Mast came off in storm.

Regarding the DS3 only. Note that the DS3 is not a class-legal Day Sailer.

Moderator: GreenLake

Mast came off in storm.

Postby timalabim » Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:20 pm

Had my DSIII on a mooring, in what turned out to be a fairly heavy storm on our lake.

First time it had been out in such weather. I haven't been up to the lake, but got my daughter to confirm that it was still in place.
Asked her to take a picture so I could judge whether it had dragged the mooring at all, and noticed that while the boat appeared to be solid in place, the mast was missing. Sure enough they swam out and found the Mast in the water. Can't get up to check the damage until this weekend (which is killing me) but from the pictures it looks like I have at least 1 broken spreader bar and the base of the mast looks like it may have pulled out of the mast step.

My only guess is that the stays weren't tight enough and this gave the mast some sway. With the storm, I guess enough force to snap something....

The boom was attached when I left and was on a scissors crutch but is now in the boat. That can't be good.

Getting worried about what my DRMarine shopping cart will look like ! :cry:
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Re: Mast came off in storm.

Postby DigitalMechanic » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:52 pm

That stinks. I definitely empathize with you. I lost my mast when I first got the boat. New to sailing and new to me 40 year old boat. What did I know? Nothing, lol... Was just happy to be on the water.

I got hit by a gust that popped the starboard tang off the mast and instantly slammed the mast to the water on port side (if I am remembering correctly). It was quick and seems vicious in the moment. I would be willing to bet when I received the boat had the original aluminum rivets still in it, rotted out beyond belief. We were also sitting in a 2-3kt current next to bridge, and got pushed into the footing. Eventually we maneuvered our way around the footing of the bridge by using our legs to push off of it (against the current), and eventually got parked/tangled on a crab trap buoy, lol. There were a lot of other factors and silly things that happened that we laugh at now, but the repair was not that bad. Where the mast and step met was torn up pretty bad because the the mast was ripped off of the screws when it went over. I just got a metal cutting blade for my chop saw and took an inch off to give a nice clean flat cut to the end to the mast. Then I put the casting back in and drilled new holes through the mast to connect it. I had to bang the tabernacle around a little with a vice and hammer to straighten it back out, but works well now. The big caveat was shimming the lower section of the mast to compensate for the inch I had to take off the upper section. But that really is not that bad. I used a piece of treated pine (block) for now, but will probably replace that bottom section with new aluminum some day. The cost to do this was little to none, I had lumber laying around and screws are cheap.

Now, after that I was in "super paranoid" mode... and that is when it started getting expensive, lol. I replaced every fastener on the boat (rivets and screws), and also replaced all the standing rigging (which appears to be original 3/32"), upgrading to the new 1/8" D&R sells. It was a few hundred dollars and a lot of work, but the boat is definitely sea worth now (amongst many other OCD influenced modifications that are unrelated).

At the end of the day you are lucky, be thankful the mast when over when the boat had no crew aboard. Good luck fixing your boat up and getting back on the water!
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Re: Mast came off in storm.

Postby timalabim » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:30 am

So was able to survey the damage. Not as bad as I had imagined it could have been. The Forestay and 1 side stay had pulled out of the turnbuckles, the screws had pulled out of base of the mast step casting, but the mast itself appears undamaged. The Gooseneck slide must have just popped out, as it appeared to be fine. 1 spreader bar was broken where the pin attaches to the bracket, and the starboard side stay has 1 wire sticking out of the bunch. All of the deck and mast hardware appears solid and there doesn't appear to be any damage to the tabernacle other than it may be a little bent but nothing a bit of hammering won't fix. I've ordered a new mast step casting, so will drill and tap new holes for the screws (maybe double up the side screws?), a spreader bar arm, and a new full set of standing rigging to replace the stays with the upgraded 1/8" wire. Unfortunately we won't be getting back to the lake until Sept, so have to wait until then to re-launch. Pulled her off the mooring and she's sitting on the trailer for now.
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Re: Mast came off in storm.

Postby GreenLake » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:13 am

The mast casting is loaded primarily on compression, so the screws mainly serve to prevent it from falling out during transport. Having a nice place that can yield when stays are failing is one of the advantages of a deck stepped mast. If you meant those particular screws, and if I've assumed correctly where they are to go, then doubling anything could just cause greater damage should the rig fail again.

Make sure to replace all stays. Best to have them matched and with anything sticking out, that one is a definite "goner".

For spreaders, I had one pull out from a pin and immediately purchased a replacement. Which then failed on the very first trip after installation. Spreaders are a bit different for each model, but if yours is like mine where there is a pin mounted in a fitting close to the mast and the pin goes through 2 holes through a round hollow spreader (and the holes are close to the end of the spreader) then this is a bit of an under-engineered fitting. (After drilling the two holes, there's not really much metal left, so the slightest load off-center pulls out the pin).

There are no off-center loads when the spreader is functioning in a fully assembled rig, but you can get them during raising and transport.

When the freshly installed spreader broke, threatening to ruing another trip before it had begun, I first used choice language, then I used two "tails" from a set of beefy black cable ties that I "decapitated". I bent those into a U around the pin and used a hose clamp (or two) to fix them to the spreader. When working, the spreader rests on the pin with the "good" side of the original holes, while the cable ties keep if from falling off when transported or when there's a load shift on the rig. I added a layer of electric tape for good measure and off we went.

The repair has worked so well, it's still in place a few years later. By adding a bit of freedom for the spreader to flex up and down, not just rotate forward and back, I don't have to be as worried that it might get banged a bit while I raise the mast. I'm waiting for the other spreader to break, so I can give it the same treatment. (I do check the cable ties for signs of brittleness every once in a while...)
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