Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gloucester, MA
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Looks like you have plenty of tow rig for that little boat. From the picture, it does look to be a cape cod mercury which were designed by Olin Stephens and built by cape cod shipbuilding. They built 2 versions to my knowledge, the mercury which was a keel boat and the cape cod mercury which was a centerboarder. Cape cod shipbuilding is still in business so they can be a source of information and parts. There are a lot of these boats still around including the fleet at Community Boating in Boston and a couple of camp fleets.
I have never seen one with a wooden mast before but it looks like you have an early one which may have come from the factory that way. The fact that the laminations are coming apart is fixable, what concerns me is the butt of the mast which looks damaged from one of your pictures. If this is damaged, your options are to shorten the entire rig (not a good idea since you will have to change everything like shrouds and the boom will be really low and jib too long on the luff), cut the mast short and raise the mast step (this should be right up your alley as a fiberglass guy), or scarf in new wood to the bottom of the mast. You should also check the other parts of the mast for rot.
Regarding the lamination coming apart, how was it held together in the first place? It is likely that there are fasteners under the paint but it is possible that it was only glued. A poor fix that would add a lot of weight aloft would be to do your best to clean out the cracks and inject thickened epoxy in there. A better fix would be to separate the pieces, properly clean the surfaces and use a combination of epoxy and mechanical fasteners to hold it together.
The other possibility is to build a new one. If all of the pieces are solid, this might well produce the best result with the least work since you won't have to do all the prep and cleaning work. In addition, if you want a project, you could make an actual hollow laminated spar which is much lighter and easier to step but just as strong.
What you do on this project depends on how much time you want to put in and how much you care about the final project. Mercuries are really fun boats to sail although the center board trunk really gets in the way for big guys.