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PinoyPiper

Sailing with mast in third mast step

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Mizzen mast fell over the other day in the middle of a tack, my guess is there wasn't enough downhaul tension. It ripped the screws out that were holding the mast partner (thwart) in place. Thwart  is still in one piece as I made a thicker stronger one when the mizzen also fell over last year and broke the thwart in half while the boat was at anchor. Need to think of a way to keep it in place, either a deeper mast step or maybe a pin through the mast under the mast partner. any other ideas? 

 

The boat obviously couldn't point very well and couldn't go back where we came from, it's a good thing we had the outboard mounted, but only a liter of gas on board. When we ran out of gas we just sailed to the closest shore we could get to on a beam reach and bought gas from there. 

post-340-0-31980800-1387180803_thumb.jpg

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Did the base of the mast come out of the step to cause this?

Yes

 

Hmm, the downhaul on my Spindrift cleats to the mast below the boom.  This means it does nothing to hold the mast in the step.  Actually, nothing but the weight of the mast, boom and sail  holds it in, and maybe a little friction at the partner.  Is the hole in the step not very deep?  Or are the sides of the hole or the butt of the mast angled or rounded such that the mast slips out?  Or maybe the hole is a little large and the fit is sloppy?  I am puzzled as to why you have this problem.

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mast step was built to spec. it's about an inch deep, no bevel or rounding at the top. I also had a spindrift before and never had that problem. on the CS, the downhaul is from the mast partner to the sail, to a cleat on the mast

 

here are pictures of the mast step and mast partner when the boat was being built, the thwart (mast partner) is thicker now on the starboard side, I rebuilt it with "bi-axial plank" 

 

Posted Image

 

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On my Spindrift 12 the downhaul is attached to the mast step then up through the eyelet in the foot of the sail and down to the cleat as per the plans, so it is impossible for the mast to come out unless you have no pressure on the downhaul.

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My downhaul is cleated on the mast, and the other end is secured around the thwart seat. Mine ripped out because of making a base block that was to small, and now using screws. It's not epoxied and tightened with bolts instead of screws.

 

The screws could have had something to do with it. How badly did it screw up the seat? Any cracking?

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I have a dedicated downhaul of dyneema line that ties down mast to a pad eye on the thwart.  Like Jim did on his boat; It would be good to have a tube like the foremast to prevent the mast ripping the thwart out...could easily happen in a capsize and makes the whole assembly stronger.  It would be good to modify the plans to suggest that...I thought of it too late.  I also have snotter and tack lines lead to thwart which helps.  

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You could try a technique that Hobie uses on their sailing kayaks. They just attach a bungie cord to the mast with a ring at the end, and a hook on the mast step. Then you just pull the bungie down and hook it on the hook and the down tension keeps it there. If you are stepping it through the seat you just cut out a bit of a notch to allow the bungie to pass through and place the hook adjacent to the step at the bottom. I use this method for the mast on my kayak and it's never failed yet. I use a S/Steel hose clamp for the bungy attachment to the mast. You don't need lots of tension to hold the mast in place. About 20 lbs tension should be plenty.

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