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Old 15-04-2019, 18:03   #1
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Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Hey guys! I am new to the forum but I look forward to learning from you all!

So I bought this boat 2 years back and sailed it all that year no problem.

There were a few different things that need to be worked on but the boat sat all last year and I am getting it ready to sail this summer again. I am planning on using it quite a bit so I want to fix quite a few issues I have found throughout. Without getting too deep into it all, the first thing I need to tackle is the Mast step.

When I got the boat there was a little crack near the mast step but now it has really spread and is quite bad. Initially, the issue with the crack made it so that when you got the mast up, it didn't quite sit straight (though I know depending on the boat it does not need to) but it really seemed to be pulling to the back of the boat.

The rear of the boat always sat a bit low with water coming in through the hole for the swing keel cord. I am guessing this was also because of the mast pulling the boat. As most people described the boat "it looks like a pirate ship!". As cool as this was, this should help visualize the problem.

The point of all of that is because now the crack on the top of the deck is quite large and I need to fix it. I don't know the right words and things I need to say to make totally explain it, but I have attached some pictures to show the issue.

I was thinking the best plan of attack was to sand it all down and rebuild it correctly being that just sealing the crack won't fix the issues underneath.

I have come for guidance! If any of you have any ideas it would be greatly appreciated. If you need more pictures or anything please let me know and I will get it all over. I just want to make sure that I do this correctly!

Cheers,
Eb
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Old 16-04-2019, 04:32   #2
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Preliminarily.

It certainly needs to be fixed. I don't know the boat, but it is small enough that there may not be a compression post. A picture of the interior under the mast step will tell us more about whatever advice to offer.

I'm guessing that the cabin top is balsa cored, and from the 5th picture and the age of the boat, I'd bet that the balsa has turned to mush, which will require replacement, preferably with pvc foam or coosaboard.

If the cabintop is indeed balsa cored, some exploratory drilling from the crack out will enable you to determine the extent of the deterioration, which will dictate the best method of repair.
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Old 16-04-2019, 12:43   #3
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
Preliminarily.

It certainly needs to be fixed. I don't know the boat, but it is small enough that there may not be a compression post. A picture of the interior under the mast step will tell us more about whatever advice to offer.

I'm guessing that the cabin top is balsa cored, and from the 5th picture and the age of the boat, I'd bet that the balsa has turned to mush, which will require replacement, preferably with pvc foam or coosaboard.

If the cabintop is indeed balsa cored, some exploratory drilling from the crack out will enable you to determine the extent of the deterioration, which will dictate the best method of repair.
Hi Jim!

Thank you for your response.

There indead is a compression post located inside, but I will shoot some pics so that there is more to go off of.

The boat is a late 70's MacGreggor. I hope that gives some information on the material, but I would believe it, if it was Balsa underneath. I think it will most likely need to be replaced, just from a visual standpoint atm.

You had mentioned exploratory drilling. What would be the best way to go about this? Just drill around the edges to see how badly the balsa is worn, or to sand down the top to get to the wood underneath? Its finally starting to get warm here, so this will be daily project as I move forward. Let me know what other information I can provide.

Thanks again!

Cheers
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Old 23-04-2019, 19:23   #4
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

ttttt
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Old 23-04-2019, 20:18   #5
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

It looks like you will need to replace some core and top fiberglass. If the inside cabin glass is ok I would work from the outside. Have you met the nice folks over at Express Composites over there in Nordeast Mpls? They would have supplies and good advice.
Google replace core sailboat
https://youtu.be/1jq1w6VQm-I
Video gives an overview of the process.
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Old 23-04-2019, 21:32   #6
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
It looks like you will need to replace some core and top fiberglass. If the inside cabin glass is ok I would work from the outside. Have you met the nice folks over at Express Composites over there in Nordeast Mpls? They would have supplies and good advice.
Google replace core sailboat
https://youtu.be/1jq1w6VQm-I
Video gives an overview of the process.
Hey, fellow Minnesotan! Nice weather we have been having eh?

