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?
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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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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?
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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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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?)
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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.
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