Excessive mast rake (with pic)? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-29-2011
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Excessive mast rake (with pic)?

Hi everyone,

I recently bought a 27ft cruising sailboat (moderate/heavy displacement, long keel, sloop rigged).

The mast is deck stepped, and it is not resting flat on top of its step, but leaning backwards.

I have tried easing the backstay and tightening the forestay as much as possible, but that did not made any noticeable difference.

I have attached a picture to help illustrate the issue. The measuring tape shows a gap of about 0.5cm (0.2 inches) on the forward section:



How much of a problem could this be? Is it something that is normal/acceptable, or does it have to be sorted out as quickly as possible?

Many thanks !
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Old 08-29-2011
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Did you have the boat surveyed before buying? I would certainly have a rigging expert look at this. The base of the mast should be flush with the deck.
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Old 08-29-2011
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captainrizzo,

Thanks for the answer.

The survey did not highlight any problems with the rig. I took the mast out this winter to check everything was OK at the top, and to replace a few things.

I can't remember if it was like that before un-masting the boat, or if it was OK and the mast was not put back correctly.

The forestay is as tight as the furler will allow, which means that I know of no other way to increase the tension forward. The whole rig was replaced about 10 years ago, maybe the rigger cut the forestay a bit too long? I don't know..
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Old 08-29-2011
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What type of boat?

Some boats have rake. It can be fast...
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It's a Halcyon 27, english designed and built in the early 70's.

The mast was changed by the previous owner, so not part of the original boat.
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Old 08-29-2011
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Irati,

Ignoring the mast step plate for a moment, what's the actual orientation of the mast in relation to vertical? You may have a mast that's oriented fine, but have a little compression problem under the step... Hard to assess without knowing all the variables.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
Irati,

Ignoring the mast step plate for a moment, what's the actual orientation of the mast in relation to vertical? You may have a mast that's oriented fine, but have a little compression problem under the step... Hard to assess without knowing all the variables.
Agreed - hang a plumb bob from a halyard and hoist - that will tell you if the mast is plumb both fore & aft and athwartships. Obviously you must first make sure the boat is floating on its lines.
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The prime affect of mast rake is on weather helm. Does the boat display moderate and manageable weather helm? If so, all other issues being equal, the rake is probably right, if no, then the rake may be a problem.
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