Mast Life and When to Replace It ?
Boat Info: 1970 Islander 37 M S
I've searched for information but did not find a lot about the method used to evaluate a mast and when to replace it.
My mast has some (2 inches) corrosion at the base but nothing visible up the tube.
I read where racing boats have their mast's replaced due to.... cumulative stress loading. I'm a airplane mechanic and understand why a alum. mast is stain hardened and becomes brittle & fails under heavy load... specifically in a raced boat.
My question is geared against a non raced boat but 43 years old. Logic may dictate.. it may/ should be at the end of it's service life. If I was inspecting it in the airplane world... I'd strip the paint and inspect it for cracks and return it to service if found A Ok. I have the mast off the I-37 and did not see a bending set in the mast.
My reason for asking this question is receive advice, & what others have learned over the years. I understand the saying... if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'm concerned about sailing in higher wind conditions and my mast fails. I could address the 42 year old mast now and save a much higher $$ expense, should it fail at sea. I was pricing new masts, they run about $ 4 K.
Note, the hull is in good shape, blister/ defect free. A lot of money has been spent on this boat. If I bought a new mast... it would not be throwing money away against a boat that need's everything else to be seaworthy.
Last edited by HighFly_27; 10-01-2013 at 04:01 PM.