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Old 10-17-2013
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Natural Mast

I am looking forward to starting a project on my Catalina 25. I have been de-masted and am going to build a natural mast. It will be a deck step mast 18'6''. Does anyone have any knowledge on the subject?

Cheers.
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Old 10-17-2013
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Re: Natural Mast

Huh? Natural mast?
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Old 10-17-2013
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Re: Natural Mast

Mr. Moon if you would give us a little more information maybe we can come up with something.
Natural Mast is not a term I've heard before.
Your best bet would be an aluminum mast off another boat.
An intensive internet search might find you something.

Do you have the boom, and sails?
What happened?
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Re: Natural Mast

haha. A solid wooden mast is what I am referring to. I do have a boom and sails.
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Re: Natural Mast

Wooden boat magazine has done articles about how to fabricate one.

It would have to be larger in diameter than the aluminum one it replaces.
As aluminum is stronger than wood for the same cross section.

It will be heavier and will probably noticeably affect the handling of the boat.
The boat will be more tender.

You will still have to add some kind of track to it and modify the sail with different kinds of slugs to bend it on.

If your plan is to just backyard it to get the boat in the water, I've seen a 2x4 used as a boom.
A used mast will be much easier to do right.

What happened to your boat.
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Re: Natural Mast

Mr. David,
I see.
I have an idea to replace the track system.
The sail would be attached around the mast with several lines where the slugs are. The rope would pass through round, wooden pegs to run the sail up and down the mast.
Does that make sense?

I bought the boat from a guy that had not taken it out for 2 years.
I sailed the boat regularly for about 7 months. Then one easy day, a windward turnbuckle snapped and the mast canned in two, bringing everything down with it. Fortunately no one was hurt and we recovered everything. The turnbuckle was pit rusted.

I love the boat, and my plan is to use this as an opportunity to add some unique characteristics. So I would like to do it right with a soft wood.
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Old 10-17-2013
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Re: Natural Mast

why don't you fix the broken mast? order a peice cut and fit. add an internal sleeve or plate/s and have it all welded up!

I dub this thread "A tree grows on Catalina"
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Re: Natural Mast

Find a pre-owned mast and have somebody faux paint it like wood. A real wood mast could weigh a thousand pounds, swell, contract, rot, split, etc...
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Re: Natural Mast

The various suggestions to find a replacement mast, used mast section, etc etc make way more sense than trying to cobble together a wooden mast that will be so nonstandard as to make the boat un-sellable. By the time you 'adapt' everything I doubt you'd save much anyway..
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Re: Natural Mast

I've never bought into the mast repair proposals people offer regarding sleeves and welding. It seems to me that no matter how hard you try, the mast will be weaker using those techniques and is unlikely to sail properly. Once it's busted, I'd try to find a replacement, especially for a Catalina. There are a number of yards that salvage that type of stuff and keep it laying around, I've been to a few that have several masts laying there from abandoned boats and whatnot. I'd feel almost certain you could find a replacement mast if you called around, you might even call Catalina and see what they say.

As for wood, that's a nontrivial task with big risk and little reward on a boat that was not designed for that type of mast. If you make one mistake, you will just end up with another dismasting and/or have very poor sailing characteristics. The tolerances are really tight and there is little room for error, if you plan on doing it, you really need to know someone that has done it before and work with them on it. I am also pretty sure you'll end up spending more money building one with wood than you would getting a replacement, by the time you calculate the equipment needs and materials.
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