Two of my neighbors have gone the Spartite route
with great success. The first one to bite the bullet has an all aluminum
, cutter-rigged sloop
. The second has a fiberglass
yawl (plywood cored deck) with new aluminum
In the case of the cutter
I know the owner installed Spartite about four years ago and subsequently pulled the mast
at haul out
about two years ago. He had coated the mating surfaces w/ the recommended release agent and had absolutely no trouble removing or re-stepping the mast
. The only snag he encountered was during the initial pour (which I witnessed) when some of the liquid Spartite escaped the dam he constructed and made quite a mess inside. I recall
some rather vivid vocabulary accompanied that incident. Anyway, prompt cleanup erased all signs of the spill. I did, however, make a mental note to take care when constructing the dam to ensure a watertight barrier, particularly around the sail slide extrusion.
In the case of the yawl, the owner installed Spartite about four years ago and has had no issues since.
I am about due to pull my mast and when I do I will likely replace the rubber wedges with Spartite. It is expensive, but isn't done every day. I would consider a knock-off product from Grainger if I could be sure that the properties were identical, or nearly so (i.e., durometer, longevity, etc.). In most cases, though, I've found that it pays to go with a proven system. At the very least, with Spartite, a future owner or a shipyard worker will know what he has when he sees it, and the sticker, if used, will remove any doubt.
Would love to hear more detail about alternative systems... i.e., exactly which compound from the Grainger catalog was used and with what degree of success. Final note: I walked into our Grainger outlet in Seattle
and established a cash account with no questions asked, so maybe they're less less stringent these days about requiring a corporate identity.