Replacement Wooden Mast

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Southern377
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:00 am
Location: Lancing, West Sussex

Replacement Wooden Mast

Post by Southern377 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:13 am

Need some advice/thoughts on replicating a "solid" wooden mast.

The original was two halves glued together. Is now again in two halves and badly rotted to the point that the mast foot is missing.

Would it be better to replicate the original production and if so would it be better to bond together with epoxy or use a wood glue?

Or.....use a single length of timber and a router to make the groove?

Also any advice on timber choice please....Sitka Spruce or Douglas Fir?

Alan H.

Michael4
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Replacement Wooden Mast

Post by Michael4 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:24 am

How long, how thick and what for? I have a couple lying around, can't remember dimensions but can check them out if and when it stops raining. I can also think where one or two others reside.
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chris
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Re: Replacement Wooden Mast

Post by chris » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:16 pm

If it is only the foot thats rotton then you could splice pieces to replace that part if the mast is already in two halves now.
I assume, being hollowed out, the halyards run inside. If so a new one must repllicate that so you won't be able do it from one piece and trying to router the luff groove from a solid piece would be very difficult indeed The bolt rope channel would about 10mm diam but with only a 2mm max slot (for the sail cloth) for a cutter to work through would make it almost impossible.

pros and cons for using epoxy: You need plenty of time to apply the glue and time to assemble and check everything is true - probably longer than epoxy will give you if it is a long mast. If you rush and slap too much on and it all squeezes out you may glue in the string you lay down to pull the halyards through and you may have an lot of difficult cleaning up the bolt rope channel. Epoxy doesn't like UV either.
I have used epoxy and found it a problem, now I would suggest aerolite . You can take as much time as you like to carefully apply just the right amount of creamy glue on one side. Then paint the acid on the other side. The reaction doesn't start till the two halves come together. It will last you 40 years probably! I would avoid anything like cascamite.

If you do make from new then slice your quarter sawn timber down the middle to make the two halves and turn one piece round so that any stresses the timber may have still will balance out and the mast will be more stable.

Knowing what this is for and how long it is will help us.
Sitka is not as strong as Douglas fir, though it is certainly lighter.

Southern377
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Location: Lancing, West Sussex

Re: Replacement Wooden Mast

Post by Southern377 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:25 pm

Jack Holt Yachting World Explorer. (No. 6) as advertised here by Godfrey at Fishers Green.

15 foot long to the longest piece of rot! It might be a fraction longer if I've lost a bit but I don't think it can be much as the spars are supposed to fit inside the boat which is 14' 9"; It must go in diagonally but bearing in mind the rear deck, it must be a very tight fit!

The groove in the mast carries the "torpedos" which protrude from the gaff for it to slide vertically up the mast so is much bigger than for the luff rope.

The Gaff is 12' 4" long and is also in poor condition also being rotten at one end.

I was really only thinking in terms of complete replacement of both spars.

(The Boom has been stored indoors with the sails so I am planning to restore and use.)

The mast is stayed from the top by two side stays and a forestay. The gaff is held up only by the "torpedos" in the mast groove and its halyard.

The gaff which is also of solid construction sits vertically against and up above the mast and has a conventional luff groove. The main halyard runs through a diagonally mounted cheek block at the tip. Both halyards run back down externally to cleats on the lower mast.

The mainsail had large plastic sail slides tied on the lower half of the luff presumably to slide in the gaff groove but they look very much like an after thought and I would think there would be a danger of them jamming in the event of needing the gaff down in a hurry! Dan at Sail Register thinks it more likely the lower section of the main should be laced round the lower mast. (Dan is making a new mast down cover as the original SR cover was somewhat beyond repair...hope to take delivery before transporting round the M25.)

The sails include the original Holt Sails Main and Jib and a Rockall Sails Genoa. These are attached at the top of the mast and must hug the foredeck as both have fairly large windows in. All sails are as they should be in Holt "Mirror" red.

Early days yet! Most of the woodwork on the hull will need replacing too but the rotten bits are good enough to get accurate patterns from.

The only missing part is the tiller which I have replaced with nice long example from eBay...

I will no doubt be asking much more advice over the coming months!!

Alan H.
West Solent Scow
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Michael4
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Replacement Wooden Mast

Post by Michael4 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:21 pm

Sorry, none of my bits of wood would be appropriate!

Yes, in my experience most gunter (it is gunter???) rigs have a luff groove on the gaff and lace the main to the mast. If there is not much length on the mast one can probably get away without lacing it so long as you can get a tight luff by either hauling the gaff up tight or using the downhaul on the boom. Your 'torpedos' or sliders or slugs are available in all sorts of sizes, I have never seen them used for a gaff but if it is original so be it!
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Chalky
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Re: Replacement Wooden Mast

Post by Chalky » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:46 pm

Try and keep original parts if possible. Both ends of the mast N760 were rotten and I successfully scarfed 'new' timber ends onto the old spar. Cutting long scarf joints is surprisingly easy and epoxy helps fill any gaps!

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