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Old 09-11-2017, 11:16   #1
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What would you do for a mast?

I wish it were a hypothetical question but it's not. It's my reality. While I'm waiting for quotes to come in from different places, I wonder how feasable it would be to motor my Irma-dismasted sailboat from BVI to somewhere else for a new mast and rigging. The rigging companies on the islands are overwhelmed with the amount of work and not likely to get it done in time to salvage the 2017 season (for a non-charter boat like mine). I also question the quality of work under the best of circumstances, let alone under the current conditions and certainly don't want carelessness or shortcuts to be taken. And that's not to mention the extra expense of having a mast shipped.

So, I wonder what would you do? Would you forfeit the hopes of a full season of sailing this year and pay whatever premium to have it done where the boat sits? (It is, btw, stored on the hard and thankfully stayed on the stands through the blow) Would you consider motoring the ~1000 miles to Florida to have the work done? Am I crazy for even thinking of it? What about taking her someplace like Martinique where the scheduling might be better but the cost would likely still be high due to shipping the stick?

I'm still waiting on estimates to start coming in and once they do it might make the decision obvious because cost is (needless to say) a major factor. In the mean time, I'd like to evaluate other options from a safety/cost/time standpoint and so I'd greatly appreciate the input and opinion of the collective. -TIA
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:25   #2
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

Well, it's a motor boat, take it where you want. But it seems there would be options of salvage masts maybe right where you are at? What size boat?
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:46   #3
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

Salvage masts would be an intriguing solution if you can get the right mast. Motoring 1000 miles to FL is a looong slog. Yes, it's probably cheaper to ship masts there, but enough to offset the trip costs in time and $? What about the shorter trip to Grenada? My understanding is there is a substantial marine support industry there. That or Trinidad is where my broker suggested taking a boat, and he's in FL.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:00   #4
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

Assuming you have a monohull....

If you have never been offshore in a sailboat without a mast... You might want to try it before you make a final commitment to a 1000 mile trip. That mast was a HUGE addition to the boat's rotational momentum. Without it the boat will roll very fast, far, and "snappy" compared to what you are used to. It WILL be VERY uncomfortable. Exactly how uncomfortable is hard to say... it depends a lot on the boat. It is possible the boat's designer can give you an idea what it would be like.

If you have a cruising cat:

It's just a motor boat with a mast anyway, so fill the tanks and go.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:41   #5
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

Apologies for the lack of detail in the initial post - the boat is a 42' Hunter. (mono)

Iv'e reached out to a rigger in Martinique for a ballpark estimate. It'd certainly be easier to motor there or Grenada than to Florida but I imagine a mast would still need to be shipped to either island, increasing the cost substantially. I'd estimate fuel to Florida to run me +-$1500, and I'll be considering that expense when comparing estimates. It's worth it to me to pay slightly more in order to avoid a long rolly slog - how much more, I don't know. At this point, I'm assuming (i know, I know...) that the estimates from FL will be the lowest.

As for the possibility of finding a salvaged mast... not likely. Not likely at all.
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Old 09-11-2017, 13:16   #6
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

I think I would really hunt for a salvage mast. The Florida yards are very busy too.
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Old 09-11-2017, 13:41   #7
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

When I was in the Azores a few years ago, there was a boat with a similar problem and the crew needed to get to Lisbon (I believe) fairly quickly.

The yard there built them a temporary mast out of two by fours sistered together. They then screwed and thru-bolted a male sail track (female slides sewn onto main) to the two by fours and a couple blocks on top for the main and jib halyards. They went boomless.

They supported the mast with wire, but now days dynema would be easier to work with and cheaper to ship, but any non-stretch line will work. You could add as many spreaders and stays as you would like fairly easily.

Your trip is probably going to be downwind, so efficiency is not critical and the forces are not quite as huge. You just need to keep the mast straight in column. It only needs to last 15-20 days. If you can't get stainless, use what you can get. Maybe dip the hardware in paint to protect them a bit.

Charlie
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Old 09-11-2017, 13:44   #8
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

Hello Mika1,

I had the occasion to motor a dismasted boat about 70 n. mi. It was a real eye opener for me. Totally gone was the normal stability of motoring. The boat rolled continually, to the extent that for morning coffee and tea, I had to hold the kettle on the gimbaled stove, because the motion was so brisk it was rapidly sliding back and forth between the rails. All i could manage for brekkie was cooking toast over the burner on a cooking fork--it was that hard.

If you were in protected water with no wakes, it probably wouldn't be difficult, but if you've never done it before, it is hard to imagine just how uncomfortable and tiring it is in the open ocean.

If you're wanting a permanent fix, see what you can do to move up the waiting line a bit. Another option is using an aluminum light standard for a mast. We've friends who circumnavigated with such a mast. But honestly, you may indeed be able to find a usable salvaged mast, and that's probably your best option. If you are a DIY type, and if you bring wire and Sta-Loks, you could re-rig it yourself. Just follow the directions carefully. Read up on tuning rigs. Eventually sail the boat somewhere you trust the rigger, and let that one check your tuning, and possibly show you some pointers.

Ann
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Old 09-11-2017, 14:59   #9
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

Assuming Florida would save money and time (not necessarily a given) I would go for the jury rig and sail it there.

As noted, it will almost certainly be downwind all the way so a tall, efficient rig wouldn't be necessary. I would find the closest diameter and thickness mast (or piece of mast) for the Hunter, get a handful of Staloks and rig something. Might not be pretty but would get you there.

Is the original mast deck or keel stepped?
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Old 09-11-2017, 15:24   #10
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

no question in my mind
rig a short mast,short boom,small sail and off you go.
easy peasy
you may like it so much might make it permanent!!!!
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Old 09-11-2017, 16:25   #11
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

https://www.google.com/search?q=jury...hrome&ie=UTF-8
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Old 09-11-2017, 16:47   #12
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

quickest way to build a temporary mast is to use 1" galvanised plumbing pipe.

all you need is a flat surface,a basic welder ,cutting grinder and some time to build a "lattice mast".

https://www.boatdesign.net/attachmen...mast-jpg.5786/
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Old 09-11-2017, 17:57   #13
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

Have you also considered what the trip back home would be like, 1000 miles upwind against the trades?
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Old 09-11-2017, 19:09   #14
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
quickest way to build a temporary mast is to use 1" galvanised plumbing pipe.

all you need is a flat surface,a basic welder ,cutting grinder and some time to build a "lattice mast".

https://www.boatdesign.net/attachmen...mast-jpg.5786/
Where is he gonna find 100' of straight plumbing pipe ? And a welder ?oh and btw welding ( or grinding ) galvy is a pretty unpleasant experience
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Old 09-11-2017, 19:13   #15
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Re: What would you do for a mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davil View Post
no question in my mind
rig a short mast,short boom,small sail and off you go.
easy peasy
you may like it so much might make it permanent!!!!
This seems the obvious one to me , not even any need to be short , get a couple of salvaged ones and cobble ( sleeve ) up decent one , might not be possible to get swaging to length but bulldogs will be your friend .
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