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1964 Columbia Challenger
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bad day, on 2/17/19

Hi Folks. It has been a while. Some years since I lurked and/or posted. Have been sailing the old girl most every Sunday, year-round for the past 14 years with the original mast and spreaders, standing rigging replaced in '07.

It all came down on me, 2 Sundays back. Luckily I was in the harbor (Los Angeles) and it was down to 10-12 Kn of wind. Outside the break it was in the 30-40 range but I skirted that. Coasties, bless them, picked me up quickly and I had minimal wounds aside from my heart breaking (and them towing
me at 3x hull speed with a spinning mess of mast over the port side). Back at the slip, days later in the daylight, fished out all the gangly mess and mast had completely split at the spreaders and it looks like the forestay parted at the head, which may have started the whole fall. I run a CDI furler so there is no halyard as a support/backup for the forestay. Gieco has agreed to full-policy-cap hull value ($3500) and is letting me keep what is left.

I really don't want to get another boat, re-rig it, etc...and am willing to go the extra if it is within reason (for me) as I would end up replacing the standing/running rigging anyhow, most likely and other goodies to make her my own, anyway. I am seriously contemplating going back with a carbon fiber mast and reg 'ol SST wire rigging. The Coasties, albeit unintentionally, when side tying to me broke my antenna (was old, anyhow) and stove in a portlight- I looked in the JC Whitney catalog per the part number in the tips & tricks section published, here, per "You can get the rubber strip with locking strip from J.C.Whitney. It is part #81AS2557R, and the lock strip is 81AS2568W." I Put the part # in the search and a no-go on it coming up as listed part any more- anybody have a current trim profile spec that works for these old windows? I know it is a small thing in the scheme of things but I am trying to figure out, in general, and in specific if I should give up the boat.

Thanks,

Huff
 

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Sorry to hear your pain, but glad you weren't hurt. If the damage is solely the rig and some cosmetic issues, I see no reason you can't put her back in shape. You have to consider if there is damage the next buyer will never want to touch. A new rig is a new rig, but it may raise questions, so document the damage extremely well.
 

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1964 Columbia Challenger
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
All:

Thanks for the support, insights and advice(s). I may very well have to keep you folks posted at to progress. Thanks again, Huff
 

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Be ready for sticker shock if you are going Carbon. Got quoted north of $20,000 for a simple 38' single spreader mast, no boom. Cheapest would be to fix your current mast though may be impossible if you can't find the proper extrusion to sleeve it. There are a couple of companies on the East Coast that regularly advertise masts on Ebay from hurricane damaged boats. Ad's seem to be a little scarce now as there wasn't much hurricane activity recently. Usually the rigging shops have a few sticks hanging around, hitting google and asking all the West Coat riggers if they have something that would work is another possible solution. Then there is getting a new aluminum stick. ballengerspars.com is about the only West Coast mfg. usspars.com on the East Coast gave me a good price on a new boom but shipping may kill you on a mast. Then there's good old Craig's List. Often masts turn up there though not much choice on length.

The upper eye fitting on the forestay seems to be a common problem possibly because most people never get up there to look. Bought a MastClimber, atninc.com, and decided to go to the masthead to try it out. Good thing I did because there were two broken wire strands at the on top of the furler.
 

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Something to think about is insuring it again. I'd like to believe, if the damage is really just the rig and you properly repair it, you could insure it. However, as a general rule, insurance companies won't take on boats they paid out as a total loss. Stubborn.
 
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Master Mariner
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I'm sorry for your loss.
I believe if a marine insurance company pays out the full value of a claim, they consider the boat to be a "total loss". I have heard that once a boat has been declared at "total loss" if is filed as such in an insurance company database which any other insurance company will check before insuring a boat. They normally will not insure a vessel rated as a "total loss" by another company.
This is primarily to avoid fraud, but it could be a problem for an owner such as yourself should you keep her and wish to reinsure.
 

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I would only consider repairing this if I could get a used mast for a reasonable price. Even then I'd be tempted to take the money and run. And I agree that insuring the repaired boat is going to be challenging. But nothing wrong with going with liability only with a boat of that value.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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Sorry for your loss.

I don't know that having a Carbon fiber mast would have prevented this catastrophe. If a forestay parts in the future you would have an even larger more expensive tragedy. Also putting on a very expensive composite mast on a 50 year old boat would be a bad investment with almost no uptick in boat value.

