Mast collar clearance

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simonpeterpaul
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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:05 am

Mast collar clearance

Post by simonpeterpaul »

I recently purchased a 1985 Hoyt f32. In love with her. During a rain event a couple of days ago here in the Channel
islands harbor, I discovered the extent of mast leakage - it was a lot! This was noted in the survey but until it rained I didn’t have a sense of how serious it was. After the rain I inspected closer on deck and below, and discovered that up on deck the situation is as described: the clearance between the mast and the collar in the aft portion is about 1/8” and contains remnants of a bead of some type of silicone or other sealant. There was literature on the boat for spar-lite so perhaps that is what it is. Around the sides of the mast this material disintegrates and at the forward portion of the mast there is no sealant left, and the clearance here is about 1/16” - it is a much closer tolerance then the opposite side. It looks like it’s almost touching the aluminum collar.

Presumably I want to do everything possible to protect the mast from direct contact with the collar first, and then seal
It water tight second. Does anyone have any experience or insight into this condition and possible solutions?

Thanks in advance

Simon

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GeoffSchultz
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Re: Mast inspection

Post by GeoffSchultz »

Mast leakage seems to be a very common issue on Freedoms. We have pretty much solved this with 2 mast collars. We have 1 rubber mast collar that you can buy at West Marine, etc which goes around the mast ring at the bottom and then is secured to the mast with a large hose clamp.

Over the top of that we have another collar that we made out of Sunbrella that has Velcro in the front that allows it to be easily removed. It is also attached to the mast with a large hose clamp and we have a ring of 1" weather stripping under it on the mast. Likewise a large hose clamp attaches it to the mast ring.
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You can also get a lot of water under the mast ring. As a result you need to put a bead of silicone around the base of the mast ring, The biggest issue is that the mast ring is stainless, and the part that it bolts to is aluminum. Not a great combo, and unless you isolate them, you'll form a battery which will produce gas and any adhesive that between the two will bubble up and the seal will be broken.

I solved this by making a gasket out of a piece of Hypalon, using the mast collar as a pattern. (Of course, this implies that you have the mast pulled.) Once that was in place, I was able to put a bead of silicone around the mast collar base and have it seal for a long period of time.

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

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drcscruggs
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Location: Galveston, Texas

Re: Mast collar clearance

Post by drcscruggs »

On my F32, I used Spartite and so far so good. I really haven't had my boat out in a blow to stress it a lot but it has been in a year and no problems. I like the other solution too. Best.

simonpeterpaul
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Re: Mast collar clearance

Post by simonpeterpaul »

Thank you for the replies.

Right now my main concern is the close tolerance between the mast and the collar up on the forward portion - and the fact that there is a much larger clearance with a piece of old adhesive stuck on the aft portion. It almost looks like the spartite or whatever was used previously degraded around the front of the mast and the mast has been wedged forward by the remaining piece in the back. . . I’m worried about the mast contacting the collar at that fulcrum point and causing damage. Would anyone else be worried about this? I was thinking of either hammering some small chord down between the mast and the collar on the forward section where the clearance is very small, or using some wedges. Any thoughts on this?

AlanK
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Location: Freedom 33 Boston, MA USA

Re: Mast collar clearance

Post by AlanK »

I used to have an F-33 so my experience is not specific to the 32 but in case its relevant. Step 1 is making sure the mast is sitting straight. If the mast wedges or equivalent at the base of the mast are not adequate or properly installed this can result in the mast being too close to the deck collar. This is also true of the below cabin circular wedge which is the mast support at that level. The aluminum ring above deck appears to be more for trim not primary support. On 33 I used spartite between the deck ring and mast but even with that needed to keep a bead of caulk on top and refreshed the caulk about once a year. At the base I created some partial wedges to use and created a better method then the original F-33 bolt which itself would abrade the mast) to keep the mast from rotating which can lead to abrasion.
If you use spartite at any location be very careful to use vaseline or some other method on the mast so it doesn't adhere to the mast making unstepping the mast very difficult. Since the mast is tapered you need split rings of the material or several wedges so you can knock them aside/remove them to unstep in my experience.

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GeoffSchultz
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Re: Mast collar clearance

Post by GeoffSchultz »

This is what my Spartite ring looks like.
20070906_104329.jpg
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BillSmith
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Re: Mast collar clearance

Post by BillSmith »

Looks like some wax rings I've encountered. :o
Bill & Carole Smith
Freedom 35 Pedrick
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Coyote Point
San Mateo, CA

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mike cunningham
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Re: Mast collar clearance

Post by mike cunningham »

I had a lot of leakage too. I took a little different approach to sealing.

I sealed the ring to the deck with butyl

https://marinehowto.com/bed-it-tape/

I like it because seals reliably and it is easy to remove the stuff with a plastic scraper and some mineral spirit. It is not adhesive and won't support a static load. It WILL handle short duration dynamic loads. Really does not matter in this application.

Once done with that I seal the "gap" atop the ring with a high quality marine silicone. Has worked well for many miles of sailing in all sorts of weather. Re ring gap, be aware right below the ring is a solid wedge of spartight (or whatever). This wedge is about 2 inches wide on top an 1 inch wide at the bottom. Depth of the wedge is about 2 inches. The wedge does not compress very much if at all so I have not seen much gap width change even in heavy weather. The aforementioned leak on my boat mast leak took place on the way to Hawaii and I spent a lot of time at the mast trying to stop the leakage, that's how I know about the gap width under sail. I never did get the leak fixed during that passage.

My gap is uneven too. Wide portside narrow starboard, about even fore and aft. I tried to calculate what that uneven gap meant for the mast assuming it was due to the mast being in the boat slightly cattywampus, I wondered how far the masthead was from centerline. Ran some numbers and came up with about four inches out of true. Of course there are other explanations for the uneven gap so who knows?
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

Jefffriday
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Re: Mast collar clearance

Post by Jefffriday »

It sounds to me like you need to make a new wedge. the clearance should be uniform around the collar. It's a fairly easy job with Spar Tight. I ended up using 6 trapezoidal pieces of HDPE about a 1/4 thick, approx 1 1/8' square, one side cut at 5-degree angle to be able to adjust mast center when driven between the collar studs and the mast to hold it perfectly straight (sorry, should have taken photos) with the mast collar tied up out of the way. Floral clay and a piece of hose around the bottom of the mast hole in the deck to keep the spar tight from leaking down while it cures. Additionally, build a 3/8-1/2 inch dam around the top edge so the finished wedge sits above the deck. the hole in the deck is tapered, you can see the shape of the wedge in Geoff's photos. When you tighten the collar down, it squishes the wedge into the hole, centers the mast, and, at least on my boat, seals it up. with zero leaks. It's also important to coat the deck side of the "mold" for the wedge with vaseline so it will come out with the mast easily. Hopefully, this made sense. the bits I used to center the mast were the second attempt, the first time I tried to brace the mast in place with 2x6's no bueno, the wind came up and when the spar tight set, the mast was not quite centered in the hole, had to pull the spar tight out, center the mast better, and repour. I did all this without the boom or forestay on.

bad
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:14 am

Re: Mast collar clearance

Post by bad »

If you cast a new collar - i have and mine doesn't leak - there are less expensive urethanes such as from Smooth-On. Clay is a good sealant but make sure it's compatible and does not affect the curing process (sulfur containing clays can i think). In any case, you do not want your mold to leak or for the wedge to stick to the deck or mast.

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