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#1 22 Aug 2018 5:39 pm

wilddog
Member
From: Devon
Registered: 22 Dec 2013
Posts: 126

Skerry mast step repairs

Hello all,

It's been a while since I posted much at all on the forum.

I am now in my 4th season with my Skerry and still enjoying sailing her. I have noticed some wear at the mast step where the mast rubs on the hull. I have not brought her home for a proper inspection, but it looks like the mast has rubbed through the fiber glass and is starting to chaff the wood.

Clearly this will need to be address in the off season, but I am just wondering about the best idea for a repair. My first thought is to get a square of 6mm ply, chamfered into a slight bowl shape (that matches the mast foot), slather it in glass and bed it into the offending spot with a wodge of epoxy. This should create and extra layer of protection for the footing.

Has anyone got a better plan?

Andy


Built a Skerry!

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#2 24 Aug 2018 12:06 am

DerekD
Member
Registered: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 27

Re: Skerry mast step repairs

Hi Andy,

Plywood and epoxy resin are strong against impact or flexing but poor against abrasion.
The fibres in plywood break out easily and almost form a cutting paste to accelerate the problem and ask anyone who beaches their boat regularly to find out how that affects the epoxy.

I would use a piece of Oak.

The grain of Oak is much shorter and tighter and fares much better than plywood in this situation.

I would be surprised if you couldn't find an Oak item at a local charity shop or car boot sale - coasters, chopping board, fruit bowl etc. If you are lucky you might find an exotic hardwood souvenir that you can butcher ... adapt for your purpose.
Essentially what you want is a piece of wood that will make you cry when it destroys your chisel or saw.

I would be inclined to cut or sand away any applied finish to natural raw wood. A "cap"  of the same wood attached to the base of the mast would mean that the faces were equal in strength and burnish each face rather than cut each other.

I would steer clear of any finish that might increase friction e.g. varnish, lacquer or resin.

If you felt the need to seal the wood used then Walnut oil might work ( you can get that at any supermarket) although I don't know how that oil would react in your situation. If you decide to try it then wipe some on the face of the wood then buff it off either with elbow grease or a polishing mop on a drill or bench grinder to a dry polished finish.

Bare untreated wood might seem vulnerable to rot from wet but as the faces of the wood wear against each other they will burnish into a hard wearing face.

If you have difficulty in sourcing a piece of Oak locally, and cheaply, no point in forking out for a whole plank when you don't need it, let me know and I'll send you a piece

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#3 25 Aug 2018 4:37 pm

wilddog
Member
From: Devon
Registered: 22 Dec 2013
Posts: 126

Re: Skerry mast step repairs

Thanks Derek, that is a very good tip.

I don;t think the damage is too bad just yet so the repair can wait until the off season. What I do have is a lot of off cuts of mahogany. Do you think this might work as well as oak?


Built a Skerry!

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#4 25 Aug 2018 10:29 pm

DerekD
Member
Registered: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 27

Re: Skerry mast step repairs

As a solid piece of wood mahogany might do a turn but not as good as oak.
When you saw mahogany you get similar breakout as you get when you cut ply but when you cut oak all you get is dust as the grain is much tighter and shorter but take care the dust is carcinogenic

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