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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am a beginner sailboat owner and have been working on a '74 Laguna Windrose since Feb 2012.. so I am trying to learn to sail while having learned (and still learning) how to build/fabricate & repair the darn thing!

I have replaced the mast bracket along with the cracked damaged fiberglass below it, I did this last year and beefed it up about a half an inch.

I purchased the replacement bracket from Dwyer Mast and although they have VERY LIMITED tech support and a very limited desire to offer advice on the application of their products, they did tell me that the mast is supposed to rest flat on the bracket (I guess it's actually called the "step"?). This makes sense to achieve a solid mast IMO.

With that being said, mine is definitely leaning forward. This happened b/c the surface on the deck is slightly slanted.

My question is this: Should I use a "shim" under the mast (if so what kind?) to level the mast or should I just leave it flat and thereby slanted. Or should I remove the bracket and build up the fiberglass??

Any input greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Shawn T
Wichita KS
 

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One of None
Hunter 34
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Shawn, so far as I've seen on a boat had (hunter 23) and other boats I've helped rig up. it's the pivot pin that supports most of the weight of the mast. If you can get the bottom of the mast to sit flat on the step plate in the vertical position it would be good but I don't think would hurt it either way. Later on in your learning curve you'll start to understand how mast top fwd and aft affect handling the boat.

Is your head stay long enough? (the front cable) and that would possible make the back stay too long.

Hope this helps a little :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.

Hmmm, you have me wondering now... the Dwyer guy told me that the mast should sit flat and NOT on the pin (as the weight would deform the bracket) - I guess the weight is supposed to be at the bottom of the mast and not the pin but I could be wrong. My pin is about 1/8" above the bottom of the slot in the side of the mast bracket and does not bear any load.

I lengthened my backstay and shortened my forestay to get the mast to pull forward and flatten out (there was a 1/4" gap under the front edge of the mast at the bottom).

I have seen that the mast lean does affect performance but may have seen most folks say that aft is good and forward is bad.

Thank You!
 

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One of None
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I had something like this on my H23 years ago it was a bear to get the front pin in after raising the mast.

This is yours, it's a "Tabernacle" And yes it's pretty clear to me that the pin supports the mast at least during raising and dropping it.



If you were to "level" the plate with the tabernacle on it, you would need a wedge made out of something durable as Faster mentions. If you really want the mast to sit square on the tabernacle you would need to put it on the mast bottom to locate and drill the holes for the pin, then bolt it back on the boat. Then, the pin installed in the mast would only be used to slot in when your raising or dropping the mast. Would you want to cut the mast bottom to the angle of the boat deck? I guess you could.
 

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Your pics show pretty excessive fwd rake- likely far more than you want or need. The install of the step plate looks pretty clean.

I guess your two options are to remodel the install with an epoxy or some other base to 'level' out the step, or to trim the butt end of the mast to match the angle of the step. The latter is much quicker/easier to do....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your pics show pretty excessive fwd rake- likely far more than you want or need. The install of the step plate looks pretty clean.

I guess your two options are to remodel the install with an epoxy or some other base to 'level' out the step, or to trim the butt end of the mast to match the angle of the step. The latter is much quicker/easier to do....
Thanks faster,

trimming that mast to a slight angle sounds like a good idea. I do hate to disturb the bracket. Yes it is leaning pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had something like this on my H23 years ago it was a bear to get the front pin in after raising the mast.

this is yours, it's a "Tabernacle" And yes it's pretty clear to me that the pin supports the mast.

Those are the same pics I seen and I too thought that. I don't think you would want the mast floating though, it would bend up that bracket fast.
 