I am pretty sure the inside glass is fine. I have not noticed any cracks or anything of the sort but will make a further venture and get more detailed pictures tomorrow.

Core replacement, and top fiberglass. Good to know, I guessed so, but wasn't sure if I should be going at it with a belt sander and getting down to the core yet.

I have not been up there, but it looks like a visit is in the books. I'm down in Richfield, so it's not too far, so I will most definitely make it up there and see what they have to say.

I have found that the only sail related stores I have been to is West Marine, over in GV and they are mostly....well entitled. My experience is mine, but it's hard to get any advice on the proper way to deal with any issues, but I don't want to throw the boat into the wind (pun intended) just because I can't fix something.

Thanks for all the help and response. I will check out that video as well and see if I can't gather more information, so I can drop the boat in sometime this summer, though the earlier the better.

Cheers,
E
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Old 24-04-2019, 06:29   #7
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

You are welcome E.
I think you will like Express Composites. The owner is a boat guy from way back.
If you can spare a weekday afternoon, see if Jim is around and take the boat up there for a show-n-tell.
Have you tapped a tool handle around the deck to listen for changes or tried some exploratory holes near the crack down to the inner shell?
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Old 24-04-2019, 22:05   #8
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
You are welcome E.
I think you will like Express Composites. The owner is a boat guy from way back.
If you can spare a weekday afternoon, see if Jim is around and take the boat up there for a show-n-tell.
Have you tapped a tool handle around the deck to listen for changes or tried some exploratory holes near the crack down to the inner shell?
Not a bad idea to bring the boat with. Ill ask for Jim!

I have not, mostly because I do not know what I should be looking for. I'm guessing like you mentioned changes in sound.

Someone else had said to do exploratory holes, and I was confused by this. Do you just drill holes into the area around the cracks?

Cheers,
E
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Old 27-04-2019, 08:24   #9
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Hi E-
I think anything you can do to analyze the extent of damage will help.
For sure you need to redo from the mast step to 2 or so inches out. Maybe cut off the top skin neatly as shown in red (round the corners a bit) and dig out the core. Then look / pick along the cut edge for delam and rot. If things look tight and dry, great. If not you need to keep digging so to speak. The long cracks will need looking at too, hopefully damage there is mostly glass and not core.
PS you'll want to get that leak in the cable tube fixed too, 'lowriding' is not good for boats...
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Old 28-04-2019, 15:47   #10
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
Hi E-
I think anything you can do to analyze the extent of damage will help.
For sure you need to redo from the mast step to 2 or so inches out. Maybe cut off the top skin neatly as shown in red (round the corners a bit) and dig out the core. Then look / pick along the cut edge for delam and rot. If things look tight and dry, great. If not you need to keep digging so to speak. The long cracks will need looking at too, hopefully damage there is mostly glass and not core.
PS you'll want to get that leak in the cable tube fixed too, 'lowriding' is not good for boats...
I will do full work around it today or tomorrow to get more details over.

1. Cut 2 in out from the mast step edges and check the core. I have a feeling it will be rotten from the water getting through the crack.

I was planning on cutting the top sheet off the entire thing and re-glassing it, but that will get fairly expensive I feel. I just want to solve the crack issue, while I am working on the step. Thoughts on this?

O boy, I don't even know where to start with the cable issue, but you are right, the boat definitely low rides, even with 2 passengers, water is splashing through the wench hole which on this boat is on the outside, where the benches are.

I did like it for the fact that water also drained through there because I don't have any sort of drain on the back of the boat. Which I suppose I can put in once the wench hole issue is solved. This will help me to get better placement on the ride height of the boat. I'll look to see if I have any pictures of the boat on the water.
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Old 28-04-2019, 16:03   #11
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Here are some pics of the boat in action. Sorry for the not so great quality.

