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Old 11-07-2011
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Mast height alterations

We currently purchased about 2 months ago a S2 11.0A sailboat.
Going through the original log book, we found that the mast was shorten by 30". Although we only race a few times a year, my immediate thought is that I would hate to loose 30" of height. I have done some research and have a few options that I would like your educated opinion.
**Please note that no matter what, I am planning to replace the mainsail and all upper shrouds this winter.

Options:
1. Provide a 30" mast extrusion extension at the keel step location. Move the spreaders, gooseneck and lower shrouds down 30". *Problem: I have found the original spar manuf but unsure at this time if they are able to provide a 30" extrusion along with a internal splice.
1A. Have a resource that will be able to fabricate a aluminum extension and sleeve. If so, will provide a much thicker extrusion then the mast.

2. Replace the mast with a new or used extrusion. This is very pricy - quotes for a new mast (without the any rigging) is about $5k plus freight and a used one is about $2,300 plus freight. Freight for a 50' mast is expensive and hard to find.

3. Convert our keel step to a deck step rig. Some say that it is a matter of cutting your mast accordingly, modify your gooseneck, spreaders, shroud locations to match original, provide a compression post from your keel step to the bottom of the mast, and fiberglass and fill in the opening. Others say that a deck step mast requires engineering, heavier mast and rigging modifications.
If it is the first, then sounds straight forward. If it is the second, then this will not work.

4. Forget it. Buy a full batten mainsail to fit the shorter mast and live with it.

5. Any thoughts or ideas????

I would just live with it and see how it sails and then decide what to do but the PO destroyed the mainsail by having it cut and modified twice, and it still seems to be blown out. Needs to be replaced prior to spring sailing. I don't want to invest into new upper shrouds and mainsail. Can't add to these things if the mast increases.
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S2 11.0A 36'
Kinsale, Va
Tanzer 16'
Moseley, Va

Last edited by patrscoe; 11-07-2011 at 08:44 AM. Reason: miss spelled title
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Old 11-07-2011
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Also another option is to provide a 18" mast step with a plate. The mast step would have a deeper set to it so that the mast would sit deep and nicely into place. Also I would reinforce the base of the original step as these are prone to deteriorate from water running down inside the mast. I did talk with a Rigging firm and they indicated that they never did this before but I have seen it on many older but smaller sailboats.

This would only give me half but would require less work and my new mainsail and shrouds would match the new height. I would still need to lower the shroud, gooseneck, etc... the cost would be minimum; custom fabricated mast step and misc, modification to my 130% genoa and my time.
Also the genoa furling has enough extrusion to it for 18" increase but not for 30". I would need additional furling extrusion.
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Old 11-07-2011
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Someone's gotta ask,

might as well be me. Are you sure the PO took 2 1/2 feet off the mast?
Have you put a tape measure up the main halyard ?
It seems so illogical, shortening a mast would cost as much as replacing even if it was damaged.
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Old 11-07-2011
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I'm in the process of unstepping the mast but based on rough dimensions, it appears to be accurate or close
The sailboat is a 84' and they modified the mast in 89' along with all the sails. You're right, this was a costly modification.
I'm not sure why they modified the mast and rigging. Fairly complete and detailed maintenance log, no sign and note of damage. Only thing I can think of is a bridge clearance.

I wish I was not so much of a OCD person as I know bringing it back or close to the original height will not provide that much more performance.
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Tanzer 16'
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Old 11-07-2011
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I would live with it.

It's possible that the mast was damaged, maybe not even while on the boat, could have been during haul out, transport, storage, or under way. Who knows?? The insurance payout would have been pretty high and perhaps the PO shortened the mast and pocketed the profit. Hell, a handful of Staylock fittings and the rigging could even be salvaged. Would not be the first time this happened.

I once looked at a C&C 29 with a deck stepped mast. Story was, the boat hit a bridge and was dismasted. Owner cut the mast, built up the deck and installed a compression post and pocketed the insurance money.
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Old 11-07-2011
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I tend to agree with those that have said "leave it". Although, I can fully understand your line of thinking. My OCD kicks in way too often in situations like these. Keep us informed of what route you take and good luck.
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Old 11-07-2011
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I would sail the boat for a while and see if it is a disadvantage. it will be a bit slower in light wind but as the wind builds it may be an advantage. you will not have to reef or or reduce head sail size as soon. If you are going to race then it will most likey not be one design racing so with a handicap system you can have the rating changed to reflect the changes that where done to the rig. It is a heavy displacment boat so it will be hard to race to the rating in a light wind. in a heavy wind it will sail with a bit more in control and that might make it faster for it's rating.
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Old 11-07-2011
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It's a lot of money to spend that you'll never get back.

How about this :

Install a solid boomvang. Then you can delete the topping lift. Get the new mainsail cut fuller at the leech. Don't worry about it fouling the topping lift as that's gone. Hey presto, you got the missing sail area back at a fraction of the cost.
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Old 11-07-2011
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If your only options are the expensive ones, what about just selling the boat to someone who doesn't care what the mast height is, and buy another with the proper pole?
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Old 11-07-2011
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Not considering selling her. We like the sailboat and will overcome the mast height situation.
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S2 11.0A 36'
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Tanzer 16'
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