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KenD 01-26-2003 05:00 PM

Mast compression
I looked at a boat today and noticed cracking in the overhead around the support pole for the mast. What is the best way to fix this and is it cost effective to fix it if the boat was the right price? Somebody told me they jacked up the overhead and slipped out the pole, then mixed some pour-rock in a plastic 20 oz. bottle, inserted it in the hole through the deck to the bilge, then inserted the pole in and held it up until it hardened. The factory had originally placed a piece of teak about 1 1/2" thick x 2 1/2" x 4" long under the pole. The teak piece that came out was compressed to within 1/2" of the total thickness causing the mast to compress onto the coach roof. Is this a safe fix?


pirateofcapeann 01-26-2003 07:00 PM

Mast compression

If there’s visible cracking below, then I’d suggest that there’s compromised materials right up through the support beam and core, clean through to the mast step. No shoring you do from below will stop the mast from sagging into the deck. The high compression loads exerted on the mast step area dictate that any fix here be strong and first-rate.

There are a few different ways to go about this but I think the simplest and strongest is to laminate a beam under the mast step to spread the loads to un-compromised areas of the deck. You could make another to do the same thing on top of the support pole to completely bridge the week area from below too. Don’t forget to inspect the support for the pole’s base!

I have made a similar fix to this aboard my C22 and while I have already gone into detail in another topic, I could give you more specifics should you think you’d like to explore this option further.


KenD 01-27-2003 08:11 AM

Mast compression
Thanks I think? I considered buying this boat until I saw the cracked glass and compressed bulkhead, the owner told me what he did to (fix) the problem. I was concerned about the glass under the mast step and how strong the section would be sounds like he sort of fixed some of the problem but not the expensive part I think the repair you suggest may be a bit out of my idea of an adventure in repair. Have any idea what it would cost to fix properly?

ikent 01-27-2003 12:23 PM

Mast compression
I replaced the mast step on my boat (Celestial 48) a few months ago. I have a keel stepped mast and the support under the step was 1/8" glass over wood. Water had run down the mast and over time had gotten to the wood causing it to soften and compress. I removed the mast and removed/ground out the old step support. (A messy job but I needed to save $) Then I had a professional build a form and pour a base of fiber reinforced epoxy. This took several pours as the volume about a cubic foot. (Hence the pro) On top of this went a 1" plate of G10 to which the mast step itself was affixed.
Total cost about $1000 for materials and labor. This was probably overkill but it''s a data point for you.

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