You should see about the cost of a new or used replacement mast and new rigging. It is likely to exceed the cost of your insurance settlement many times over. If you chose not to rebuild this boat, do you have to pay the cost to send the boat to landfill? If so you should figure out your options and have Geico pay that cost.
 

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1964 Columbia Challenger
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Interestingly enough when I asked my insurance broker about "reasonably" re-insuring after the boat is repaired (they cancelled the policy and they won't insure it until it is repaired) he got quiet.

I still don't know which way I am going to go, boat-wise. I have had so much great sailing with her. The diver that (for years) scrubs her hull is supposed to inspect below the waterline which may be very telling.

The disposal would probably be a wash with selling the lead in her belly.

Hmmmm.

Huff
 

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I hate to say, the only reason to put her back together is emotional. Boats are worth less than the sum of their parts. You could take the money and find another love.
 

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Something to think about is insuring it again. I'd like to believe, if the damage is really just the rig and you properly repair it, you could insure it. However, as a general rule, insurance companies won't take on boats they paid out as a total loss. Stubborn.
Sallvage title cars are accepted by insurance companies. The boating companies can't be much different. Of course, you'd have to have a survey from an accepted surveyor. If you do decide to rebuild and reinsure, might want to talk to your insurance company and see what they'd want in a survey and a surveyor. Might have to get the surveyor involved from the get go of the repair with multiple inspections or whatever the insurance company wants. Often hear that old boats can't be insured. Haven't that's the case. My 50 year old boat has full coverage but I had to get a hull survey and a separate rig survey to get it covered.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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Just googled your boat. It looks like a lot like a Cal 25 up top, but with a full keel. A Cal 25 would a step up in performance and would be in your price range. Lots of 50 year old boats out there for cheap. You could even hold out for one that has been restored and has newer rigging.
 

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1964 Columbia Challenger
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Put deposit down on Forte carbon mast (approx $5K total w/shipping from CT to CA). Have yet to settle all details as I await a schematic design and will then make some decisions on locations of exit boxes, cleats, etc...now I will have (3) (instead of 2, not wire-to-rope) halyards, all internal. Forestay will be slightly fractional, down some inches from the top.

While chain plates are not under tension I am going to extract and inspect. The ears above the deck bent over when the mast took off for port-side, dragging the shrouds along for the ride (they stayed connected as did the back stay). Anybody know of new old stock chain plate replacements? Or those that might fit from another boat? Or am I destined to have new ones fabricated? Possibly un-bend the originals? Obviously I will know more when they are out.

Spending the retirement money,

Huff
 

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While it may or may not be a good financial move, I'm sure you'll enjoy every cent of it, when you're back on the water. Good luck with the refit.

I would never unbend metal parts, I think you'll need to replaced or have them cut and rewelded.
 

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Sorry to hear your misfortune; I have been looking for parts for my 1964 Challenger and have found an old one (parts only) in Corpus Christie; If you want I can check to see if what you need is available.
 

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Put deposit down on Forte carbon mast (approx $5K total w/shipping from CT to CA). Have yet to settle all details as I await a schematic design and will then make some decisions on locations of exit boxes, cleats, etc...now I will have (3) (instead of 2, not wire-to-rope) halyards, all internal. Forestay will be slightly fractional, down some inches from the top.

While chain plates are not under tension I am going to extract and inspect. The ears above the deck bent over when the mast took off for port-side, dragging the shrouds along for the ride (they stayed connected as did the back stay). Anybody know of new old stock chain plate replacements? Or those that might fit from another boat? Or am I destined to have new ones fabricated? Possibly un-bend the originals? Obviously I will know more when they are out.

Spending the retirement money,

Huff
Many boats builders, like Columbia who built the Challenger 24 (I am ssuming that your boat is the Columbia Challenger 24), used the stock chainplates of that era which mostly were made by Merriman. That said, there were also other sources out there. Obviously Merriman is out of business, but the chainplates of the era typically were very simple in design so it would be pretty cheap to have a shop replicate the old ones.

A word of caution about carbon fiber spars, they tend to be stiffer than similar profile aluminum spars, and so can increase the loads on the boat.

Good luck with your project.

Jeff
 

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Anybody know of new old stock chain plate replacements? Or those that might fit from another boat? Or am I destined to have new ones fabricated? Possibly un-bend the originals?

Huff
The metal lost strength when it bent, and will lose more when bent back. Best used for a coffee table conversation piece now.
 

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With a new carbon fiber mast...isn't there a rule that says the new chainplates MUST be titanium? Pocket change, compared to the mast.
 
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