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Mast repair for Victoria 18
I'm relatively new to sailing. Only been out a few times but I'm totally hooked. It's in my blood now. My father and I were motoring slowly up river getting back to our marina for the day. Then I showed some serious rookie colors. We were going only a knot or 2, if that, a little too close to the bank when our mast hit a low branch. We bucked hard and the mast popped clean off the step and the forward stay snapped as it fell to the side. No one was hurt, including the boat. Just the "pop rivets" that attatch the mast to the step were stripped and the rivet holes are a bit warped.
Hey, what can I say...only a rookie can forget he's got a mast. DOH! Talk about embarrasing. Won't be doing that again. Hard lesson learned but a lesson learned none the less.
Now, here's my questions...
How would I repair, with stock parts or could I upgrade with something say more reinforced? SHOULD I reinforce the mast step? Are "pop rivets" designed and used to pop in these situations? Is it an arguable advantage to have the mast come free in the event of mast collision? What are the advantages and or disadvantages of reinforcing this point and why and how?
Keep in mind that I'm talking about a Vitoria 18. I'm sure things depend entirely on the particular vessel in question.
I thank any of you that may have some advice to give. I have only just found this site but have spent a better part of the day generally brousing and there are many interesting subjects and many well informed and experienced members. I look forward to your responses.