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post #1 of 30 Old 03-28-2010 Thread Starter
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Question about holes in mast... Help? (With Pics)

Hi guys. Totally new to the forums here, lurked for a while, but finally registered to tap into the wealth of knowledge here.

So, here's the deal. I have been looking for some time for a larger boat. I found one in the price range/condition/size that I have been looking for. She needs a little love and work, but nothing I can't handle. There is one thing that bothers me though...

The mast of this particular boat has several holes drilled into it at the bottom, about a foot or so above the mast step. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to their placement or size. They seem mostly random. The explanation to me was that "sometimes, when people race boats, they will drill holes in the mast to lighten it by a few ounces." Seriously?

So, I am wondering if any of you have ever seen this, and if this poses a problem, as in it weakens the mast. With the stresses the mast is under while under sail, it doesn't seem to be the best idea to put holes in it like this. The holes do seem to be old, and the boat was sailed up until 2 years ago, and all the holes seem to be older than that. If it were you, would you invest in the boat, or would you stay away because of the holes in the foot of the mast?

Any information/recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated. Please advise.

Thanks guys!

Last edited by JankyJ; 03-30-2010 at 10:55 PM.
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post #2 of 30 Old 03-28-2010
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pics would be very good here

also how big are the holes.... half inch, quarter inch, one inch? a couple small less than 1/4 inch holes should not be a big deal. does it look like they might have drilled in some blocks to run line to the cockpit, or maybe for extras like a spinnaker pole?

now as for the weight thing holes down low would not do crap, they would need to be at the top of the mast to mean anything, and then it might be a couple of seconds per mile, at best.
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post #3 of 30 Old 03-28-2010
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Nobody would drill "speed holes" in a mast. That is just idiotic. It would not make you any faster. It would be like sailing in those sharkskin wetsuits that swimmers use, shaving off all of your hair, bringing no crew, using only the smallest spectra line for all rigging jobs, and tearing out everything in the cabin.

Nobody would do it. Sure people will go to great lengths to win. But there are better ways than compromising the mast.

I bet the person selling it to you was feeding you a line of something.
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post #4 of 30 Old 03-28-2010
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Agree the holes would not be to "lighten" the rig.. whoever told you that was pretty ignorant or outright devious.

As Scotty says a picture would help a lot. Also.. are we talking deck stepped or keel stepped (ie hold inside the boat or outside) Most likely holes near the base of the mast are either to drain moisture or for some wiring that's no longer there.

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post #5 of 30 Old 03-28-2010
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Or the mast is a much heavier, thicker extrusion than we are used to seeing...

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Agree the holes would not be to "lighten" the rig.. whoever told you that was pretty ignorant or outright devious.

As Scotty says a picture would help a lot. Also.. are we talking deck stepped or keel stepped (ie hold inside the boat or outside) Most likely holes near the base of the mast are either to drain moisture or for some wiring that's no longer there.

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post #6 of 30 Old 03-28-2010
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Sounds like wiring is the culprit. You'd want the holes to be random so as not to impinge upon the integrity of the spar. Perhaps they installed Tack-Tic instruments afterwards and no longer needed the wiring. It would help to know how big the boat (and the holes) are.
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post #7 of 30 Old 03-28-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply guys. I totally should have taken a picture while I was inspecting the boat, but just didn't think of it. I am going to try to get one, because I know it will help a lot.

The holes themselves vary from about a 1/4 inch being the smallest I noticed up to about a 1/2 maybe 3/4 being the largest. And as I said before there seems to be absolutely NO rhyme or reason. Some seem to overlap each other, and when looking at it, it kinda reminded me of a shotgun blast. There was no discernible pattern that I saw.

I did feel the "helps with speed" line was idiotic. It seems to me that a hole, in either the mast or even the keel would break the smooth flow of air/water and cause more turbulence. Even holes in an aluminum mast would be such a small amount of weight loss it would be undetectable.

The mast is deck stepped. The boat is a 22 foot Laguna/Windrose. It was apparently used previously by the Boy Scouts or Sea Scouts, then sold to it's current owner.

Now, let me make one thing clear until I can get a pictures. There are SEVERAL holes... not just one or two that may have been used for running a line, or some wiring. And, like I said it looks like a shotgun blast... no pattern, no single size, some seem to be overlapping.

Keep tossing me some suggestions, I appreciate them all and I will try to do this thread justice by getting some pictures.

Thanks.
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post #8 of 30 Old 03-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JankyJ View Post
...It was apparently used previously by the Boy Scouts...
Metalworking merit badge, maybe? lol

I'm just a newbie, so big grain of salt here. But if the boat was raced there may have been other things done to it to stress the rig and thus lower its value. You might want to find so
meone to have a look.


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i have two holes, about 3/4" on each side of the keel stepped mast 3" from the bottom. the wires for lights, VHF, & wind wind gauge go through them on my 30' nimble. the holes above deck are for internal halyards.

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post #10 of 30 Old 03-28-2010
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