1. That boat docked at Harriet. You can see how much it's low riding. Needs to be solved.

2. In full sail, either because of how the boat sits, or because of mast setup (incorrectly), or because of Mast step damage, the mast pulls aft quite badly. This also forces the boom to ride at 70 degrees or lower pitch to the draft of the boat. (I think?!)

So much I need to learn. Thank you experienced folk for your thoughts and knowledge. I got the boat for cheap and taught myself to sail. Now to learn the maintenance and how to make it look and operate like new again!

Cheers,
Eb

PS: apologies, I am not sure on how to flip the images, the forum uploads them this way.
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Old 29-04-2019, 04:32   #12
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild





https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/venture-17


Hi Eb-
The forum's picture uploader may not like the size of the pictures.
It seems like your mast is raked more than the old picture and diagram.
At this point I would try to find an owner's group for the boat and get some first-hand tips for your repair. The advantage that I see in doing a 'bigger' repair is that it will look more even so to speak.
You are working on a bigger problem than I have dealt with (yet..) It would be nice to get some tips from more experienced hands.
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Old 29-04-2019, 11:13   #13
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post




https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/venture-17


Hi Eb-
The forum's picture uploader may not like the size of the pictures.
It seems like your mast is raked more than the old picture and diagram.
At this point, I would try to find an owner's group for the boat and get some first-hand tips for your repair. The advantage that I see in doing a 'bigger' repair is that it will look more even so to speak.
You are working on a bigger problem than I have dealt with (yet..) It would be nice to get some tips from more experienced hands.

Ah yes, picture sizes...forgot about that.

Yeah, the mast is definitely more raked, and the boat does not sit that evenly in the water as the picture or diagram.

Right on with the even look. Part of the way that top section is "bowing" also makes the hatch hard to open and close. The picture below shows someone else's, mast step repair but the top part of the deck is flat and IMO, should probably be what it looks like.

Here is the video associated with the photo, if this gives any insight on the boat.

https://youtu.be/Sdge6R67Y9w

The repair does seem to be more involved, with more of the mathematical way that it works. Way out my knowledge base. haha

Will have to search through and see what I can find. I have looked and haven't found much from people, though knowing MacGregor they created a number of these boats. I'll keep this thread alive for the top deck repair though.

I appreciate the help, I will probably reach out as a continue to try to figure it out and start the work. Just need the weather to equalize here sometime.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:38   #14
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Hi Eb-
I would do a repair to the core and glass under the mast step rather than add more material- messing with the shroud lengths and leaving potentially damaged material underneath.
Does you hatch slide in wooden rails? I would not be surprised if the deck is a bit 'sprung' from the top laminate being cracked/torn. Since the core 'sandwich' is compromised, the remaining fiberglass is less constrained and more free to move. You might need to build a temporary system to pull things back in line before you glass in the repair. It could also be not so complicated and just be swollen wood in the rails.
I imagine you're waiting for warmer weather like the rest of us in MN, looks like a couple nice days coming up...
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Old 05-05-2019, 14:24   #15
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Re: Venture 17 Mast Step Rebuild

Hey Spot!

Yeah, we are having a few nice days here and there, but with some days dropping in temps so quickly, it's hard to get started on some of these projects.

So I went to Express Composites and talked with them for what would be a good replacement for fiberglass and they were very helpful. I will be picking up stuff from them once I cut the top deck open. I decided that I would cut the entire space not just around the mast step. I figured, better to fix it all.

I will pull the core out and hopefully (fingers crossed) won't have to fiberglass underneath. this way I can put down the new core and start glassing. I am hoping we get a nice week here soon, with steady temps, as I know you can't have big jumps in temp for letting it cure.

In the meantime, I might start sanding down the old paint on the top deck so that I can paint it when the time comes.

Also, have a thread over at SailboatOwners just search V17 - Issues/Refit

I have been getting a lot more information than I bargained for!
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