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Old 28-11-2021, 21:42   #1
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Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

GF and I decided we want to “sell up and sail” in the next two years. Neither of us had ever sailed before, so we took a week long liveaboard course that got us our basic cruising endorsement (Canadian equivalent of ASA 101/103?). Bought our first ever boat last spring to get some experience, even if it’s just on a lake, and had a great summer.

Yesterday was the day we were to pull our beloved boat off the water for the winter. Got loaded onto the trailer without issue, but when we were attempting to lay down the mast, it got sideways on us and crashed to the ground ripping the mast foot out of the deck.

The boat is a 1982 US Yachts 25, the foot was a two piece deal that was secured with pins fore and aft to facilitate raising or lowering it. The part that was secured to the deck had 4 lag screws into plywood that pulled out. The section that was in the mast had inserts and bolts that broke.

I can’t fully assess the damage to the mast until daylight tomorrow, but I know it hit the pavement pretty hard.

My questions are: If the mast is still straight, and the mainsail track isn’t damaged, am I nuts to use it again? What other mast damage should I be looking for (beside whatever fitting got smashed at the top)?
For the mast foot that bolts to the deck, can I simply epoxy fill the holes that the lag screws pulled out of and buy or build a new plate with a larger area, or will in need to completely cut apart the deck and put in new wood and fibreglass?

Will try to post some pictures tomorrow.

Any thoughts or advice is appreciated.

We are so sad. Tough way to end our first year of sailing.
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Old 28-11-2021, 21:52   #2
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

Welcome.

I would suggest updating your profile with your general location and your boat make & model or “Looking” in the "Boat" category. This info shows up under your UserName in every post in the web view. Many questions are boat and/or location dependent and having these tidbits under your UserName saves answering those questions repeatedly. If you need help setting up your profile then click on this link: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3308797

I would happily help more if the link above is not enough.

Photos would be a good start.

If the mast is straight or even slightly bent it would be fine unless you were going offshore. That’s not the boat to go off shore in.

We’re the spreaders bent, or worse the brackets the anchor to?

If the mast step was lag bolted, the probably you can over size the holes, fill with epoxy. Redrill for thrubolts which is what the should have been.

The mast step can probably be pounded back into shape depending on how mangled it is or it can be replaced.
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Old 28-11-2021, 21:54   #3
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

Sorry to hear that. I feel your pain. Any idea what part of the mast hit the ground first? If the mast is not bent I'd say it's fine. You may have broken one of the spreaders. Check the fitting where the spreader attaches to the mast closely for damage. Take a photo of that if it fell on it. If it fell on the mast head, look for any cracks in any welds. I've even seen masts with a small bend get straightened out when the rigging was tuned. As for the deck, it would be better to have the mast base through-bolted to the deck, but I am not familiar with that particular boat. I'd bet there is a repair possible there. The tabernacle that the mast is mounted on is probably bent and will probably need to be replaced, but photos will help there. Kinda flying blind here but I would not give up hope!
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Old 28-11-2021, 22:00   #4
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

Thanks to both of you.

Updated my profile as per your advise Adelie.

The spreaders didn’t hit the ground, the top hit and the base caught up in the safety line. Good call regarding checking for cracks at the impact area Don, will do tomorrow.

Will get some pictures and attempt to post them in the am. The base wasn’t through bolted, but there are 8 smaller bolts through the cabin roof at the mast location, so I’m assuming chain plates or whatever to spread out the surface area (sorry, lack of terminology).
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Old 28-11-2021, 22:04   #5
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

Also for the record: we don’t truly have plans for any sort of serious off shore use for this boat, but had considered going between the the mainland and Vancouver island.
Nevertheless, the lake we’re on isn’t super wide but is definitely big enough to easily drown on, so making sure the boat is safe again is obviously a huge priority.
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Old 28-11-2021, 22:25   #6
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

OK I was able to see a few photos of your model of boat, but not from the inside. Shots of the interior will help too. Ordinarily there is no lateral stress on the mast step, well in your case it would be a mast base, so lag bolts there is not a shock. But if there is room under the mast, a plate through-bolted (could be wood or marine aluminum like 5083) may be a good idea or like Adelie said, it may be possible to just fix the holes that are there.
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Old 28-11-2021, 22:29   #7
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

If no one got hurt and you made it home then it is not as bad as it could have been.
Pictures will help us help you.
My boat has baby stays to keep the mast centered during raising and lowering. They start below the spreaders and mount on the edge of the deck port and starboard in line with the base of the mast.
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Old 29-11-2021, 13:23   #8
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

All else aside, I would through bolt the tabernacle with a substantial plate below.
Best of luck.
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Old 29-11-2021, 13:38   #9
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Fatstacks View Post
We are so sad. Tough way to end our first year of sailing.
On the contrary - now you get to learn the fine arts of boat repair during the off season. If you're going to live aboard you will need to get used to fixing silly stuff the manufacturer cheaped out on, and idiotic stuff the previous owner(s) did.
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Old 29-11-2021, 14:03   #10
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

I had an O'Day 23 that had a similar situation. (Gin pole broke, mast swiveled to side.) Cracked the cabin roof. Was able to DIY repair. Was always through bolted, but added backing plate afterward. I would suggest changing to a thru bolted setup, lag screws are next to useless on a boat. Aluminum plate (Old fry pans are good) makes good backing plates.
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Old 29-11-2021, 14:04   #11
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

Spot and Lodesman, good advice. Yep, no one seriously injured and it can turn into a good learning experience.

Another good learning experience will be when I figure out how to post pics on this site using an iPhone…
Watched the video and tried the advise under the help forum, but neither seem to apply as I don’t see a + button by the quick reply; and can’t copy/paste files into the post.

The mast is slightly bent and has a tiny kink in it right below the spreaders. Not sure how much structural integrity has been lost. No cracks at the mast head, sail track seems to be alright.

The consensus seem to be through bolting the tabernacle/deck and to add a backing plate inside, and replace the mast foot. None of this would appear to be outside of the realm of my abilities.. I guess I should marine epoxy the holes first?
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Old 29-11-2021, 14:30   #12
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

https://share.icloud.com/photos/04Vo...3U1AgM2Ub5W_gw

Can someone please let me know if that works to view the pictures of the damage
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Old 29-11-2021, 14:50   #13
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

I can see the pics on an iPhone.
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Old 29-11-2021, 14:51   #14
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

Thank you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfelsent View Post
I can see the pics on an iPhone.
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Old 29-11-2021, 15:05   #15
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Re: Advice please! Mast crashed down, foot torn out of deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Fatstacks View Post
Thank you!


The shot at the spreaders could use another angle. Is the mast kinked there?
If so you will find many saying it is junk and others telling you to ignore it and others how to repair it.
Just a heads up!
Me? No experience with that so I will not offer an opinion.
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