The completely renovated mast

It looks like new.
It's as strong as new -- no, it's actually better than new.

It's ready for the next 25 years ...


The mast was stripped by me, then the yard bead blasted, acid etched, and then sprayed it with Awl Grip Primer and LPU Topcoat.

I did the labor of removing and reinstalling all the hardware. It took about 15 hours to remove all the old hardware (which was all frozen to the mast). I had to hacksaw the old cleats off, and drill out most of the rivets and machine screws. Stripping off the old paint took another 12 hours. It took at least another 25 hours to plan, buy the new hardware, and install it.

All the components other than the original mast extrusion and spreaders are new. It has new halyards, new lights and wiring (done with Ancor heat-shrink butt splices), new blocks, new pole track, new mast base, new crane-- you name it, it's new!

Whenever I had a question about the right method or materials to use, I consulted the rigging foreman and/or shop manager from the Rig Shop at Svendsen's Boatyard, who advised me. I also consulted with Brion Toss regarding the design of the doublers at the spreaders. All the work is done to the highest standards. No shortcuts to save dollars, no sloppy work like there was on the OEM mast.

The cost including painting and all parts (including a new whisker pole, new halyards, stepping and and unstepping) was around $4100. In addition, I put in about 50-60 hours of my own labor. A comparable new mast with comparable gear and halyards installed would have cost about $6000.

For comments on repainting vs re-anodizing, including a cost comparison, click here. If you can get the mast to a plating shop, anodizing is cheaper, though not as nice cosmetically. But transporting a mast can be pricey.

After the mast is up, and the boom installed, I'll finish the last few details -- hardware for the front reefing lines and the cleats for the pole car line. I need to see the lead of the lines while the mast is up to do both those tasks.

Click on any picture below to see an enlarged view


The completed mast, waiting on the dock to be stepped

The new tricolor masthead light by Perko, mounted on an aluminum tube which contains the wires. 14 gauge marine grade safety wire was used. All the wiring in the mast is new.

Wires are stress-relieved with a wire tie.

Tek-Gel was used for the SS mounting screws to prevent seizing and galvanic corrosion.

Completed masthead, showing spinnaker bail with block, jib halyard for the furling jib with a Schaefer #78-75 halyard restrainer, and antenna. The jib halyard restrainer prevents the halyard from wrapping when the jib is furled. The spinnaker halyard is made of dacron/dacron line. The coaxial cable for the antenna is stress relieved and has a drip loop.

The new Doubler Plates at the spreaders. The mast was damaged before I bought the boat, and I discovered it when I dropped the mast for inspection.. The Doubler Plates are mounted with 1/4-20 machine screws. Everything is bedded with LifeSeal for anticorrosion. Three aluminum compression tubes were used under the SS spreader brackets, with the SS thru-bolts bedded in TekGel inside the tubes.

Another Bullet Dodged: A Rig failure that could have happened.

The starboard view of the top of the mast. You can see the new upper tangs (Dwyer Mast's DH 75-42), much heavier than the OEM tangs. I had to replace the OEM tangs because the person who worked on the mast previously really botched up installing the new masthead truck. It was, like the spreader brackets, a mast failure waiting to happen.

When I removed the masthead truck prior to painting, I discovered that the holes in the casting didn't line up with the holes in the mast. To be able to get the thrubolt in, the installer just reamed out the hole in the truck to larger than 5/16" -- it was out-of-round, and a really ugly mess of a drilling job.

As a consequence, the thru bolt was bearing on the mast wall rather than the casting. In other words, the mast wall was bearing all the load of the top shrouds!

I had to redrill the holes in both the mast and the truck. They must be in good alignment in order for the truck to seat flush on the top of the mast. Then the whole mast column is taking the load, not just the side walls (which aren't thick enough to bear such a large load)

In order to get the truck to seat flush on the top of the mast and to have a proper bearing surface that wasn't point loading either the casting or the mast wall, I had to drill the hole to 1/2" diameter and use a 1/2" thru bolt instead of the OEM 5/16" size.. So I had to buy oversized tangs with a mounting hole of 1/2" diameter.

Another bullet dodged! That was another rig failure waiting to happen.

Click onthe picture for a larger view

Another view of the mast head. Note the toggle for attaching the forestay with the Harken-0 furler. The green/black halyard is for the jib on the furler, and is held away from the furler by the halyard restrainer. The blue and black halyard is for the second jib. The jib halyards and main halyard are 5/16" Vizzion, a low-creep vectran core line with a very durable dacron cover.

Forespar ML-2 combination steaming and deck light, just above the spreaders. The deck light has a very efficient halogen bulb. You can't see it in this picture, but the wiring is stress relieved and has a drip loop. The opening into the mast is sealed with sealant.

The ForeSpar FC-125 adjustable pole car. It's heavy duty and oversized to permit storing the pole on the mast without damaging the end-fittings on the pole. The mechanical advantage is 2:1 in the system. Blocks are Harken Bullet blocks, with a Safe Working Load of 300 pounds, and 2000 pound breaking strength.



The bottom of the pole track, showing the eyestrap and cheekblock that are part of the tackle that moves the car.

It took over 7 hours of labor to remove the old 6 feet of beat-up track because the screws were corroded and frozen to the mast. I had to drill off the heads of the old SS screws, and then drill out the shaft using a left handed drill bit that was a few 1000ths of an inch smaller.

There are almost forty 1/4-20 machine screws used in mounting the new 12' of track. It took an addition 4-5 hours to drill and tap the new holes, and install the new track with bedding.

Top end of the pole track. The track is 1-1/4" Schaeffer track.

View of the bottom of the 1/4" thick Stainless Steel M30 hinged mast-step from Ballenger Spar Systems. The step was custom drilled with countersunk holes to match the holes in the existing (1 year old) mast step casting. I used 5/16" machine screws, nylocks, insulated with Tek-Gel, to attach the hinge to the step casting.

Another view of the hinged-mast-step. The hinge pin is aft. You can see the new coaxial cable for the antenna exiting on the starboard side.

Another view of the hinged mast-step

Harken exit sheeve for the pole lift.


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