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NAHANT SAILOR
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Discussion Starter #1
hello,

last season my spreader pulled off my mast in a storm and put a large hole in the mast. look at attached pictures.

I was wondering if anyone knew if this was fixable by welding a patch and droping the spreader below the hole. Or if i would have to buy a whole new mast tube. The mast is from a PY 23

Any thoughts please let me know,

Thanks,

Matt
NAHANT, MA
 

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Ouch. I'd be surprised if welding is a good cure. I'd be looking at riveting a patch on it. Maybe a patch that wraps right around the mast, leaving the sail track clear. Patch about 8" to 12" tall? Do a paint job on the whole mast and come out looking pretty good.
 

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NAHANT SAILOR
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Discussion Starter #4
yea i thought about doing a rivet patch. do you think it is a big deal to drop the spreader below the patch. will it screw with the strength of my mast
 

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a little bigger pictures would be nice. Looks like there is a lot of corrosion. I think I even see a crack that extends from the hole.
I agree. The corrosion looks extensive enough that it makes me think that it may have been the reason that the section failed.

Mcanty, did this happen while you were sailing in a storm or were you moored? Did something catch on a shroud and pull it to cause this to happen?

I would recommend that you have a rigger or a surveyor that you trust take a look at the spar and give you their thoughts before you go through a lot of work and/or expense to repair it.
 

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I agree with Knothead. Consult a rigger. I found a hairline crack when I had my boat surved. I consulted three professional riggers and none recommend welding. They all recommended a sleeve.
 

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Cut the whole section out, nice and clean and perfectly perpendicular to the length, and then re-weld with reinforcements straddling the cut..
 

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Cut the whole section out, nice and clean and perfectly perpendicular to the length, and then re-weld with reinforcements straddling the cut..
I'm just suggesting that, based on what I see in the photograph, having the whole spar thoroughly inspected before repairs are undertaken might be a good idea.
 

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On a 23' boat it will be a toss up as to the price of a new/used blank or the repair. you need to check the rest of the mast to see if it worth repairing. I have repaired masts with this problem before and everyone is a little different. this one looks like is do to corrosion cracking that started at the fastener holes. you first need to assess how much corrosion and how far you need to be away from the cracks to find metal that is full thickness. I would weld on a cover patch that is at least 7 times as long as the mast is wide above and below the spreader location. and the end of each piece needs to be tapered at least 60 degrees. the cover patch would be welded all the way around and then the spreaders would be remounted. this is the same way we repair a broken mast that has been snapped off or folded over at the spreaders. a properly supported mast has most of the load in compression and this type of repair is much stronger then the rest of the spar
 

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Considering where you are, I'd look for a boat junkyard or consignment shop that had a whole rig about the same size. You might even get lucky and find one from the same model of boat.
 
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Welding aluminum will cause a slight warp in the material that is welded. (The weld will shrink the material) Additionally, there is a stress point adjacent to the weld that is a potential future failure. In a somewhat high stress area like you have I would not consider any welding. If all other areas of the mast are sound, as others have mentioned a riveted on patch would be the solution.
 

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Another vote for replacing the spar and not worrying about the next issue... no reason to believe the corrosion that allowed that to happen is isolated to that area..
 

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HANUMAN
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I would have it checked out by a pro and be prepared for the worst. As others have mentioned, start looking on craigs, ebay, sailorman, etc. You might get lucky straight away or it might take a bit of hunting but something will come up.
 

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Welding aluminum will cause a slight warp in the material that is welded. (The weld will shrink the material) Additionally, there is a stress point adjacent to the weld that is a potential future failure. In a somewhat high stress area like you have I would not consider any welding. If all other areas of the mast are sound, as others have mentioned a riveted on patch would be the solution.
have you done this type of repair before that you are suggesting. do you know of any rigging shops that do it this way? No. I think its because the construction of all new aluminum masts and anyone that repairs aluminum masts does it by welding. riviting a repair will cause many stress points and you will get corrosion between the repaired parts that in the furture will be a problem. in fact thats may be what caused this problem in the first place, fasteners in the mast extrusion.
 

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hello,

last season my spreader pulled off my mast in a storm and put a large hole in the mast. look at attached pictures.

I was wondering if anyone knew if this was fixable by welding a patch and droping the spreader below the hole. Or if i would have to buy a whole new mast tube. The mast is from a PY 23

Any thoughts please let me know,

Thanks,

Matt
NAHANT, MA
I am not going to pretend to be an expert,this guy is. Send him some quality photo's.

Julian Crisp
Owner - Sparman USA

Gainesville Florida
Tel: 352-222-4019
email: [email protected]
Home Page
 

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Welding aluminum WEAKENS it, depending on who's running the numbers and how conservative he wants to be, this can be as much as 50% loss within 1" of the heat-affected zone, though many will go with 15%. Down at the base, most of the load is compression, it may not matter that much. Hence the sleeve.

Steel is just the opposite. If 40 KSI material is welded, the rod is often in the 70 KSI range.
 
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