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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On the mast of my Tartan 30The teak mast shims fell out , there are about 8 of them between the mast and the deck hole (mast partner).

Are these the proper items for supporting the mast ?
One comment i found interesting in my search was "The shims are there to hold the mast reasonably straight until all the rigging is in place and properly tuned. Nothing more."

so i am wondering if placing any material at all between the partner and the mast might be the wrong thing to do and cause unwanted contact at that area. Is there supposed to be a support function there ?



I've searched on here and seen good comments for a product spartite, also one thread that suggested using nylon rope and silicone; but the instructions were to use three strands or more .

On my mast partner it is only about 3/4 inch of actual contact area at the top of the partner , then it starts to widen as it is a cone shaped and about 8 inches tall off the deck. So three strands would have the bottom two down into the hole supporting nothing and only the top strand in contact with the partner.


thanks for any help
 

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rj,
I used spartite on my Islander and it worked great. Never had any water issues around mast or movement / vibration after applying. When I sold the boat 5 years later the spartiite was still holding up. It was a little expensive, but easy to install. Based on my experience with it I would recommend using for your problem.
 

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One of None
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I thought most mast wedges were secured in place with a small screw via a small hole through the side of the mast partner? They are in mine and if I remember right that is how it is described in the original owner's manual.
 

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You must use wedges, Spartite or something to prevent the mast from moving.
One of your wedges was simply not big enough or not wedge shaped enough and it fell into the cabin.
No big thing. Just remove the boot and drive in another one.

Using properly sized and shaped hardwood wedges, lubricated with some sort of adhesive and driving them home tight is a time tested method.

Spartite is a good product if you are looking at upgrading.

I would not recommend the rope and silicone method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
thanks

is eight around the right number , seems the more the contact patch the better support , but maybe there is supposed to be some room for "free play " ?

also there was not a wedge on the leading edge towards the bow, and the wedge at the trailing edge , towards the stern, is somewhat crushed .
The previous owner had a hydraulic backstay that was tensioned to 2400 lbs for racing( I am in the process of rebuilding the hydraulic hand pump), and wondering if tensioning the backstay had crushed the wedge ? Is there supposed to be a wedge in the forward edge position ?

thanks
 

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Old Fart
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Not an expert

I'm certainly not an expert but I've read several places that the wedges are just a means of supporting the mast in an upright position until the stays are attached and tightened properly. That being the case you could take them all out once the mast is stepped properly. I'd ask a professional rigger for the correct answer.
 

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moderate?
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Knotty...the rope method wont work on this boat...but it worked like a CHARM on two of mine and has the advantages of equal pressure with a bit of give all around the mast...i.e. no hard spots...and it is a great way to waterproof the partners at very low cost.
BTW...this was taught to me by a rigging professional who found it being done in the Caribe and adopted it.
 

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Knotty...the rope method wont work on this boat...but it worked like a CHARM on two of mine and has the advantages of equal pressure with a bit of give all around the mast...i.e. no hard spots...and it is a great way to waterproof the partners at very low cost.
BTW...this was taught to me by a rigging professional who found it being done in the Caribe and adopted it.
I've seen it done, and have even tried it. But it can be messy and depending on the line diameter and construction, results can be mixed. It's kind of like caulking a plank. As long a the gap around the mast is pretty constant, it would probably work alright. Usually though, there is quite a variation between the sides and the front and back.

The main point though is that there must be something there.
I remember one spar that was cut clean through nearly 50% of the circumference of the mast where it had been working against the fiberglass deck.
I don't know where this idea that the wedges are not needed once the rigging is set up came from. But it's not accurate at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the great info

I just refurbished the hydraulic backstay tensioner that will tension the backstay between 1800 to 2400 lbs.
Is there some sort of accomodation i can make for this when wedging in the mast ? I note that the rear wedge ,on the stern side of the mast is crushed , and the front one , to the bow side of the mast was missing.
thanks for any advise
 

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Spartite

Spartite is a great product. Using it eliminates the chance of pressure points developing, as force is dispersed around the mast step cavity rather than concentrated on one or two wedges. It has the added benefit of greatly reducing water ingress.
 

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Pearson 303
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Not to hijack the thread, but we have a similar issue on Carolena, our Pearson 303. It sounds like ramminjammin's mast is no longer centered in the partners. Our mast is in much the same situation - wedges fell out of the aft side and the mast is up against the partners on the fore side. Can the mast be re-centered before putting in new wedges or spartite by loosening the forestay and tightening the backstay? We've never had the mast pulled - it was like this when we bought the boat. Looking up the mast, it is otherwise alligned (you would never know the problem unless looking under the mast boot or up through the deck from the saloon). The keel step does seem to have slots where the bolts could be loosened and the step moved fore or aft a bit, but I assume that would require a crane lifting the mast enough to take the weight off the step (not really an option anywhere near us).

Knotty - good point on the friction point between the mast and deck. I'm going to make it a point to inspect that area once the mast is back in center.
 

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Aspiring to be a Mexican
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Not trying to hijack the thread, but could some of the uneven mast positions in the decks be from deck/hull misalignment at the factory? I can't imagine every deck is attached to the hull with tolerances of less than maybe 1/8".
I'm just speculating, but I've seen a brand new Cadillac with 3/4" of shims between the fender and the cowl because the chassis wasn't straight and it seems that it would be easier to build a 20' long car precisely than a 30' boat.
 

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Pearson 303
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I don't think that is the case, at least not on our boat. There is quite a bit of clearance between the mast and deck, so even if things were off by a bit, there would still be room for shims. I think our problem is that the last time the mast was pulled it wasn't centered correctly when reinstalled.
 
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