A new first! Dismasted! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-12-2011 Thread Starter
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A new first! Dismasted!

My club has a Thirsty Thursdays race which uses our 4 Cal 20's. The wind was only blowing 8 knots or so... we were in last place (I was crew, skipper was over the line about 10 seconds early and we had to go back and re-cross it)

Suddenly there's a loud POP! and our mast is in the water in two pieces, breaking at the spreaders.

The mast plate looked to be cast aluminum and failed, which caused the dismast. That was my first time racing a cal 20, they are a lot of fun.

My first dismast, and hopefully my last!

Caribbean 50 Ketch
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-12-2011
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Mast plate?
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-12-2011
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SOunds like no one was hurt, you were having a good time......learned from it. I'd call that a BFS!

At least you are not blaming HIGH winds and not capable as a fellow was recently with his ODay 22 and a broken rudder in some 20 knot winds! When reality was, that rudder was probably ready to break due to some groundings or equal in the 30 some odd years it was around. This mast was also probably ready to go due to some mis use as a club boat, not to mention lack of maintenance.

marty

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I drives me dinghy!
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-12-2011 Thread Starter
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Mast plate = the plate on the deck that the mast is attached to. Maybe mast base? I dunno. It's not a tabernacle since it doesn't tilt.

Yes we were glad nobody was hurt. The boat we were on isn't used as much. I know one other boat has a stainless steel setup, so it's good, not sure about the other 2 but I'm sure they will be checked. The boats are maintained by the club, they all just got new rigging--I guess this part was just overlooked. It's a 30 year old boat.

Still, it was a learning experience. I couldn't imagine how much more difficult it would be with a bigger boat and rougher seas. Be sure you have a way to cut away your rigging in an emergency.

Those little Cal 20's are a blast. I could see myself totally tricking one out if I had a free place to park it. There's a big cal 20 regatta this weekend--some of the clubs in the area spend a ton of money on them. Running all the lines under the deck, spending $10k-$15k on the hull, new sails every year... they leave our boats like they're standing still.

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-12-2011
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8 knots brought your mast down?
Really?
Yes, I would agree, that has to be a first!

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If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n0w0rries View Post
Mast plate = the plate on the deck that the mast is attached to. Maybe mast base? I dunno. It's not a tabernacle since it doesn't tilt.
How did it fail exactly? It's difficult for me to envision a mast step failure causing a dismasting in such mild conditions.
Have you retrieved and inspected the rig?
It seems much more likely that a rigging component failed. Chainplate, mast tang, lost clevis pin or something.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-12-2011
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That would have probably been scary. I hope I never go through that.
On another note...I should probably get a tool to cut the stays in this event. What do you guys have to cut away the rigging and stays?

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post #8 of 11 Old 08-12-2011
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I like to carry a 2' bolt cutter just in case.
Something like this: Amazon.com: TEKTON 3410 24-Inch Bolt Cutter: Power & Hand Tools

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post #9 of 11 Old 08-12-2011
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Is there a way to tie a line to it so you can save it?? Has anyone done that before? I would imagine a mast is expensive to replace.

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post #10 of 11 Old 08-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
I like to carry a 2' bolt cutter just in case.
Something like this: Amazon.com: TEKTON 3410 24-Inch Bolt Cutter: Power & Hand Tools
Thanks ...

and adding to my list of things to carry aboard ...

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
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