cracked mast

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BillSmith
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 7:56 am
Location: San Mateo, CA

cracked mast

Post by BillSmith »

If a picture is worth a thousand words, am afraid these might be worth tens of thousands...

Have read the documents on this site by Eric Sponberg. A few other repair related articles online were helpful. My questions:

Could this be a mere 'cosmetic' outer layer crack? (Going aloft this weekend to shove a thin blade in portside crack to check depth.)
If it is just a hairline fracture from mast flex, can I throw some white duck tape on it to protect from UV and critters?
If I were to caulk and brush on some protective paint layer, assume I need something neutral or run risk of having disparate materials cause more damage?

Given there are no other visible cracks, fearful that this is structural. If so...

Anyone have experience in the SF Bay Area with carbon fiber mast repair? (Talked to SF Boatworks, will revisit them next week. Headed to Alameda and maybe Sausalito.)

Just got the boat up to speed with repaired instruments and the like. Can recommend Myles in Florida if you have B&G gear.
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Bill & Carole Smith
Freedom 35 Pedrick
SweeTART
Coyote Point
San Mateo, CA

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Camino
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:51 pm
Location: Stockton, CA

Re: cracked mast

Post by Camino »

Bill - have you checked with Jock at KKMI Richmond?
Tom and Stephanie
Good Way II F 35 (P)
1999. Wing Keel 5’
3GM30F, 3-blade maxi prop
Emery Cove, CA

BillSmith
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 7:56 am
Location: San Mateo, CA

Re: cracked mast

Post by BillSmith »

Thanks, Tom for the reference. He will be my next consult.

Did the rounds over at Alameda. The disparate responses to seeing the above pictures is amazing. Everything from "You need a new mast" to "It's just a flesh wound" and carefully crafted caution from those that have no real experience with carbon fiber.

My current assessment is this crack is the outer layer of material. Probably no structural issues. If we can figure out how to haul my fat fanny up to poke around, I'll further the investigation and slap some silly putty or tape on the fissure as a temporary protectant against UV and whatever else (ozone?).

Don't know how easy it would be to ream and sand the crack, apply some filler and repaint. Not my skill set. Dropping the mast isn't a frugal fix.

Research suggests the mast might have been painted originally with Awlgrip white. There a few shades of white and this mast may have been repainted. Perhaps a racing stripe is in SweeTART's future?
Bill & Carole Smith
Freedom 35 Pedrick
SweeTART
Coyote Point
San Mateo, CA

Goose13
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:18 pm

Re: cracked mast

Post by Goose13 »

Bill,

I Have the blue F33 KC up in Vallejo. I noticed similar cracks on both of my masts about half way up (it runs the circumference of the mast). My mast are colored black and it looks like that is where TPI joined the two halve together during the production. I've been up my mast a few time and I do not believe it is structural. I sailed my boat up from Oxnard the winter of 2015 and I was in winds up to 30knt with full sail and she was sailing fine. So I'm thinking mine are cosmetic and I don't loose any sleep and don't reef until the wind is over 30.

Doug
Doug and Marie
Millennnium Falcon F33 CK cb #4
1980 wish bone booms Electric Drive

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gamayun
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:14 pm

Re: cracked mast

Post by gamayun »

My mast has something similar near the gooseneck. Appears to be cosmetic. When I had the mast down last year, I had repairs to the jib/spinnaker sheave done by Panda Love in Alameda. His thoughts were that these were cosmetic, too.

Carliane
Kynntana, Freedom 38

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philipl
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:12 pm
Location: Manchester by the Sea, MA

Re: cracked mast

Post by philipl »

I had similar lateral cracks on my F38 mast. I posted my concern on this website some years back and got an interesting response from the engineer (Rick) who worked on Freedom masts from 1980 tom 1985. I have copied his response below.

"I am the engineer that did the structural engineering on Freedom masts from 1980 - 85. I would not worry about the crack you are seeing. The laminate that creates the bulge below your crack is different from that which comprises the main body of the mast laminate. Most of the fiber in the mast runs straight up and down (some plus/minus 45 glass plies). The laminate in the collar runs 0/90 and is comprised of woven glass fiber. The dissimilar expansion and contraction of the glass and carbon fiber laminate will ultimately yield that type of crack. There is fairing material that forms the transition between the collar laminate and the mast laminate. Your crack is probably only in the fairing material which is rigid and homogeneous (not unlike polyester body filler). The constantly high torsional forces on the collar laminate as well as the expansion contraction are what caused the crack. You might explore the crack to see if it is in the fairing material. If it is, this can be carefully sanded out (dremel tool) and replaced with a white flexible caulk (white GE silicone) and should not return."
Philip Leahy
F-38 ex Manchester, MA.

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mike cunningham
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:21 am
Location: Jacqueline, F30 #3, Discovery Bay, California

Re: cracked mast

Post by mike cunningham »

gamayun wrote:My mast has something similar near the gooseneck. Appears to be cosmetic. When I had the mast down last year, I had repairs to the jib/spinnaker sheave done by Panda Love in Alameda. His thoughts were that these were cosmetic, too.

Carliane

Ditto on my Freedom 30, cracks around the collar where it tapers to the mast, been there for years in all kinds of heavy wind.

BTW I had some sharp bolt ends sticking out of the sail batten sockets along the luff of my main. These rubbed against the mast while sailing deep on the trip to Hawaii. Didn't realize it at the time but the bolt ends were gouging fairly large craters in the mast about two inches from the track on the port side of the mast. When I had the mast out to repair lights and other stuff after the race I inspected these gouges, cleaned them and epoxied them up. None had reached the carbon layup. Well, one of them was right at the carbon but did not penetrate. Point is the coating on top of the carbon layup is quite thick, maybe as much as 1/4 inch. I wouldn't be surprised to see a crack in the surface coating but it might be worthwhile to remove some material and see if the crack extends into the carbon. This is pretty easy to investigate. Someone mentioned a dremel, that would work but I would be mindful of not taking any carbon out by accident. Go slow.
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

yarrow
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 6:38 pm
Location: providence RI

Re: cracked mast

Post by yarrow »

not sure from pic if cracked through laminate or just filler on top with paint. best way is to sand down through paint and filler to see if when you get to carbon there is no crack, if there is a crack in laminate, a basic wrap of material will do with staggered layers to make up for amount removed to get to solid material.
82' F25 winged spar, inboard diesel
95' B3 I-14
providence RI

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drcscruggs
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:06 pm
Location: Galveston, Texas

Re: cracked mast

Post by drcscruggs »

I am in process of buying a freedom. The boat is up in Wisconsin. I plan to bring south to Texas gulf coast. Presently the mast looks good (no cracks visible at all). The mast is off and easily examined. I am thinking it might be better to just paint it before I restep the mast. I was thinking about just putting on a coat of 2 part epoxy paint after cleaning and very minor sanding. I would use white which would also reflect some of the harmful uv rays. It seems to me that this would be good insurance to prevent issues later. Can someone tell me if this is totally unnecessary, wise, or any advice on how to approach. Thanks

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GeoffSchultz
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Location: BlueJacket: Guatemala
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Re: cracked mast

Post by GeoffSchultz »

I've painted mine with Materhorn White Awlgrip with very good results in the Caribbean sun.

-- Geoff
BlueJacket
1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org

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