South Coast Sailboats

Mast failure & replacement


Mast failure & replacement - The first failure was metal fatigue (of the original mast at twenty years old) at the spreaders ( It tore from spreader hole to spreader hole on one and then buckeled over backwards). It failed in a lot of wind, half way up the mast right at the spreaders. The mast was replaced, and then failed a second time the following season (after relocating form one home port to another, the mast was setup, but the turnbuckles were not set tight enough before setting up the sails. It only lasted ten minutes before it buckled right in the same spot as the previous mast.) The third mast was ordered extra heavy (one size up in thickness) (Dwyer Aluminum Mast Company - DM-450). This was a great improvement in the stiffness of the mast (I would recommend this for anyone that has to replace the original mast). This upgrade also involved replacing the mast tabernacle to accept the larger mast. Additionally, I set up the mast so it goes up and down from the cotpit, as opposed to the bow. I did this because it allows you to stand further back from the mast base to carry the weight of the mast with less leverage. Also, standing in the cotpit carrying the weight of the mast was more confidence inspiring than out on the front deck doing the same trick. I do recall that with the original mast I could fly it myself (the newer heavier mast makes the a thing of the past.

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