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Old 02-05-2016, 02:07   #1
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Mast head box repair or replace?

Hi all. I am in need of some advice. I have a 1972 Albin Vega with a Proctor mast spar. My fore and aft stays are attached to stainless toggles in the mast head box. These have corroded the aluminum flanges they are attached to about half the material thickness. I cannot think of an adequate repair in this area as the flanges are smallish and not much material. I could fabricate doublers and weld them on the outside face of the flange and bore new holes for the thru pin. This is not ideal as 6061T6 Aluminum weakens when welded and the flange would be in tension and not compression. The entire mast head box is welded into the spar. If I can find a replacement box I can grind out the old one and weld or rivet/bolt a new one in. I just cannot find a replacement for a Proctor spar. In fact I cannot find much of anything on Proctor spars. Has anybody replaced their mast head box or successfully repaired it by welding. Where can I buy an aftermarket head box? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:57   #2
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Re: Mast head box repair or replace?

I believe that the old Proctor mast company was bought by Selden.

Head fittings : Seldén Mast AB
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:49   #3
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Re: Mast head box repair or replace?

Hi Tim,

Show us a pic so we can see what we're dealing with for a repair...

If you search just "masthead" on ebay, you'll see about 5 listed amongst the other stuff...

There's other sources like Don's in FL and such too... Let's get ya fixed up and sailing!
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Old 02-05-2016, 16:30   #4
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Re: Mast head box repair or replace?

I will try to attach a picture.
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Old 02-05-2016, 16:37   #5
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Re: Mast head box repair or replace?

Here is another view. As you can see, the material is thinned out from corrosion. After it is cleaned up I'm sure it will be thinner. My gut tells me to weld on a doubler on both outside faces and it should be fine.
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Old 02-05-2016, 16:46   #6
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Re: Mast head box repair or replace?

Double them up. The welding's not likely a problem if I see it correctly.. Entire boats are welded from aluminum! The weld wont be anywhere near the pin if you are worried about the pin bearing on soft aluminum..... right? Not sure you can weld all around though...?
I assume that masthead is fabricated not cast aluminum...?
You might cut out carefully and replace the entire plate(s) or part I suppose... expensive.
Another thought would be to fabricate a flat bar that goes over the top and is welded to the top, extending for and aft for the stays... kind of like is done on a wooden spar. The force then bears on the top of the mast and the weld simply keeps it in place....
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Old 02-05-2016, 16:53   #7
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Re: Mast head box repair or replace?

Yes the mast head is an aluminum extrusion and not cast aluminum.
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:23   #8
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Re: Mast head box repair or replace?

Tim,

That looks like a no brainer for a welded doubler... Additional concurring vote!
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:03   #9
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Re: Mast head box repair or replace?

Alaska,
Since the masthead box is an integral part of your standing rigging, you must be certain your repair is bullet-proof. Welding, as others have mentioned, is certainly an option, but it may not be aesthetically pleasing so you might want to consider sleeving your masthead if you can find a mast-head box from another manufacturer that matches the design/dimensions of your spar. Or,perhaps better yet and simpler, is to remove your masthead box, weld a plate to the top of the mast and mount a new masthead box(bolt/weld) similar in design to your current one. Good luck on your project. Let us know what you decide. Good luck and safe sailing.
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