How NOT to install Spartite! - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-27-2010
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Red face How NOT to install Spartite!

A while back, I decided to install Spartite on the mast of my Yankee 30. Apparently, the Partners (the area when the Keel stepped mast penetrates the deck), on the Yankee 30 are unique. The area where the wedges/Spartite need to contact the mast is at the very bottom of the Partners. When installing Spartite, you need to form a dam at the bottom of the partners to stop the Spartite from draining through, until it sets up. Usually, there is some space in the bottom of the Partners to form this dam. Not on the Yankee! The Spartite needs to be flush with the bottom of the Partners. So, I did my best to form a dam, using the clay and foam Spartite provides and a lot of rags and Duct Tape. I knew it was "iffy" so I asked a friend to help me. I wanted him to stand below in the Head, hold something around the mast and make sure the dam was holding as I poured the Spartite from above. Unfortunately, after I set everything up, the "friend" found something else to do, and never showed up (I probably should have told him we were sailing rather than working on the boat, he seems to always be able to make it for sailing!). Anyway... against my better judgment, I proceeded on my own (see where this is heading??). I started to slowly pour the Sprartite into the partners and waited to make sure the dam was holding. It was, so I proceeded to pour the remainder in. About 30 seconds AFTER emptying the can, I suddenly saw the level start to drop! I ran below, to find $130 worth of of Cobalt Blue Spartite splattered throughout the (all white) head! On the sink; on, below and behind the head; on both walls behind the mast and all over the floor! Fortunately, in anticipation of this disaster, I had plenty rags and solvent at the ready (the only intelligent/logical thing I had done that day!). I started scrubbing like a mad dog. You haven't lived until you've been confined in a tiny Head, with the combined fumes of Solvent and Spartite, I'm surprised I can even remember my name, much less the incident! I was amazed how much I was able to clean up so quickly (as I recall, the pot life is 10 or 15 minutes!. After that, the stuff clings to everything it touches with a grip you can't believe!). Anyway, the good news was that enough Spartite had set up at "the dam" to actually form a dam (at $130!). The next can of Spartite went in without incident. However, I look forward to the next time I pull the stick and have access to finish cleaning up. For now, every time I go into the head and see remnants of Blue Spartite, I'm reminded of my bone headed move! I knew better..I really did! I searched for a "Sticky" for DIY projects gone wrong and didn't find one. Maybe we should start one, lessons learned can be invaluable!

Last edited by L124C; 02-27-2010 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 02-27-2010
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Sooo sorry to hear that. What a mess that stuff can make if it gets away from you! My sympathies.

Some years ago I installed a Spartite collar on my 42' sloop also, and it didn't go exactly as planned. We made the dam alright, and poured the blue liquid in. As we got to near the top of the metal mast collar just above deck level, it became evident that the mast collar was NOT level with the waterline. Not by a long shot. Something we should have seen earlier, but didn't.

There was a very substantial difference fore and aft, sort of like trying to fill a glass up completely when it's tilted 30 degrees from the vertical!

Had a few Mt. Gays and thunk on it awhile.

Finally, convinced a very helpful yard manager to let me sit in the slings overnite. Hoisted her almost clear of the water, put a level on top the mast collar, then adjusted the slings so that we achieved a "level playing field". The aft end of the boat was much higher than the bow!

Poured in some more SparTite to the tippy top of the mast collar -- all around, now that it was level -- and called it a day!

Worked like a charm!

Bill
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Old 02-27-2010
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LOL.... you have my sympathies. I'm fortunate that my mast is deckstepped and doesn't have this issue.
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Old 02-27-2010
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Great story...Thanks for advancing my learning cure on your nickel.....I will be better prepared now for my foray at it..

I still cant believe Knothead spied that... what a smarty pants..
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Old 02-27-2010
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Busted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
I still cant believe Knothead spied that... what a smarty pants..
To explain:
I posted a picture of the bottom section of my mast in another thread, and member "Knothead" spotted the "remnants" of Spartite in places it didn't belong (specifically, everywhere! ) and questioned it. This prompted me to tell the tale!

Last edited by L124C; 02-28-2010 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 02-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
To explain:
I posted a picture of the bottom section of my mast in another thread, and member "Knothead" spotted the "remnants" of Spartite in places it didn't belong (specifically, everywhere! ) and questioned it. This prompted me to tell the tale!
I've always had a dread of something like that happening so it caught my attention right away.
You're a lot braver than I am. I would never consider pouring that stuff without someone below.
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Old 03-04-2010
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I had to chuckle after reading this. Been there done that this fall. We thought we packed it more then water tight before the pour and even taped the heck around the headliner. Only our saga was a bit worse. Leak wasnt apparent at first so poured the $130 all in. It was a very hot day so we had the fans on below - yea...it was a mess. I think I lost 10 pounds of body fat cleaning off the blue spider webs from the teak bulkead in less the 5 minutes with every toxic yet effective solvent I could grab in less then 30 seconds. Thank God we keep the teak below well oiled. One very small spot of blue set up and remains at the mast step as a constant reminder.
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Old 01-13-2012
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I followed the directions for pouring from Spartite and had a mess. The next time, I put it in an empty caulking tube to control the pour. Worked really well!
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Old 01-14-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
I've always had a dread of something like that happening so it caught my attention right away.
You're a lot braver than I am. I would never consider pouring that stuff without someone below.
Thanks...but I think it would have been "brave" had it worked. In retrospect, several other adjectives come to mind, none as positive as "brave"! Worse yet...I knew better!
I think being stood up by someone who had often enjoyed the boat, put me in a funk and affected my judgment. I showed him!
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Old 01-14-2012
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When the Spartite hits the fan!

Thanks dougshipl and acomes. Good to know I'm not the only one and that it could have been worse (the thought of a fan below made me cringe!). Hopefully, this thread will spare others some grief.
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