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Old 16-02-2012, 15:49   #1
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Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Well, it was some time ago now I posted up asking for assistance, and after reading, listening and gleaning as much info as I could, I decided to stop over thinking it and just do it! So I cut my mast step out of the roof of the boat, with an angle grinder. Which kinda forced my hand and meant that I had to stop stalling about what to do, and just do it!

And, for anyone who's interested, here's how.........

First off, measured it all up, carefully - don't want to be gluing it back in the wrong way round now


Next I investigated the ply inside the step – I figured it may be rotten. Unfortunately the only way of determining this was using destructive methods. As it happens it wasn’t rotten – oh well



Ply replaced, I built the step back up with glass fibre. For anyone on the south west coast uk, these guys are absolutely great – knowledgeable and nice; top customer service! www.ariba-fibreglass-supplies.co.uk




Upon the glass fibre guys instruction – I skimmed it with stopper before gel coating…..


Now about this time, I realised I needed an adjustable level. A friend of mine has exactly the thing I need, only he’s 250 miles away so I built my own…… This comprises; bubble from a standard level, a piece of brass, two feet, and two cap screws (heads cut off), washers and 4 nuts. Plus some super glue. I set the level to true on the boat hull behind the mast step and then could accurately gauge how level my step was when placed back in it’s hole….


Previously I had offered my brackety up, using a bottle jack, and found it to be good. In order to correct the collapse in the hull, to the right of the mast, I offered the bracket in, cut away where required and jacked it up. I also jacked the roof up way to the right, in the hope that once the step was glassed back in, it would hold the shape.




First off, I hollowed out the sides with the angle grinder. I wanted a big shallow “V” to fill with glass fibre, to spread the load. I set the step in position and levelled it using screws and washers to hold it down.


After glassing it in, the screws were removed and the remaining area glassed up.

As before, I skimmed it and gel coated. Now here was a big lesson. The guys in the shop has said to brush the gel coat on – they probably hadn’t accounted for less than 10 degrees C. I was left with horrendous brush marks, and couldn’t flat them out because it would take the layer too thin (couldn’t afford any more gel coat, or the time). I flatted as best as possible and rollered the next coat on. Perfect finish! (apart from the brush marks underneath – live and learn I guess?)


Also, wood stained the bracket and sealed around it - looks like it was born there (just...)


So, mast refitted (by a professional) and the lovely Maestro has been motored to her new home (3 hour journey by sea) and still the mast is up, still there are no cracks, still the roof has not collapsed!


Anyways, wanted to share ‘cos I’m sure I’m not the first person who’s got no idea what to do about that sort of thing……. And also, if I can do it, y’all can . Hopefully this’ll help someone?

Feel free to ask questions, criticise, suggest alternatives – after all, it’s a learning curve!
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Old 16-02-2012, 15:54   #2
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Awesome! Glad you completed the project. I remember that thread.
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Old 16-02-2012, 15:55   #3
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"Thumb".....,job well done!
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Old 16-02-2012, 15:57   #4
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Ta dude, kinda don't believe I did it, but I guess it's like your sig says?....
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Old 16-02-2012, 15:58   #5
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Soz.... should be ta dudes! cheers dandrews
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Old 16-02-2012, 17:19   #6
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Congratulations! Job well done. The next test will be sailing hard on the wind.
kind regards,
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Old 16-02-2012, 23:38   #7
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

I really like your homemade adjustable level, pretty cool. I use a digital level myself, you just set it on the deck and hit rezero and it zero's at the required angle. Much more expensive way of doing the same thing. I use it a lot.


Amazon.com: Stabila 29624 - 80A-2E Electronic Level with digital read out: Home Improvement
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Old 17-02-2012, 00:38   #8
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Very nice indeed...well done!
I wish more folks would post follow-ups like this.
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Old 17-02-2012, 01:50   #9
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

I enjoy seeing how everyone repairs their boats. It's good research if the time ever comes to do so myself. Looks great!
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Old 17-02-2012, 04:11   #10
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Nicely done - I am guessing not as scary as it seemed at the outset, once you got stuck in.
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Old 17-02-2012, 05:15   #11
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by James S View Post
Very nice indeed...well done!
I wish more folks would post follow-ups like this.
Indeed!
Well done, and thanks for the follow-up.
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Old 17-02-2012, 06:28   #12
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Ok, I'll bite... If the cabin roof compressed, assuming there was a compression post, the hull would have HAD to collapse inward (or less likely, the keel fallen). Was any of the above addressed?
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Old 17-02-2012, 06:59   #13
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Great job . Too many successes like that--and you'll become addicted.
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Old 17-02-2012, 12:24   #14
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Thanks guys, no it wasn't actually as scary as I thought, after the angle grinder bit. Half the reason I posted this is if I'd had a photo "how to" thread, I wouldn't have felt quite so worried.

Yeah, next test is the big bad sea with sails, although I'm going to have to climb the mast and unseize the rollers at the top before I can use the main sail..... and the running rigging needs replacing..... and that's just for starters!

Ok capngeo , I actually had a bit of a heads up from the snapdragon owners website. Apparently it's a common fault on these things? However, I did check the bulkhead for any sign that anything wasn't right - it all looked good.

If you look at the schematic of the repair, you can see that the compression is to the right of the bulkhead - where the arrows are. The red line is a rough approximation of what the roof was doing......



Given that everything else appeared to be sound, I figure it was just a combination of bad design (off centre bulkhead), age and maybe bad rigging / over tightening etc. I've worked on the theory that if I level the mast step, and reinforce from underneath, it can't compress further? And hey, if it does, guess I'll just have to think of something else?

The phrase that helped me most was the owner of the boat yard pointing out that "nothing you're going to do to it will make it any worse".
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Old 17-02-2012, 13:28   #15
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Re: Mast Compression - How To Fix (Image Heavy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixerjen View Post
"nothing you're going to do to it will make it any worse".
Sounds like a situation that I took part in. A guy I knew had a radio that was broken. Basically, when turned to the off position, it wouldn't turn off. We decided to take it apart thinking that it was already broken, how much worse could it get?
Still didn't work right after we got it together and we were sure to take pictures and video during the process. It was worth a try.

At least you're doing something about the problem. So far, it all looks good.
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