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Cruxandreams 10-05-2012 01:59 PM

***PLEASE HELP*** Sitka spruce Mast mistery
1 Attachment(s)
Hello all, so I have been having some issues with my main mast that have baffled me. The joint on one section of the mast that ran from mast head down to just below the spreaders was opening a bit, and I figured I would just go ahead and pop it off and rebed it in some west system so I didn't have to worry about it any more. So I used some maple wedges to pop it apart, cleaned up the glue surface, rewired the mast, and inserted some crinkled up aluminum foil to enhance my radar blip, and epoxyed it back together, All seamed to be great until I had put my fourth coat of varnish on about a month later when I noticed some of the small black checks that seamed totally superficial were opening up in multiple places. The worst of which was right next to the epoxy joint I had redone. These little checks that were opening up split right through the whole thickness of the wood! I could squeeze the area and see it flexing back and forth. This was quite disturbing after spending hours and hours getting these spars ready to varnish. So my question is is WHY?? I took all the hardware off the mast to allow for a total refinishing which left little holes all over the place where hardware was screwed on, so this is where a little moisture got in, but they are still open so it could just evaporate right back out on a hot day. Where is this stress coming from that is causing these shallow checks to crack totally through???? I have re opened up, and cut out the worse piece of the mast and am prepping to install new scarfed pieces of sitka, but I really donít want to have to do it again and again and again due to this unknown stress popping things apart again. Any one have any idea???? PLEASE HELP I have quit my job, and this boat needs to be taking me south in about a month! Thanks all Zach of all Tradez.

BluemanSailor 10-05-2012 02:04 PM

Re: ***PLEASE HELP*** Sitka spruce Mast mistery
Can't help, but have gotten a lot of help on wooden topics from the guys over at the Wooden Boat forum.

Tim R. 10-05-2012 03:29 PM

Re: ***PLEASE HELP*** Sitka spruce Mast mistery
Checking usually happens when the wood dries out. Are you working on it in a warm dry place?

mikel1 10-05-2012 05:13 PM

Re: ***PLEASE HELP*** Sitka spruce Mast mistery
I suggest consulting Charlie Cobra, Bagget&Sons , they're on this site somewhere and Are THE experts . . . .

Brent Swain 10-05-2012 05:44 PM

Re: ***PLEASE HELP*** Sitka spruce Mast mistery
My sitka spruce mast 28 years old, bare, gray, unpainted wood for the last two decades, has those tiny cracks in it.Fortunately it has no glue lines to worry about, as it is a solid piece 4 inches by 6 inches, air dried, quarter sawn. I dont worry about the smaller checks, I've done several Pacific crossings with lots of them, but would be a bit more concerned about the ones next to any glue line.

zeehag 10-05-2012 06:19 PM

Re: ***PLEASE HELP*** Sitka spruce Mast mistery
28 Attachment(s)
my spruce hollow box mast is original 1976. for some reason it is not rotted nor split. the leaky teaky yacht club, a yahoo group, has instructions filed on how to repair a wooden mast. you may wish to go there for this --they are awesome folks and know these boats as well as do charlie cobra and minaret.
any of these options is good.
i love my spruce masts as they are repairable. may have to step em and rebuild, but they are awesome .

smallboatlover 10-05-2012 07:24 PM

Re: ***PLEASE HELP*** Sitka spruce Mast mistery
go for a aluminum mast no worrys :)

zeehag 10-05-2012 07:31 PM

Re: ***PLEASE HELP*** Sitka spruce Mast mistery
28 Attachment(s)
to keep the wod ones -- re-glue and use clamps--is a special kind. leaky teaky yacht club group on yahoo groups has instructions with pictures as to how to repair these invaluable items. replacement with aluminum?? more than 10k dollars. to repair a mast of wood--pennies on any dollars.
to communicate with the leaky teaky group, address an email to <>;

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