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One of None
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I did an edit on my reply. look above.
"If you were to "level" the plate with the tabernacle on it, you would need a wedge made out of something durable as Faster mentions. If you really want the mast to sit square on the tabernacle you would need to put it on the mast bottom to locate and drill the holes for the pin, then bolt it back on the boat. Then, the pin installed in the mast would only be used to slot in when your raising or dropping the mast. Would you want to cut the mast bottom to the angle of the boat deck? I guess you could. "

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did an edit on my reply. look above.
"If you were to "level" the plate with the tabernacle on it, you would need a wedge made out of something durable as Faster mentions. If you really want the mast to sit square on the tabernacle you would need to put it on the mast bottom to locate and drill the holes for the pin, then bolt it back on the boat. Then, the pin installed in the mast would only be used to slot in when your raising or dropping the mast. Would you want to cut the mast bottom to the angle of the boat deck? I guess you could. "

good luck!
Thanks! Someone else suggested trimming the bottom of the mast. I am still wondering how I can get it "machine shop perfect" with a belt sander though.

So I guess it's the shim or trim! Thanks again.
 

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you want the mast base to be square to the mast but if you do not want to redo the base you could round of the bottom of the mast so it will touch the mast base just under the pin, think rocking chair. on that small boat it will allow the mast rake be changed and the loads to be in the center of the mast base plate. the plate will spread the load out over the length of the plate. the compression loads should not be on the pin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow overboard, interesting idea. It would be great if they designed a swivel mast bracket.

Hopefully I will be able to adjust the mast later by the stays and slightly bending of the mast.

I fabricated a wedge from HDPE plastic, here's a pic.. I will post pics of finished work. The plan is to eyeball the boat with the toungejack like it sits in the water and then check my wedge for level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting idea overboard.. they should design something like that. Hopefully I will be able to adjust the mast later by the stays and slightly bending of the mast.

I fabricated a wedge from HDPE plastic, here's a pic.. I will post pics of finished work. The plan is to eyeball the boat with the toungejack like it sits in the water and then check my wedge for level.
 

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it is unrealistic to think that a flat mast base will remain in contact with 100% of the bottom of the mast all the time while you are sailing. the mast base contact area will change with mast rake, mast bend, fore and aft and side to side, mast pumping, fore stay sag as the wind builds. masts are always moving while sailing and at the dock.
 

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Please make sure you're forestay and backstay are not switched. The mast should not be that far foreward. What does the bottom of the mast look like now?
 

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maybe missing a turnbuckle. the forestay should be the shortest stay as it is a fractional rig
 

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Shimming the mast plate is your best bet. That eliminates the point loading on the mast base and you can tune the rig while keeping the mast in column. One thing not mentioned is you will need to add rake to the mast in order to add a little weather helm to the boat and get it to perform better to windward. On your boat, you will want to start out with about 4” of rake (Measured from the mast at the gooseneck to a plumb bob). Sail the boat. If too much weather helm, decrease the rake, not enough, increase.
 

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Before cutting the mast, I would STRONGLY advise re-checking your forestay and backstay to make sure they a) aren't switched, and b) are set appropraitely. Given that you just raised the mast step by a decent amount, trying to re-use the stays at their previous lengths may be throwing everything off balance. I'd suggest running the main halyard back to the transom, and the jib halyard forward to the bow cleat. Tie them off so they are a safe tension but not crazy tight - the idea is to make sure the mast doesn't come crashing down. Then loosten the stays until the halyards are carrying the mast's weight. You won't want to keep it like this for days or weeks, but this can allow you to see if the base of the mast will sit flush with the step. If it still doesn't sit flush, I suspect you may have something else going on, such as a bend in the mast step. I'd make sure that is all on the same plane (put a straight-edge to it) before cutting the mast.
 

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That mast is raked way, way too far forward. The mast should be straight up and down (actually raked aft a little bit) and it's not even close.

The mast should sit on the base and not carry the weight on the pin at all. The pin should just be keeping the mast step from moving fore/aft. It doesn't (and won't) sit completely flat; it will move with mast bend, etc, but you want it relatively level.

It really looks like your forestay is too short by a good bit.

FWIW, I had the same tabernacle set up.
 
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