Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-06-2011, 09:21   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 586
Images: 3
Foam in mast

Was thinking about foaming at least some sections of my mast to make it float if it should ever go over the side. Has anyone had experience doing this? Best kind of foam? Negatives. I have no internal halyards so it would be straight forward other than putting in a couple of conduits for wiring.
__________________

__________________
smurphny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 09:34   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
sandy daugherty's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Annapolis
Boat: PDQ 36 & Atlantic 42
Posts: 1,178
Re: Foam in mast

I suspect your mast is heavier than the water it displaces. Just be glad your keel is heavier still.
__________________

__________________
sandy daugherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 09:38   #3
Registered User
 
captainKJ's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: 3rd wave passed the sea wall
Boat: private yacht always moving
Posts: 1,388
Re: Foam in mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Was thinking about foaming at least some sections of my mast to make it float if it should ever go over the side. Has anyone had experience doing this? Best kind of foam? Negatives. I have no internal halyards so it would be straight forward other than putting in a couple of conduits for wiring.
what kind of sailboat do you have that you are worried about the mast falling in the water. The mast should stay mounted to the deck unless it is a trailer sailboat,,in that case it is removable,,,if it came off while sailing the shrouds will keep it from sinking by keeping it attached to the boat
__________________
captainKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 09:48   #4
Commercial Member
 
Mark Johnson's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Bern NC
Boat: Searunner 34 Trimaran
Posts: 1,565
Re: Foam in mast

I did it on my first boat by standing it on end, against a tall building. Then I poured the two liquids down the thing. It worked fine, but this stuff sticks like super glue.

Wrap the ENTIRE outside of the mast with polyethylene sheet, and mask it to the top. This way, when it gushes out the top, you have no clean up. (How do you think I know)???

Also, be sure that the ends, and all openings, are 100% sealed with caulk and/or epoxy. Pour in place foam is billed as "closed cell", but here, outside of a refrigerator, or in the "in-between" spaces in a boat hull, this stuff will eventually get more and more waterlogged. It needs to be 100% sealed from water and damp air as well!

Foam in he mast will make it buoyant, (obviously), heavier, stiffer, and quieter, but requires careful sealing. On mine, I put in 4' of crumpled up aluminum foil, about 3/4 of the way up, for additional RADAR reflection.

Mark
__________________
Mark Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 10:37   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, Wash.
Boat: no longer on my Cabo Rico 38 Sanderling
Posts: 1,794
Send a message via MSN to John A
Re: Foam in mast

I had foam the entire length of my mast when I purchased the boat. Rain water saturated the foam from the top down making for an inverted pendulum which made it very easy to sail with the toerail in the water. Prior to cruising I had the foam removed to install PVC tubes for the wiring. It became extremely hard to get the boat to sail with the toerail in the water.
__________________
John A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 10:54   #6
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,777
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Foam in mast

foam actually weighs a lot. do you really wish to change the mechanismof action of your boat???? why not tie a line onto the mast so is retrievable if it falls ???? IS IT DECK STEPPED?? IF SO, IF IT falls, will remove a chunk of deck also.... smooth sailing....
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 13:33   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 586
Images: 3
Re: Foam in mast

Thanks guys. Think I'll probably scrap the idea. I have never seen any kind of foam, including polyisocyanurate that does not eventually retain some water. I used this closed cell foam in the whisker pole I built but the concern there is just to avoid losing it overboard should the clumsy capt. drop it in. Would not want to take the chance of putting weight up high on the mast. Pardey's Storm Tactics mentions this to avoid having the rig sink should a demasting occur. Makes it easier to retrieve because the mast is quite heavy and is said to be less of a problem floating than sunk and dragging/punching holes down low. In a roll/demasting, saving the rig would come in handy to jury rig some kind of sail later, although just cutting it loose is probably the safer alternative. Maybe I will just slide in some 8' x 2" x 4" pieces of foam from the base. Will have to calculate floatation needed to just keep it afloat. Just thinking out loud now.
__________________
smurphny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 13:37   #8
Registered User
 
Unicorn Dreams's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Clear Lake Marine Services - Seabrook, Texas
Boat: Gulfstar, Mark II Ketch, 43'
Posts: 2,359
Re: Foam in mast

Foaming your mast works ok on a hobie cat, not much more that that, after all, it's insulation not flotation..
__________________
Formerly Santana
The winds blow true,The skies stay blue,
Everyday is a good day for SAILING!!!!
Unicorn Dreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 13:48   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 586
Images: 3
Re: Foam in mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn Dreams View Post
Foaming your mast works ok on a hobie cat, not much more that that, after all, it's insulation not flotation..
Tuff-r pieces, roughly cut to the interior diameter and jammed in, worked wonderfully well in the whisker pole: 2 1/2" x 1/4" alum. The damned thing floats higher than a piece of wood and the weight difference is negligible. This kind of foam is also used for foam-cored canoes and such. The mast, however would be a lot of foam to float the weight of the mast/wire/turnbuckles/swages, etc., guessing 200+pounds.
__________________
smurphny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 13:52   #10
Registered User
 
capnorv's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bainbridge Island Washington on the Salish Sea
Boat: Hardin 45 Voyager Alice B., Gig Harbor 10, Orca 7 1/2 sloop, 16' sea kayak
Posts: 364
Images: 1
Re: Foam in mast

Maybe you should bend a few self inflating PFD's on the mast and hope you never encounter a heavy rain or sea condition.
__________________
capnorv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 13:57   #11
Wayfaring Mariner
 
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,045
Images: 5
Re: Foam in mast

We foamed the out haul poles which were aluminum, just to add rigidity. I would be careful about adding that extra weight aloft, also as previously posted, no matter what the package says, it seems like foam will eventually absorb water.
__________________
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 14:08   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 586
Images: 3
Re: Foam in mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
We foamed the out haul poles which were aluminum, just to add rigidity. I would be careful about adding that extra weight aloft, also as previously posted, no matter what the package says, it seems like foam will eventually absorb water.
Yes, agreed. Don't think I'd want even the weight of water in the process of draining down to be trapped up high. My mast has a large center mounted sheave that is not sealed below so there will always be water ingress from rain.
__________________
smurphny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 14:18   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: St. Martin
Boat: St. Francis 43 Brisa
Posts: 333
Re: Foam in mast

Scrap it... the foam keeps moisture in the mast and accelerates corrosion... Make sure your mast doens't fall over the side!
__________________
sailingaway221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2011, 08:41   #14
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,777
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Foam in mast

take cable cutters with ye and do what lil abbey didnt know how to do -- cut the rig away so it wont hole boat.......
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2011, 09:37   #15
Registered User
 
anjou's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Malvernshire, on the sunny side of the hill.
Boat: 50' steel canal and river cruiser
Posts: 1,905
Re: Foam in mast

Fit an airbag system from a scrap yard car, triggered by a water soluble switch
__________________

__________________
www.amy-artimis.blogspot.com
anjou is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
mast

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Expandable Foam as Mast Wedge sneuman Construction, Maintenance & Refit 33 29-12-2009 06:24
Ballast or foam? spooky alice Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 03-02-2009 07:49
Retrofitting a wood mast vs current metal mast grefark Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 7 07-09-2008 22:44
Foam or no Foam? Drexel Engineer Construction, Maintenance & Refit 8 25-05-2007 19:15
Water in my Foam Sonosailor Construction, Maintenance & Refit 6 09-02-2007 02:05



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:19.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.