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Old 08-07-2020, 13:56   #1
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Wedging the mast

I need to replace missing wedges on my mast. I recently had the mast step repaired and the "professionals" I hired lost some of the hard rubber wedges.

Instead of telling me they simply put the 3 remaining ones in fore, aft and stbd. I couldn't understand why my mast didn't appear straight and tried to tune it.

Measuring the mast (thank-you Brion Toss for your book), I found it to be offset. I cut off the mast boot and found the problem. (Anybody else seen foam window tape wound around as a boot?)

I can't get replacements locally so I'll use cedar shims.

My question is: do I shim with opposite pairs so the pressure is parallel or just used them singly?
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Old 08-07-2020, 14:48   #2
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Re: Wedging the mast

Wedges at the mast partners are old fashion

They are fiddly and difficult to set , never fit correctly and inevitably fall out

Time to replace and use a modern product

Spartight by Sika

https://advanced-resins.sika.com/con.../Spartite.html
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Old 08-07-2020, 16:56   #3
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Re: Wedging the mast

I used wedges differently.


I used wedges to trim the mast. And indeed they were some sort of hard rubbery material, not wood.


Nothing to do with waterproofing.


Boat 50 ft, wooden mast, built around 1940-50.


We set the mast right without wedges first (no tension). Then we placed the wedges (snug fit). Next we trimmed the mast to the final geometry. After being done the fore and aft wedges were not level and the athwart ones were same level.


Later the boat crossed the Atlantic and returned. So I think this method is fine.



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Old 08-07-2020, 17:10   #4
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Re: Wedging the mast

So, the Spartight, you use modeling clay on the hull on the inside, then pour it and let it set up? How do you get it out to pull the mast?
My mast has some kind of black rubber wedge around it.

I’ve been chasing a slight leak in heavy rain and about given up.
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Old 08-07-2020, 17:42   #5
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Re: Wedging the mast

I highly recommend NOT using spar tight. All fine and dandy until time to pluck the mast. Then it;s major pains in the A
Wood wedges are fine, nothing hard. I used pine, work great. Shape them to suit.
A lot of old technology works great, no surprise.
I did not pack opposite but more ran them all around. No issues in 20 years and two mast plucks.
This is for the OP, not interested in arguing or dealing with the trolls
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Old 08-07-2020, 17:49   #6
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Re: Wedging the mast

I watched the instructions on YouTube, the surface area thru my cabin top is rough, not smooth Gelcoat like in the video, also my mast clearance is much less to the hull, I believe I would have a very difficult time pulling the mast, I don’t think it would release easily from my cabin top.
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Old 08-07-2020, 19:22   #7
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Re: Wedging the mast

Was told by a boat builder friend of mine to slap some vaseline prior to using any rubber-like material for a permanent wedge. Not on the mast but on the inside of the collar ring. Then the mast comes out like a charm. With the wedge material intact and stuck to the mast for reuse.
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Old 08-07-2020, 19:31   #8
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Re: Wedging the mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I watched the instructions on YouTube, the surface area thru my cabin top is rough, not smooth Gelcoat like in the video, also my mast clearance is much less to the hull, I believe I would have a very difficult time pulling the mast, I don’t think it would release easily from my cabin top.
I don’t know your boat

On some applications...were you are concerned that the mast ...and spartight packing can’t be removed ... you embed a stainless wire or robust braided string into the spartight when you pour

When removal time comes ....you free up the ends of the wire or string that you embedded into the spartight ...and use it as a “cheese cutter” to saw the wedge into pieces and unstep the spar

Spartight is rubbery and easy to saw
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Old 08-07-2020, 20:29   #9
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Re: Wedging the mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allied39 View Post
I highly recommend NOT using spar tight. All fine and dandy until time to pluck the mast. Then it;s major pains in the A
Wood wedges are fine, nothing hard. I used pine, work great. Shape them to suit.
A lot of old technology works great, no surprise.
I did not pack opposite but more ran them all around. No issues in 20 years and two mast plucks.
This is for the OP, not interested in arguing or dealing with the trolls
Mast positioning (wedges in the partners area) and waterproofing the partners area are two different tasks. Spartight tries to do both. I guess it works OK enough, disregarding the issue of getting it out to pull the mast.

I used to have wedges but they kept falling out after beating in heavy weather. Now I use 3/8" plywood shims fore and aft, cut so that they span the width of the collar and cannot drop all the way down. I have a couple in the front and several in the aft side, to obtain the position and mast pre-bend which I desired. On the sides I inserted teflon material, held in place by screws from the outside of the collar so there is no sideways movement of the mast.

For water proofing I made a neoprene gasket (from wet suit material) which is held to the collar by a large hose clamp and the same at the mast.

Finally I sewed a sunbrella cover which fits nicely over the whole neoprene/ mast wedges area and has velcro to keep it in place and bungie top and bottom for further security.

Old technology but inexpensive and it works very well.

and completely removable)
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:17   #10
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Re: Wedging the mast

Wedges and mast boots have been used to step masts for centuries---it was old hat when Drake whupped the Armada.The mast leaks, internally and externally and usually requires a crane to remove and refit. But everybody goes on using the method!!
In the early nineties I removed my deck stepped mast and fitted a keel stepped mast using a method very common in Fremantle, Western Australia. It does not leak because it cannot leak and has all the advantages of keel and deck stepped with none of the disadvantages of either. After nearly 30yrs I consider it to be a faultless method of installation. I have mentioned this fact several times in the past but nobody seems interested. May your bilges run with water and your crane cost a heap!
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:34   #11
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Re: Wedging the mast

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Originally Posted by Patrigo View Post
Wedges and mast boots have been used to step masts for centuries---it was old hat when Drake whupped the Armada.The mast leaks, internally and externally and usually requires a crane to remove and refit. But everybody goes on using the method!!
In the early nineties I removed my deck stepped mast and fitted a keel stepped mast using a method very common in Fremantle, Western Australia. It does not leak because it cannot leak and has all the advantages of keel and deck stepped with none of the disadvantages of either. After nearly 30yrs I consider it to be a faultless method of installation. I have mentioned this fact several times in the past but nobody seems interested. May your bilges run with water and your crane cost a heap!
Stepping a mast on the keel reduces mast compression loads , keeps the mast section in column athwart ships and induces prebend


The mast partners are essentially another set if spreaders...part of the rigs engineered rigging geometry
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Old 13-07-2020, 13:00   #12
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Re: Wedging the mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrigo View Post
Wedges and mast boots have been used to step masts for centuries---it was old hat when Drake whupped the Armada.The mast leaks, internally and externally and usually requires a crane to remove and refit. But everybody goes on using the method!!
In the early nineties I removed my deck stepped mast and fitted a keel stepped mast using a method very common in Fremantle, Western Australia. It does not leak because it cannot leak and has all the advantages of keel and deck stepped with none of the disadvantages of either. After nearly 30yrs I consider it to be a faultless method of installation. I have mentioned this fact several times in the past but nobody seems interested. May your bilges run with water and your crane cost a heap!
My mast only leaks from rain getting inside the mast. I seal it at the deck with a toilet bowl wax.
I am curious about your method. Can you share it?
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Old 15-07-2020, 05:31   #13
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Re: Wedging the mast

To bcboomer.
As mentioned I have elaborated on this a few times in the past, but sailors are a very conservative lot, and seem very against anything new---hence my reference to Frances Drake. I have sent details and photos to one guy who emailed me directly. Give it a go.
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