I had the same masts on my Passport 45. In fact, they were probably made by the same people, as my boat was built in the same yard as yours.
In '91, I scarfed a piece into the main mast
where the spreaders attach. It also had wood rot
and termites. We bagged the mast
and gassed the little buggers. The scarf was easier than I ever imagined.
I then stripped the entire mast, coated it with 3 coats of West Systems epoxy
, 2-coats epoxy
primer, 2 coats LP paint
. There is NO WAY
that I was going to varnish
those damn things every year and I knew it.
I then sailed the boat around the world and when I sold the boat in 2000, the masts were still in perfect condition.
I also considered going to aluminum
(or carbon fiber
) masts until I realized how light, strong and flexible those Spruce box masts are. In fact, I was shocked that my wife and I could pick up that 55' long mast, all by ourselves. In the event of a rigging
failure, the wood mast is far less likely to fail then an aluminum mast. It will bend farther with more resistance before fracturing.