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Old 24-10-2009, 13:54   #1
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For years I've had a devilishly leaking mast. Years ago, I installed a SparTite mast collar and that helped a bit, but didn't stop it. Mostly it's been a minor annoyance, and I just used towels to catch the drips. Now, however, it's progressed to the point where I really have to do something definitive.

I've got a couple of strategies I'm implementing (water barriers to ensure than no water can migrate elsewhere under the cabintop and inside the headliner, as it's been doing lately). Looks like that's gonna work OK.

However, today while it was raining I looked very carefully with a flashlight and with a friend who has very sharp eyes. Guess what, the most serious drip is THROUGH THE SPARTITE ITSELF! At one point aft of the mast, about halfway along the thickness of the Spartite collar, water is leaking from the collar itself, not migrating from elsewhere.

OK, good. Now, part of my plan is to wait till things dry out, then drill upwards through the point of the leak with maybe a 3/8" or even 1/2" bit, right through the collar to the top, then plug it with whatever material will likely stick to the Spartite.

Here's my question: What sticks to Spartite?? Anybody know for sure?

West System? 5200?


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Old 24-10-2009, 16:33   #2
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I had the same problem on Frolic. When I pulled the mast I used Spartite. Then I wrapped the white tape around the mast, and collar. I never experienced another drip. Let alone a small creek running down the mast.......i2f

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Old 24-10-2009, 16:45   #3
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post

Here's my question: What sticks to Spartite?? Anybody know for sure?

West System? 5200?

Spartite is epoxy, although they will not tell you that. West system will stick.
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Old 24-10-2009, 16:55   #4
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Thanks, Evans. Sure worth a try!

I2F....glad you fixed your problem, but it's not the same as mine. My leak is not around the edges of the Spartite -- either next to the mast or next to the tabernacle, but right thru the center of the Spartite collar itself.

Imagine that the collar is, say 3-4 inches in width, outward from the mast to the tabernacle. Mine is leaking about halfway out, right thru the collar itself! There must be a crack or a void or something, possibly caused by mast movement during extreme stress periods (I tend to sail her pretty hard, and she's been through five -- count 'em -- five major hurricanes in the Caribbean, with winds over 100 knots in the marina.).

Anyway, unless someone has a better idea I think I'll follow Evan's advice and try plugging the hole I'm gonna drill with West System.

Also gonna do some serious work on my mast boot which, clearly, isn't doing its job either :-)

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Old 25-10-2009, 10:17   #5
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We had the same problem and used self amalg. mast tape then a rubber mast boot (carried by West Marine - but a simple inner tube would have done the same) which stopped it. With that said, after close inspection, on our 46' spartite never did seal 100% and not sure if it could ever expect to with mast flex.
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Old 25-10-2009, 12:25   #6
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Originally Posted by Dreamcat View Post
We had the same problem and used self amalgamating mast tape ...
My DIY mast boot, made entirely of self-amalgamating electrical splicing tape, lasted at least ten years in the sub-tropics, with narry a drop.

Excerpted from some earlier threads, these taping hints apply equally well to electrical joints as to mast boot sealing applications:


- Use a quarter or half-lap wrapping technique, where each wrap overlaps the previous wrap by a quarter or half the width of the tape.

- Apply tape with enough stretch to conform to the object you are wrapping, usually reducing the width of the stretched tape to about 5/8 to 3/4 of it’s original width.

- On the last few turns reduce the stretch tension until it is zero at the last turn or two, to prevent flagging. Use a scissors to cut the tape end square, as a knife or tearing will add stretch to the last lap, and cause it to un-wrap.

- Any time you wrap tape on a threaded component, make sure you wrap it in the direction that tends to tighten the screw threads. This means if you are taping a splice, for example two PL-259's screwed into a double barrel female, you must tape each connector from the cable end to the barrel center, overlapping the first side tape with the second side tape.

- Always run the tape "uphill" - that is from a lower point to a higher point (vertical plane), or from a smaller diameter to a larger diameter.

- Rubber tapes should generally be over-wrapped with a vinyl tape for mechanical protection.



When wrapping with any of the non-adhesive (self-fusing, amalgamating, vulcanizing) conformable rubber tapes, it may help to apply with the outside in. The inside (tacky) side of the tape is turned to lay on the outside of the wrap, keeping the roll closer to the work.

Electrical tapes are generally applied under in successive “half laps”, and under tension, so that the tape elongates (stretches) to the point where it’s width is about to 3/4 of it’s initial dimension - then completed with a final lap which is not stretched at all. This prevents “flagging” (winding back on itself). Rubber tapes are often over-coated with a protective layer of regular vinyl tape.

This tensioning technique is not always suitable for co-axial cables, especially foam cores, which have little compressive strength. The tension can cause dielectric breakdown of the cable.

When taping vertically, the final (top) layer should start at the bottom and tape uphill, creating a rain-shedding lapstrake (shingle lap) effect.

When taping screwed component co-ax connectors, tape in the direction (clockwise seen from cable end) of tightening the threaded joint.

There are several specifications to compare when selecting a particular electrical tape product, including:
Tensile Strength
Heat Resistance (operating temperature) & Thermal Dissipation
UV Resistance
Dielectric Strength
Linerless rubber tapes are slightly more expensive; but MUCH easier to use than lined rubber tapes.

There are any number of Self-Amalgamating Silicone Rubber Tapes, such as:
- 3-M Scotch 130C Linerless Rubber Splicing Tape (EPR)
- 3M Scotch 70 Self-Fusing Silicone (/w Liner)
- Scotch 23 Rubber Splicing Tape (EPR)
- “Tommy” Tape (Silicone)
- “Rescue” tape
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Old 25-10-2009, 13:45   #7

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I occasionally get requests to make mast boots when canvasing out a boat. I use a vinyl coated fabric like weblon. After patterning in place to get proper cone shape I use vinyl cement to bond the seam together. Then I roll the top down about a half inch and apply some marine sealant to the inside of the boot, roll back up and flemish the top and bottom with strong thread giving enough wraps to make sure its there for good. Havent had any problems doing it this way, mine has been watertite for 4 yrs now. Sometimes I make a canvas boot to cover the weblon that simply velcroes in place makes uv degradation of weblon a non issue.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:40   #8
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Re: Spartite

Hi, I'm new here, but Spartite is NOT an epoxy. It is a cold curing polyurethane. It is the same family of goup as Awlgrip and other similar polyurethane paint systems. So, for a start, those kinds of paint stick to it. It will stick to itself if you need to pour more later, obviously it wont stick if you cover it in vaseline, you need a degreased surface and a light sand. If you wrap tape around your collar you can over pour the Spartite higher than the collar by half an inch, this creates a lid or flange to help stop water getting in. The most common causes of leak are not having the rig tuned when doing the pour so that later when you adjust the rigging it creates a bend that causes a leak. Another very common cause is using the yacht before the spartite has had a chance to fully set. It practically stops curing below 10 deg C and that means the clock stops. A heat source nearby like a lead lamp or light bulb is something to consider. If you did have the mast move around and make an oversize hole in the Spartite before it fully cured, then it would leak, but there is nothing to stop you pouring in more spartite to rectify the problem. btw, I am not a CASS/Spartite employee, but I have been selling and distributing Spartite since about 1996. you may well find that epoxy will stick, I have never tried that. The written instructions in the box recommend the use of a caulking compound (non-silicon) to seal around the mast to spartite corner and despite what some would say, I always recommend a boot over the whole shooting match.

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