Friday, February 15, 2019

2017 & 2018: 9 The Benefits of a Shakedown Cruise

Mast Step Repair.  A piece of the aluminium casting at the back of the mast step came away when I was adjusting the mainsail not long after we had launched and, fortunately, were just doing a quick "shakedown" cruise along the Portuguese coast to Faro and back. 

This piece had always held a number of ss shackles holding blocks that led lines back to the cockpit.  The boat had always been set up this way and, I guess, over the years the ss shackles had worn into the aluminium casting until it eventually failed.  At the same time it exposed two (of the 4) bolts that held the mast base in place.   Interestingly, below the aluminium mast base is a ss plate that has vertical edging with holes that accommodate shackles attached to blocks.  On the rear side of the ss plate there are also holes that had simply not been used as the shackles had been attached to the aluminium mast base instead.

Inspecting the damage

Sopromar Boatyard repaired the mast base by fabricating a stainless steel bracket that covered the broken area, utilizing the two exposed bolts, and then to reinforce things the fabricated bracket was welded to the ss mast base plate.  Any gap between the new ‘cap’ and the original mast base was filled with silicone sealant.  

You'll be pleased to know:  It held perfectly during our 2017/2018 Atlantic crossing and was left in place on the recommendation of the chief rigger when we subsequently had the standing rigging replaced in Saint Martin by FKG Rigging.

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