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Old 01-06-2009, 07:50   #1
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Catalina Free-Standing Mast?

Hello all, brand new here at the cruisers forum and this is my first post !
We are looking to purchase a new sail boat, and checked out this nice looking Catalina 400 yesterday.
1996 Catalina 400 Sail Boat For Sale -
It has a free standing carbon fiber mast, which confuses me.
Can anybody give me advice and tell me their experiences with such a mast?
Resale value, safety, warranty, sailing characteristics etc.
If these masts are so great, why don't we see them around more often?
Thanks, and look forward to some interesting replies !

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Old 01-06-2009, 09:55   #2
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My concern would be that the boat wasn't initially built for that style of mast. It was built with through deck chainplates that feed mast loads into a structural grid beneath the floor. So now where are all those loads going? Certainly not the way the designer intended them to go. It seems to me most of the loads would be going horizontally through the deck to the ends and sides of the hull.

I have to wonder why the P/O would do this other than the obvious to demonstrate their technology of building these masts. Our Catalina is not short on sail area in fact we'd be happy with less.

Wonder how this will hold up over time, given that Cats are just production boats and don't have a massive safety margin in their layup. Personally, I wouldn't touch it unless I was satisfied somehow that there were measures taken to address the deck loading issue.

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Old 02-06-2009, 09:59   #3
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Thanks jdoe for your input.
I agree with what you say, although I talked to Catalina yesterday and also a couple of brokers. They say that construction should be no issue at all.
The brokers are more concerned with re-sale value.
I am going to hear more about the construction what they did.
Tough decision !!
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Old 02-06-2009, 13:04   #4
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I would not rely on brokers under any circumstance, they have at best casual knowledge of the situation. Catalina's input may be of some value if you spoke to the right person there, but if you want to assure yourself of the structural integrity of the boat with this rig, I think you want to hire a designer or some kind of engineer to study the boat. Especially if you are thinking of going offshore.

jdoe is absolutely right with his comments. The rig loads will now be concentrated into the deck and also the keel shoe and the boat was not engineered to take those loads.
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catalina, mast

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