Friday, January 27, 2012

Mast Work

Last fall, I was preparing for a trip up to Tomales Bay.  It's about 40 miles north of the Golden Gate and requires some ocean sailing to get there.  Our boat has been sailing the bay for the last 11 years with zero ocean miles.  This was going to be a big deal so in preparation for the the trip, I did two things.  First, I had our fuel tank polished as over many years, crude builds up in the fuel tank.  When you hit the swell of an open ocean, the crude gets into the fuel lines and can create a blockage and this in turn cause the engine to stop working.  The other thing I did was hire a rigger to come out and look at the mast and rigging.  After his inspection, he called me and said donot go to Tomales.  He found some serious corrosion at the base of the mast.  We have an inspection port near the base (a hole in the mast) and over the last 30 years water and spray have created corrosion and weakened the base.  It was so bad that I took a screwdriver to a small hole and easily made it bigger.  Not good.  We took our boat over the the yard and they performed a butt cut.  The cut off the base and then use a very rigged material to bring the mast back to its original height.  The work has been completed and the mast looks great.  If you have an older boat with an inspection port, I would take a look at your mast base.

1 comment:

Albie said...

I'm glad you found that mast weakness! I lost my mast one year due to a bad shroud. It had begun to part up near the top of the mast so I didn't see it. But that doesn't stop me from inspecting my shrouds every week and especially before I go out in bad weather! Albie