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  #11  
Old 06-03-2012
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Re: Aluminium mast damage/repair

What I have seen done is to get maybe a 3' section of the exact mast extrusion (unless it's a real oddball, they are somewhat standard and available), slice it along its length so that it can be squeezed to slide up inside the existing mast. Smear with epoxy, slide one inside the other and s.s. rivet them together. This can even be done to join two broken pieces of a mast. The outside can then be faired out to look better.
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Re: Aluminium mast damage/repair

Smurphey,

This is the basic process of sleaving, except that you use a extrusion piece made specifically to match the mast you have. These pieces are available from most manufacturers even for mast profiles that are no longer made (they keep the dies for this purpose).

Cutting a section of a mast down the middle though has two problems. 1) it probably won't fit, since most masts have a different inside profile than outside, and 2) significantly weakens the sleeve.

Remember particularly since this repair is at the bottom, it has to handle all the compression loads and torque loads generated in the entire mast. Weakened sections here are a major problem.
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Re: Aluminium mast damage/repair

Certainly even better to have a piece that will fit exactly. The older simple oval mast shapes work pretty well shrinking them by slitting on one end of the egg shape but having a complete section would be much better. In a keel stepped mast like this one, there can be a lot of movement and stress at the deck intersection so whatever the OP does, it needs to be more than cosmetic. Am wondering if a good welder could not build up the hacked areas and grind down smooth or just fish plate it. Would have to be someone experienced at welding aluminum masts.
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Old 06-04-2012
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Re: Aluminium mast damage/repair

Thanks you all for your input. We had a guy from an aluminium fabrication shop take a look at it today. He said he could weld it up no problem but wouldn't put any guarantee on the integrity of the mast, even though he thought that would be a sufficient repair.

For the sleeve fix, that seems beyond what I would want to try as a DIY project which means I would have to ship the mast to a yard that could do the work.

For reason mentioned in early posts I am concerned with the location of the scratches/gouges so am not sure I could sleep easy wondering if the weld really is enough of a fix. Decisions decisions......
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Re: Aluminium mast damage/repair

It could not hurt to have a sleeve right at that point where it gets wedged. The only thing I'd worry about with welding on plates is what the heat and differential in flex caused by dissimilar materials might do to the long-term strength, especially around a circumference. Can you get an exact fit interior sleeve? If so, that would seem like the way to go.
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Re: Aluminium mast damage/repair

If you really can't afford a new mast - make a compression post from the base of the mast step to the underside of the deck with enough fiberglass and metal to act as a mast step/collar and deck step the mast. Might have to add a few deck stringers to support the weight.
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Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Aluminium mast damage/repair

Lanya,

Call the extrusion maker and talk to them. Sleaves can be welded in place, but can also be riveted in place. Particularly where as here, there is some remaining strength in the extrusion you have.
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