Mast creak ... again

Mast creak ... again

Postby mike cunningham » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:55 pm

I am contemplating pulling my mast, yet again, to resolve several issues: Replace broken VHF antenna, realign tri color light and lower it to hopefully reduce interference with my AIS receiver, clean and repaint worn areas where batten pockets have abraded mast and try, for the second time, to address the dreadful MAST CREAK that I experience when sailing deep.

Could anyone comment on strategies they have used to eliminate the mast creak (movement) at the step? I was shocked at how loud the banging was when off the wind in a good seaway. It sounded as if someone was banging on the mast with a ball peen hammer. As I inspected the mast, fearing something might break or splinter or ??, I was able to feel the mast base moving ever so slightly, perhaps a 16th of an inch or less. Not detectable visibly but I could feel it move slightly when I placed my fingers on the mast base and step. It was hard to believe this little "skip" was capable of producing the kind of noise I was hearing but I guess, with all halyards snugged up, there is quite a bit of downward force on the mast base.

Anyway, I know this topic has come up several times in the past. Has anyone successfully solved this and proven the solution at sea?. If so, what did you do?
Mike Cunningham
Freedom 30 (Mull) Hull #3
Build date...June, 1986 . Freedom Yachts USA, sloop, shoal keel
Gun Mount and pole retrofitted (purchased from a Hoyt Freedom 32)
Yanmar 2gm20F , 1600 hrs fixed two blade prop
e-rud and ocean racing equipment
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Re: Mast creak ... again

Postby GeoffSchultz » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:28 pm

We pulled the mast, cleaned up the interior of the mast base, coated it with release agent, coated the mast base plate with epoxy and fiberglass material, and inserted it into the mast, providing a perfect fit. When this was done, the creaking disappeared.

-- Geoff
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1997 Freedom 40/40
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Re: Mast creak ... again

Postby jamesorr » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:11 am

Did something somewhat similarly, although in my case, I used a set of decent calipers, measured base and mast interior diameter and added epoxy to the interior of the mast for 3 inches or so to build it up to the base diameter -- didn't need much -- probably a 16th or so, but haven't noticed any issues with noise since then (probably 4 or 5 years). In my case, I didn't use the release material as I did the epoxy work a week or two before the mast was re-stepped (I have my mast pulled every year as the boat is stored inside all winter).
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Re: Mast creak ... again

Postby mike cunningham » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:01 pm

GeoffSchultz wrote:We pulled the mast, cleaned up the interior of the mast base, coated it with release agent, coated the mast base plate with epoxy and fiberglass material, and inserted it into the mast, providing a perfect fit. When this was done, the creaking disappeared.

-- Geoff


Geoff,

So the idea is that the mast will pop out no prob due to the release agent on the inside of the mast tube? This sounds like a pretty simple low tech approach. I guess you have to be pretty liberal with the release agent? I imagine as the mast goes back on the base there will be some epoxy squeeze down where you will get some epoxy on the very base lip of the mast and maybe some squeeze out external to the base once the mast is fully seated on the base. Was this your experience and how did you handle it, just apply release agent to whatever bits might come into contact with the epoxy?
Mike Cunningham
Freedom 30 (Mull) Hull #3
Build date...June, 1986 . Freedom Yachts USA, sloop, shoal keel
Gun Mount and pole retrofitted (purchased from a Hoyt Freedom 32)
Yanmar 2gm20F , 1600 hrs fixed two blade prop
e-rud and ocean racing equipment
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Re: Mast creak ... again

Postby GeoffSchultz » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:40 pm

Mike,

Correct. Use plenty of release agent and all that it should take is a few good taps with a mallet and the two pieces separate and you've got a perfect mate.

-- Geoff
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1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org
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Re: Mast creak ... again

Postby gamayun » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:00 pm

jamesorr wrote:Did something somewhat similarly, although in my case, I used a set of decent calipers, measured base and mast interior diameter and added epoxy to the interior of the mast for 3 inches or so to build it up to the base diameter -- didn't need much -- probably a 16th or so, but haven't noticed any issues with noise since then (probably 4 or 5 years). In my case, I didn't use the release material as I did the epoxy work a week or two before the mast was re-stepped (I have my mast pulled every year as the boat is stored inside all winter).


Mike, I talked with Michael Jefferson about this when I had my mast out two years ago and this is what he suggested. I had bought material to build a "plug" on the top hat, but the thought of it not releasing made me too nervous to try. I too had a gawd awful banging sound on my way to Kauai that I was sure would break the mast. It was enough to make a person go insane. Let me know if you'd like a hand and maybe I can get Michael to advise. I definitely will get this fixed on mine before I go again!

