Tip of Mast hit bridge... - SailNet Community

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Old 03-11-2012
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Tip of Mast hit bridge...

So I was going out for a sail this morning on my ranger 22 ft sailboat 1978 when a toll bridge operator apparently did not hear my airhorn. My marina is at the end of a waterway and in order to leave you must pass under this bridge which is usually open. It is 100% my fault and I am taking full responsibility given that I am less than a 6 month experienced sailor/boater so my negligence is not acceptable. Good thing is no one was hurt.
Now I am wondering, my mast was broken off about a foot down from the tip causing the boat's bow to go about 3 feet up. As I can see right now the wind direction arrow is broken off and none of the lines were affected. My mast seems to not be bowed at all but I am wondering how to tell if I need a new mast or if I can get it repaired somewhere. Once again my mast really looks straight and the base iOS still in tact. The only thing is the very tip is broken off. So how do I know to get a new mast if so how much approximately would it cost and where could I get it. If no what can I do to repair it or where I can take it. One more question my engine seemed to get flooded and would not start. It starts and puts for about 10 seconds then shuts off. Is my outboard 4 stroke engine screwed or do I just keep pulling on it to flush out the air fitter from any water? Any suggestions would help please no criticism because I realize I am brand new and this is a huge learning curve that happend the wrong way. Sorry for the length but thankyou.
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Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Tip of Mast hit bridge...

Isn't your boat small enough that you can drop the mast? When you say the bow of the boat is 3ft up? Do you mean the headstay ripped the bow deck off the hull? Photos would help. Glad you or others didn't get hurt.
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Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Tip of Mast hit bridge...

if I understand you correctly, your mast snagged, raising the bow, and forcing the stern under, which also forced your outboard under water?
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Old 03-11-2012
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Tip of Mast hit bridge...

I am sorry for not being detailed enough but yes my mast caused my bow to lift essentially putting the motor partially in the water. And I was thinking of taking the mast down but I have never done it before. If I were to would I have to undo all of the lines or could I leave them on; furthermore is taking a mast down a very difficult task for a newbie? Also I will try to get pictures tomorrow to better help illustrate the picture.
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Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Tip of Mast hit bridge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger22owner View Post
If I were to would I have to undo all of the lines or could I leave them on; furthermore is taking a mast down a very difficult task for a newbie?
I don't know your particular boat, but you might want to have a second person help you.

Generally what we used to do was have Person 1 release the bolts in the mast step and steady the mast. Person 2 released the backstay. Person 1 carefully guided the mast down walking forward while 2 hung onto the backstay to keep the mast from crashing down. Took about 10 minutes and was a PITA to do, which is why we kept the boat in a slip.
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Old 03-11-2012
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Tip of Mast hit bridge...

Ok that is a relief to hear. I will try to lower it tomorrow with a friend an take some pictures. And to be sure as long as I release the backstay the lines can stay on?
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Re: Tip of Mast hit bridge...

At the top of the mast? Sure. Might have to release the shrouds at the chainplates. You'll know as the mast is lowering if that's necessary.
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Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Tip of Mast hit bridge...

"Might have to release the shrouds at the chainplates. "
Usually will have to do that. It helps to wrap a piece of tape at the exposed thread, so when you go to raise the mast again, you can just screw the turnbuckle "back to the tape" and you'll be near the correct tension on them. (You'll still want a tension gauge to set them up 100% properly, but the tape gets you close.)
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Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Tip of Mast hit bridge...

Good luck! I hope you can get by with repairs, and not need a new mast.
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Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Tip of Mast hit bridge...

Your boat appears to be a fractional rig with swept back spreaders


If the top foot or so of the mast is 'broken off' then the backstay must already be slack.. the mast is still standing because of the tripod of the forestay and the shrouds. If indeed you're missing the top foot of your mast you'll need a new one to be able to reuse the old main. I suppose you could recut the sail and remake the masthead fitting to avoid that but then you'd have a nonstandard, underpowered R22.... not ideal...

To drop that rig now you will need to release the forestay, the shrouds will slacken as the mast moves back. you'll have to disconnect the shrouds completely to try to drop it forward. Use tied off halyards to help guide the mast down straight.. a few helpers will be better than one.
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Last edited by Faster; 03-11-2012 at 11:41 PM.
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