31   #15
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Re: Would this make you run away?

I agree with the rigger inspection. After that, you may have more data to say: "do I run or do I stay."
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