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jefflisajohnson 11-24-2006 09:39 AM

mast compression on beneteau 381
I have a sales contract on a 1999 Beneteau 381. There is a slight compression at the mast step. I only noticed it after seeing standing water at the base. I spoke with the rigger because some say that this compression could have been caused by too tight of a rig. The rigger told me that he did tighten the rig, but even if he tightnend it too much(which he says he did not), the deck should not have compressed like it did. We sent pictures to Beneteau and spoke with our surveyer about possible fixes. Beneteau has recommended placing a 3/16 ss plate between the compression post and the floor. The seller has agreed to pay for the fix. My question is will this hurt the value or seaworthiness of the boat? Any suggestions/comments greatly appreciated. jeff

afterguy 11-24-2006 03:28 PM

Sell it
Don't say a word, sell it, and buy a real boat.

Faster 11-24-2006 03:49 PM

Beneteau seems to have acknowledged that this is a condition requiring repairs. The fact that such a recent boat has this problem should be a bit of a red flag.
If this is the model you have your heart set on, there must be more of them around... check them out for the same issues. Maybe look into buying one without said problem, but keep in mind that it may simply not have had that problem yet.
If the deal justifies the hassle of repairing things to start with, and - most important- the repairs are properly carried out, you could end up with a perfectly fine boat.

cardiacpaul 11-24-2006 04:29 PM

Jeff, unless you're totally sold on the boat...
Cancel the contract due to the problem and find another boat.

I've seen a couple of these with the same problem, and I just shake my head at Bene's answer. "just throw a hunk o' steel underneath, it'll be fine."

While it is true you do spread the load out under the mast, there isn't a lot of support built into the deck to begin with, so all you're doing is lessening the problem. I'm not a structural engineer, but you don't stand on a liliy pad, no matter how big the pad is.

This is just my opinion, that and .50 will get you a newspaper.

sailingdog 11-24-2006 06:53 PM

I'd agree with CP and say get out of the contract... The boat is only seven years old, and that's a fairly serious design flaw. Bendytoys is going to say it'll be fine with a 3/16" stainless plate, because they're interest is in getting you to buy their boat, even if it is secondhand. The plate will corrode and may cause other problems, especially if the floor isn't properly supported to handle the load it will transmit.

I've sailed on 30+ year old Cape Dorys and Albergs with deck stepped masts and many of them don't have this problem... on a properly designed boat, it just shouldn't happen.

hellosailor 11-24-2006 08:08 PM

Usually that kind of compression means water damage in the deck under the mast, and that can be fixed--and routinely is.

So are you guys saying the B381 is built defectively and the deck compresses under the mast even without any water damage? Or, in either case, that there's some reason the B381 can't be repaired the way any other compressed deck would be repaired?

It sounds like this is just a question of "there's something wrong with this boat, let's figure out who's going to pay to fix it" and deal with it like any other repair. Either DIY or by a glass shop, it shouldn't be a big deal unless there's something really wrong with these boats.

sailingdog 11-24-2006 09:38 PM

Often the compression of the deck is what leads to the water damage—not the other way around. A properly designed boat would have a compression post or bulkhead that spread the load properly and prevented the deck from sinking down at the base of the mast.

cardiacpaul 11-25-2006 04:14 PM

It is a big deal. SD is right the compression usually causes the leaks. I'm not stupid enough to say its a defective design, but it shouldn't be that way. period.

mike dryver 11-25-2006 06:14 PM

if beneteau is telling you to put a plate between the comp post a nd floor it seems to me there is a design or cons. prob. at this point or the boat in gen. i would tell ben. to fix it so they are responsible for future prob. but you know they won't. sounds to me they know this is prob. and are giving a quick rem. i would steer away from this boat. that is your right even if you signed a purchase and sales agreement. if the floor is giving that much because of rig tension what will it do in a seaway under adverse conditions. only a quest for thought.
regards mike

sailingfool 11-25-2006 06:47 PM

Red Flag
54 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by jefflisajohnson
....Beneteau has recommended placing a 3/16 ss plate between the compression post and the floor. The seller has agreed to pay for the fix. My question is will this hurt the value or seaworthiness of the boat? Any suggestions/comments greatly appreciated. jeff

I would be worried about such a new boat showing weakness under the mast step (sounds like a deck stepped mast...). The "over-tightening rigging" sounds like a red herring thrown out to direct your concern away from design/construction, the likely culprits. (In my last purchase the PO of my current boat mentioned a "recently fixed" fuel line leak to mask what should have been evidence of a pinhole in the bottom of the tank, ended up costing me $3-4,000)

That compression occurs is the problem. I don't see how putting a plate under the post necssarily fixes that - I guess it will get the deck back in line, but what does it do to prevent futher compression from occurring? Will there be three of four plates in place when you go to sell the boat...and what will Beneteau have to say then.

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