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 Taking an inch off the top of the mast

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
ecaj Posted - 12/05/2022 : 16:27:20
I damaged the top of the mast where the two bolts hold the blocking device for the halyard. Has anyone had to cut down the top of the mast? It looks like I need to remove about 1 inch and remount the top hardware. Thanks for any assistance. Iím new to sailing.
12   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Stinkpotter Posted - 01/12/2023 : 22:21:00
I assume the C-250 has a fixed boom position on the mast. Besides the stays and shrouds, your sails, particularly the main, would also be 1" (or whatever) too long on the luff, and your furler might need a modification. In the future, no sails or rigging would be replaceable with standard gear. (That should be disclosed to a buyer.) Re-mounting the boom an inch lower would solve the mainsail issue... Is the rest worth avoiding the price of a new (or pre-owned) mast? I don't know.
DavidCrosby Posted - 01/12/2023 : 08:37:48
How about posting pictures of the damage for us to see? Inquiring minds want to know.

ecaj Posted - 01/11/2023 : 16:47:09
Thanks again for your wise thinking, I talked with Catalina technical and his recommendation was to cut the mast down the 1Ē or so required at the top, then drill two new holes in the mast, remount the masthead and replace all the stays shorter than existing normal stays. I would have to custom length the stays. He was concerned about welding the mast. Thanks again.
Stinkpotter Posted - 12/11/2022 : 20:31:22
Again, pictures could be worth the proverbial thousand words. But could a solution possibly be to drill in some other undamaged positions for bolts to do the same? A mast-head casting has mostly downward forces against the top of the mast from the stays and halyards which are somewhat in balance fore-and-aft. Welding could be a piece of the puzzle, but shifting to unwelded spots for the bolts might be advised by the welder, or be an option if he can't accomplish what's needed. I'm flying blind here, but trying to think just a little "outside of the box."
ecaj Posted - 12/11/2022 : 08:25:11
Thanks for all of these excellent thoughts on repairing my mast. By way of background, my sailboat is a 250 WB. The two bolts that hold on the top hardware were ripped off the top of the mast. So the repair would have to fix that area. I like the welder idea.
Erik
WK 727 Posted - 12/08/2022 : 16:44:45
ECAJ, Steve brought it up immediately. It is difficult to help with limited information or no picture of the damage. Please share the boat information (C250, WK or WB standard/tall and the number). This information is invaluable to the wealth of experience found on this site. Next, the halyards are attached with bolts/pins on the masthead fixture which fit on the mast extrusion. Without a photo it is difficult to understand what has failed. FYI, the halyard sheaves on the masthead do have a tendency over time to fail from UV exposure and it is an easy replacement. We need more information.
Stinkpotter Posted - 12/07/2022 : 22:39:34
quote:
Originally posted by islander

...As Dave said you might or might not have a problem with the luff length of the main sail depending on how tight the tolerance is. Most sailmakers won't build a sail that tight in luff length. They give a little wiggle room.
That "wiggle room" is to ensure good luff tension given inexact sailmaking (by fractions of an inch) and some stretch (by more). If the mast is a little tall boom to mast-head, there's definitely room for either. If a little short, maybe not.
islander Posted - 12/07/2022 : 11:34:03
It will also raise the spreaders one inch if that matters. The lower shrouds attach to the mast on a 250. The attachment points to the mast would also be 1in. higher and the lower shrouds would need to be 1in. longer. Toggles and turnbuckle adjustments could possibly make that up. You could have a 1in. Thick aluminum shim made that follows the footprint of the mast step and place it under the mast step. You will need mast step bolts that are 1in. longer. As Dave said you might or might not have a problem with the luff length of the main sail depending on how tight the tolerance is. Most sailmakers won't build a sail that tight in luff length. They give a little wiggle room.
Stinkpotter Posted - 12/07/2022 : 11:03:42
quote:
Originally posted by JB

Cutting should be a last resort, but some of the height loss could be made up by increasing the thickness of the foot of the mast.

That could take care of the rigging, but not the boom (to match the luff-length of the mainsl).
JB Posted - 12/07/2022 : 09:05:15
Cutting should be a last resort, but some of the height loss could be made up by increasing the thickness of the foot of the mast.
Stinkpotter Posted - 12/06/2022 : 23:07:31
You could end up needing a whole new set of custom-sized shrouds and stays, since the turnbuckles likely won't be able to take up the slack or allow the adjustments you should be able to make, and a standard set won't fit. Also, you'd either have to remount the boom gooseneck an inch lower on the mast or shorten the mainsail. Your furler and jib could also be issues.
Steve Milby Posted - 12/05/2022 : 20:00:57
Without a photo of the damage, it's hard to offer advice, but, for me, Cutting an inch off the mast would be the last recourse. I'd take it to a good welder who knows how to weld aluminum and see if he can repair the damage.

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