Went up the mast :-( - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-12-2013 Thread Starter
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Went up the mast :-(

Hi All,

Report of my first mast accent on Traveler. Using the Mast Climber was easy and fun (I'm still nimble and light, 160lbs). Fantastic view of the Everett harbor at 1900 on a beautiful sunny, warm day.

Lubed and got the anemometer cups moving (temp fix I know, but the replacement cost for this old analog stuff is prohibitive ). Saw more corrosion blisters than I hoped I would. But the biggest bummer was finding the topping lift and main halyard sheaves were basically corroded in place, i.e. not turning. The worst find however was the sheaves and their axels are part of the masthead fitting that plugs into the top of the mast, in other words the sheaves are not servicebale unless the masthead fitting comes out. I'm thinking the only way out of this one is to de-mast the boat and work on it on the ground. .

Boy, what to do? The boat is coming out for a new bottom job next May. I know it's not optimum performance, but was thinking about sailing it anyway, keeping an eye on the halyard for wear. Take the mast off in May and refurb the masthead area complete.

The first owner was also some sort of racing nut and chopped off 1' of spreader. Anyone ever heard of doing that? Think I ought to replace them to OEM?

Dave

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post #2 of 13 Old 09-12-2013
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Re: Went up the mast :-(

I would be less concerned about the topping lift than I would be about the mainsail halyard. If it's frozen in place, and with enough stress on it, it is likely to come apart completely. We can foresee two times that this is likely to happen. Either under sail or when hoisting. If under sail it would certainly ruin your day but the sail would be cleated off so it would remain under considerable tension. Gravity would work in your favor when you eventually lower the sail. If upon hoisting, I don't think you'd have enough strength to continue raising the sail. Again, that's going to end your sailing day pretty quick. Can you push up your haul out to now? That way you could kill the proverbial two birds and continue sailing. If you can't, I would not suggest sailing until you can fix the sheave. I know nothing about shortening spreaders, pros or cons...Good luck!
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-12-2013
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Re: Went up the mast :-(

spreader are sometimes cut down to allow better sheeting angles on the genoa. What type boat?

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Re: Went up the mast :-(

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Originally Posted by overbored View Post
spreader are sometimes cut down to allow better sheeting angles on the genoa. What type boat?
Allmand 31. Full sloop rig. I dimension - about 42' give or take.

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post #5 of 13 Old 09-12-2013
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Re: Went up the mast :-(

Both halyards are critical. The main as Ericb760 explained and the topping lift as well -- unless you have a solid boom vang, the boom could come down on somebodys head when at rest.
I would replace the spreaders to original specs.
My two cents.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-12-2013
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Re: Went up the mast :-(

A racing nut with an Allmand? Sounds like he may have been confused! Putting the spreaders back to stock will take new rigging so it will not be cheap, but if you are replacing the rigging it may be a good idea to do that. Often "upgrades" are often not really upgrades to the next owners. Sounds like you should get the mast down and really work on rebuilding the mast head.

One suggestion is to put the boat model and type in your signature that way you don't have to be asked all the time.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-12-2013
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Re: Went up the mast :-(

We had the same problem.

I was able to get our aluminum sheaves loose by taking a pair of vice grips, clamping them on the sheave, and hitting it with a hammer a few times. You can then spray them with some kind of oil to keep them moving. As long as you keep them moving, I doubt they'll restick.

Our masthead was filled with junk and had substantial corrosion inside from 35 year old stainless bolts running through aluminum parts. Fortunately, I was able to get them all out with a lot of sweat and Salt Away. We did pull the mast down, though, which I'd recommend you do when you haul out. You'll want to clean the masthead and change out the bolts.
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Re: Went up the mast :-(

Taking a foot off the spreader is pretty drastic, I'd probably return it to design specs.. but as mentioned that involves new shrouds too (but that might not be a bad idea anyhow).. OTOH if it's been this way for years and hasn't fallen down.....

Since going up is 'fun', maybe go again a few time and saturate the area with PB blaster or some other loosening compound.. maybe the sheaves will at least free up. A frozen sheave makes it pretty tough to get adequate halyard tension.

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Re: Went up the mast :-(

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Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
A racing nut with an Allmand? Sounds like he may have been confused! Putting the spreaders back to stock will take new rigging so it will not be cheap, but if you are replacing the rigging it may be a good idea to do that. Often "upgrades" are often not really upgrades to the next owners. Sounds like you should get the mast down and really work on rebuilding the mast head.

One suggestion is to put the boat model and type in your signature that way you don't have to be asked all the time.
Have to agree with you on that one. He (who was the Allmand dealer in Seattle, circa 1980) installed every piece of sailing gizmo possible, all lines leading aft (not a bad thing), emptied the boat of non-essentials (for weight I guess) and purhaps got all possible 7 or so knots out of her under sail.

Thanks for the signature tip!

Dave

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Re: Went up the mast :-(

I think I have a stuck sheave on the main halyard (although I'm hoping it's something else that I missed, perhaps it's tangled with the topping lift).

Although it certainly prevents the main halyard from being properly tightened I don't see any real risk sailing the boat in this state. It just hurts performance to not have the main properly tightened.

Probably time for a trip up the mast steps...
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