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Old 08-15-2006
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Help - thoughts on cut Hylas mast/reduced size

Im looking at purchasing a 10 yr old Hylas 46 and was just advised that the mast has been cut down 12" because the previous owner hit a low bridge with the foil of the roller furling staysail, which torqued fittings in the mast. They said that the mfg (hylas designer) was ok with the reduction of 1 foot if the rigging wasnt going to be replaced completely.
Any and all thoughts PLEASE.
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Old 08-15-2006
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I actually talked to Catalina about cutting down the size of one of my masts for bridge clearance. It can be done. However, this was on a boat where I ordered the tall rig versus standard. All that being said:

Depends on who cut the mast down. Was it sent to a very reputable yard, demasted, carefully engineered and put back together? Or, did Billy Bob take a six pack of beer and a hack saw and mosey up the stick one Saturday night? You laugh... but you would BE AMAZED AT WHAT I HAVE SEEN PEOPLE DO!!!

My personal opinion is if it were done correctly, is should be ok. Make a good test sail (or two) part of the stringent req's. Do it on a windy day and a typical day. You want to make sure the boat is still balanced. Look up the mast. Does it still have a good rake, or if it is a inmast, is it straight. Find a good surveyor. I know one if you do not. He is top notch.
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Old 08-15-2006
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Thanks cruisingdad, and yes i spoke to the yard that did it. They and the sales/broker says no problem. im just cautious becuase the owner didnt clear a bridge, which facilitated the yard to reduce the top by 12" to reset the masthead/shiv box.
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Old 08-15-2006
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well, I do not neccessarily trust the broker, but the yard has nothing to gain out of it. How does she sail?

Tell your surveyor he is going to really have to earn his money and you are going to send him up the mast. See what he says.
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Old 08-15-2006
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Doug... I would be very leery of this despite the fact that it is a GREAT boat! I'd be more concerned about hull damage than mast issues. Aside from a survey that will determine any structural damage to the boat...there is a loss of some sailing performance and the question of how the mainsail hoist difference was handled...new sail, re-cut sail or lopped off foot. How was the rigging re-done? If all was done properly and the boat is in good shape, there's no good reason to walk away but the "damage" should get you a good price reduction!
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Old 08-15-2006
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That is a tough question, or perhaps a whole lot of questions. A lot of the answer depends on how the owner handled the various issues involved.

If you think about the impact involved there is a lot of potential damage besides the masthead. You would think that the headstay would transmit a lot of force to the stemhead fitting, and forward hull to deck joint, and if the jibstay was rigged it would transmit a lot of force to its attachment point and the bulkhead below. If the mast was actually "torqued" then you would expect big loads on the spreader bases, and to the forward lowers on one side and aft lowers on the other. Then there is the impact to fittings on the mast itself. Obviously the masthead fittings were looked at, but then there is the attachment point for the jibstay, which would have taken a big load as well. Depending on where the impact occurred, there also could have been a huge load on the backstay, its attachment point, mast partners and maststep (bowstring affect). Of course the furler and halyard would have taken a real hit and probably should have been replaced (at least in part).

And that is just the structural implications. The repairs have almost equal potential impact. Working through this, did the simply cut off the masthead 1 foot. That would be the cheapest and easiest. But even that implies a range of implications. For example, how did they cut down the mainsail? The right but expensive way is to rework the leech. Cutting the foot means it will be short costing you extra of sail area. Were the shrouds replaced or simply cut down a foot. Does this boat have in mast furling? You can see where this is going.

No matter what this boat should be cheaper than an identical boat that has not been damaged. My current boat had a collision years before I bought her. I spoke to a number of brokers and surveyors who collectively and pretty much unanimously suggested that a collision reduces the value somewhere between 15% to 20% of the fair market value. And then you need to evaluate the risks. I spoke to the yard that made the repair, discussing materials and methods in detail, looked at before, after and during photos, and examined the final repair years later before deciding the risk was worth taking. There is real cost in doing that kind of due diligence and that should be factored into your thinking. If I sell my boat, I will reveal what I know about the collision and that will impact the cost of resale as well, which also should be factored in.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 08-15-2006
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I would take whatever the broker says with a very large grain of salt. I would also say that the impact with the bridge may have strained a lot more than just the mast. If the boat hit hard enough to damage the masthead, then, as JeffH points out, there is a very strong possibility that the boat has been exposed to very high stress event that may have long-term implications. A survey is essential, and the price should be significantly lower than that of comparable boats of the same model.

I would agree with his 15-20% price reduction...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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