Merlin Masts

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Mark
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Post by Mark » Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:19 am

So.... How do you stop them falling down........
Answers on a postcard please.....:(
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chris
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Post by chris » Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:40 am

Does this question have anything to do with me?
MR 507's mast did come down when John and Lyn were sailing at Dorchester. A shroud failed (in light winds too!) When I first restored 507 I renewed all rigging as a matter of course so one answer is renew everything more frequently. There had been no visual evidence to suggest a problem. it just snapped high up. The shroud was about ten years old.

Other problems I have seen on old merlins are:
shroud plate failing...There's a thrust block that must be firm up against the inwale. it's that that takes the tension rather than the two screws through the hull.

On the earliest merlin the forstay anchor point at the bow is a brass strip that passes through the deck and is screwed to the inside of the stem. may only have two 1.25" screws! I've seen one of these rip out and could make quite a mess.

SO...

1) if you are working on the boat redo all rigging (regularly)
2) Check/reinforce anchor points. How sound is the timber things are fitted to?
3)Old boats were not designed to take the tensions of a modern rig so unless you reinforce the hull keep to the light tension.
4) don't sail at Clewedog with a homemade mast in a force whatever gust!
5) Modern Merlin sails are much bigger in real area than early ones so more pressure.

Mark
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 7:10 pm
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Post by Mark » Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:24 am

yes...It was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way of finding out what happened at Dorchester, and any lesson learnt...Thanks Chris
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