(Did I actually say that?)
Kynntana, Freedom 38
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Re: Mast creak ... again

Postby mike cunningham » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:31 pm

gamayun wrote:
jamesorr wrote:Did something somewhat similarly, although in my case, I used a set of decent calipers, measured base and mast interior diameter and added epoxy to the interior of the mast for 3 inches or so to build it up to the base diameter -- didn't need much -- probably a 16th or so, but haven't noticed any issues with noise since then (probably 4 or 5 years). In my case, I didn't use the release material as I did the epoxy work a week or two before the mast was re-stepped (I have my mast pulled every year as the boat is stored inside all winter).


Mike, I talked with Michael Jefferson about this when I had my mast out two years ago and this is what he suggested. I had bought material to build a "plug" on the top hat, but the thought of it not releasing made me too nervous to try. I too had a gawd awful banging sound on my way to Kauai that I was sure would break the mast. It was enough to make a person go insane. Let me know if you'd like a hand and maybe I can get Michael to advise. I definitely will get this fixed on mine before I go again!

(Did I actually say that?)


Yes, you actually said it. Ha Ha Ha...

I'll let you know when I come up to do the job. I have a long list of mast items to address. I may just stay up at Berkeley after the Corinthian and pull the mast at that time. I probably have three or four days of work to do. I'll keep you posted on schedule.
Mike Cunningham
Freedom 30 (Mull) Hull #3
Build date...June, 1986 . Freedom Yachts USA, sloop, shoal keel
Gun Mount and pole retrofitted (purchased from a Hoyt Freedom 32)
Yanmar 2gm20F , 1600 hrs fixed two blade prop
e-rud and ocean racing equipment
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Re: Mast creak ... again

Postby walterg » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:57 pm

I'm starting this project this weekend on my Mull 28. The mast creak is driving me crazy. I'm not likely to be on hand when the yard steps the mast, so I am planning to build up the interior of the mast to get a snug fit. My strategy (which is subject to change after I actually start it) is to:
1) Get some blue PVC or similar foam from Home Depot, cut and bond it as needed to make a "donut" that will go around the mast step
2) Coat the mast step with mold release and smoosh enough filler/lightweight fairing compound around the inside of the donut to make a quickie female mold that replicates the mast step
3) Use the donut to make a quickie male mold using some lightweight glass cloth and a plywood backing piece.
4) Now having a male mold that replicates the mast step, apply a inch or two wide strip of chopped mat around the interior of the mast itself, and smoosh the male mold (coated with mold release) in there to get a good fit

I'll report back on how or if this all works out.....
Walter Gotham
Massachusetts USA
'87 Freedom 28-Mull #33 "Nova Vita"
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Re: Mast creak ... again

Postby mike cunningham » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:33 am

I took the mast out and worked several projects as mentioned in original post. I now know all about fixing a Raymarine wind transducer so if you have problems with one I can provide some feedback on disassembly and test strategy.

With regard to the creak. I used some of the techniques mentioned on the board but took a slightly different approach overall. I did nothing to the mast. I did measure top hat OD and mast ID. Sure enough, there is 1/8 inch slop. I also observed the source of the creak where the top of the step platform has been slightly worn by movement of the mast heel. It is amazing there is not more wear given the amount of noise the damn thing makes.

So I sprayed the top hat liberally with release agent. Then I carefully formed a sheet of poly over the hat, making sure to accommodate the centering bolt and leaving plenty of overhang around the base extending well beyond where the mast would seat. I installed the mast over this "wrapping" and, when I return from travel, I will tape the excess poly up around the base to create a cofferdam between mast base and top hat. I'll then feed epoxy into the cofferdam and, hopefully, get enough solid material in there to fill the internal gap. I'll report back when complete.

The problem I'll have is verifying the fix. I'll have to get out into a substantial seaway, 15 to 20 Kts of wind, and do some DDW sailing to actually verify I have stopped the noise.
Mike Cunningham
Freedom 30 (Mull) Hull #3
Build date...June, 1986 . Freedom Yachts USA, sloop, shoal keel
Gun Mount and pole retrofitted (purchased from a Hoyt Freedom 32)
Yanmar 2gm20F , 1600 hrs fixed two blade prop
e-rud and ocean racing equipment
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Re: Mast creak ... again

Postby seadago » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:32 pm

Hi Mike
I had creaking in Nausikaa's masts initially too. I took the masts off a couple of yrs ago. When resetting them, I wrapped the bottom of each mast in several layers of food polypropylene film (cling film), set them in place, and then poured casting resin in the gap between the masts and the bottom rings. The cling film was intended to stop the resin sticking hard to the masts, and thinking of next time I had to take them off. I guess I could also have used spartite compound instead of resin, with equal results. I have not taken the masts off again yet, so do not know if the trick had the intended effect. But it stopped the damn creaking!
Cheers
Rafa
Rafael
s/v Nausikaa
SSR 30570, sail GBR 4619L
F30 CK (Hoyt), wishbones, centreboard, G10 rig. Built by Fairways Marine, Humble, UK, '82
Beta 16 hp with two-blade prop
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