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Old 30-08-2011, 10:41   #1
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Mast Came Down, Must Repair

So my mast came down about a week ago. No damage to the mast step. No damage to the boat. But...

The mast bent up about an inch at the bottom and a pipe for wiring ripped a one inch chunk out of the mast as well.

So, I am left with three options:
1.) buy a new mast.
- The mast over all is in really good shape (minus the bottom inch or two) and a new mast is costly given the other two options.

2.) put a sleeve in the bottom of the mast and straighten out the curled parts.
- Not a bad option, but more work and not sure about the long term effects of the sleeve will be, if the structure will weaken over time, etc.

3.) trim off the bottom one or two inches of the mast.
- This will lower the height of the mast (37 foot mast), and change the sail plan slightly. How much of a change will two inches have? I avoid the sleeve this way but the sail plan..... The standing rigging is short enough to make it work (as per geometry at least)


The mast is deck stepped, reverse socket (i.e. the mast slides into the step).

Looking for any educated opinions here. Right now I basically have an ugly looking power boat..... And am going to be putting the mast back up in a week and looking for some more options here, or at least clarification on the options above.
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Old 30-08-2011, 10:45   #2
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Re: Mast came down, must repair

Any pictures?
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Old 30-08-2011, 10:50   #3
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Re: Mast came down, must repair

I will have pictures available on Friday. Didn't think about it at the time. Trying to get everything else picked up and cleaned up.

The mast curled in on one side about 1/2 inch, with some heat and a couple gentle taps, it can be straightened (but then anytime you bend aluminum it becomes weaker). On the other side of the ellipse, the pipe for the wiring ripped the mast right apart. The ellipse is still straight, minus the one inch gouge where the mast is split apart. Once again, can be heated and hammered straight.

Sleeving the inside and riveting sounds like a viable option, just curious about cutting off the section and calling it good.....
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Old 30-08-2011, 10:52   #4
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Re: Mast came down, must repair

If there is enough take-up on the turnbuckles.... cut 'er off! Or straighten out the bent opening and have it welded or added to as required. It's all in compression on the bottom end so it just needs to be made good looking and so it will fit.
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Old 30-08-2011, 11:09   #5
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Re: Mast came down, must repair

Check with the original manufacturer first. It may be that a sleeve for the base is readily available.

A well-done sleeve at the base should make the mast as good as new.
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Old 30-08-2011, 11:20   #6
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Re: Mast came down, must repair

A mast base insert, shouldered to allow for the damaged height, should not be an expensive fix for a machine shop.
Did this just recently on a Kronos 45 cat that the mast fell out of while sailing.
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Old 30-08-2011, 11:24   #7
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Re: Mast came down, must repair

Sleeving and splicing is done all the time even on new masts. Those 90' spars have to get to the boat somehow and I will guarantee it is not in one piece. If you have to cut it off a bit and still need the length JSI in Fla will make you a custom taller step which might be the way to go. Masts typically have corrosion problems at the base so they are used to this. Sailboat masts and booms by the Professionals at JSI BOB
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Old 30-08-2011, 14:01   #8
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Re: Mast Came Down, Must Repair

I like the idea of sleeving more and more.

My fear of cutting off the bottom inch or two, even if the metal is flexed, the stress of a bend may extend well above the point where the bend ends. Same with a rip or tear in metal. That fatigue can travel up further (with decreasing severity mind you) than what would be feasible to cut. Reading through the internet and this forum, it seems like the best option is to have the sleeve made, inserted and riveted, after bending the other portions of the metal to a close spot.

My mast is from 1967 (i believe), not sure if the OEM is still around. Will investigate further.

Past that, it is one solid tube of aluminum. No welds or points that narrow. The mast head and foot are the same dimensions of ellipse (that much I did check).

Things were pretty chaotic after it came down and getting it torn apart (the spreaders, boom and whisker pole) was a big priority. And then I flew out the very next morning. Trying to get a battle plan before I return for a week to fix everything back up.

If anyone has any other thoughts, please feel free. I am all ears.

- Nick
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