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Old 10-05-2012
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***PLEASE HELP*** Sitka spruce Mast mistery

Hello all, so I have been having some issues with my main mast that have baffled me. The joint on one section of the mast that ran from mast head down to just below the spreaders was opening a bit, and I figured I would just go ahead and pop it off and rebed it in some west system so I didn't have to worry about it any more. So I used some maple wedges to pop it apart, cleaned up the glue surface, rewired the mast, and inserted some crinkled up aluminum foil to enhance my radar blip, and epoxyed it back together, All seamed to be great until I had put my fourth coat of varnish on about a month later when I noticed some of the small black checks that seamed totally superficial were opening up in multiple places. The worst of which was right next to the epoxy joint I had redone. These little checks that were opening up split right through the whole thickness of the wood! I could squeeze the area and see it flexing back and forth. This was quite disturbing after spending hours and hours getting these spars ready to varnish. So my question is is WHY?? I took all the hardware off the mast to allow for a total refinishing which left little holes all over the place where hardware was screwed on, so this is where a little moisture got in, but they are still open so it could just evaporate right back out on a hot day. Where is this stress coming from that is causing these shallow checks to crack totally through???? I have re opened up, and cut out the worse piece of the mast and am prepping to install new scarfed pieces of sitka, but I really donít want to have to do it again and again and again due to this unknown stress popping things apart again. Any one have any idea???? PLEASE HELP I have quit my job, and this boat needs to be taking me south in about a month! Thanks all Zach of all Tradez.
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