Cadet - Wooden masts

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Stephen Hawkins
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Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:02 pm

My son sails Cadets at South Cerney Sailing Club. His Cadet, called OXO, is very old - aprox 1954/5 we were told - and still sports a wooden mast and boom.

However, when we took it off the water last week we found that the mast had 3 cracks in it, 2 of which go almost half way through the width of the mast. All three cracks have originated from small areas of bruised wood on one side of the spar. and can be opened up slightly by flexing the spar. Which is otherwise in one piece.

The mast is made in sections both across and longitudenally, which is why the cracks only go half way through.

My son had been hearing some creaking/groaning from the riging when he last sailed it - in pretty heavy weather a couple of weeks ago that eventually resulted in a couple of capsizes - now we know why.

The question is, can I fix it? And if I can, what do I use?

I have been quoted £375 (+vat +delivery = £450) for a new wooden mast, which I am reluctant to pay as it is almost what I paid for the whole boat.

I do have access to some second hand Aluminium spars but part of the charm of this boat was its originality.

Comments would be appreciated.

I am based in Swindon.

Cheers

Steve Hawkins
Steve Hawkins

1967 National 12 2383 "Sparkle"

roger
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Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by roger » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:16 pm

Hi Steve. Chris Barlow is the man and I am sure he wil be along to give you some help.
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Stephen Hawkins
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:41 am
Location: The much maligned Swindon Town

Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:38 am

Looking forward to it.....

I rang up another spars supplier in Oxford who quoted me £300-325 (+ vat) for a replacement - which was better than the first quote. But they also suggested that a repair might be viable, at least to get another season out of it, by just getting some epoxy into the cracks.

A more complete repair - i.e. replacing a section of the mast, would be a lot of work. They did say that if they did it, the repair that they would be satisfied with would probably cost more than a new mast, so it would not be in either of our interests to attempt it.

Cheers

Steve H

P.S. I am also about to start redecking another Cadet in the spring - as it is in the back garden under a cover. And I sail a 30 year old wooden Miracle - not that means anything other than I like older wooden boats. The Cadet redeck is practise for the eventual Miracle job!
Steve Hawkins

1967 National 12 2383 "Sparkle"

Garry R

Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by Garry R » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:13 am

Is the mast hollow or solid. If you can open up the crack and get epoxy in especially with some microfibres it should be stronger than the wood. You don't say if the cracks are along old glue lines. If they are then they will need cleaned out but if not then opening up and running epoxy in before cramping up should do the trick. See

http://www.merlinrocket.co.uk/gallery/v ... damage.jpg

and

http://www.merlinrocket.co.uk/gallery/v ... d_mast.jpg

and

http://www.merlinrocket.co.uk/gallery/v ... e_more.jpg

to see what can be achieved. Proof that there is life after death.

Rupert
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Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by Rupert » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:28 am

Garry, it sounds like Stephen is describing horizontal cracks, not vertical ones. Cracks across the grain are rather more difficult to deal with than those along it. I'd have thought the only answer was to cut scarphs either side of the crack and insert a new piece of wood. I'm guessing the scarphs would have to be shallow enough that a good couple of feet of wood would go in for each crack. Another thought - if you took out to a depth of about 1/2 way down the crack, epoxyed the rest, and then put replacement wood in to a shallower depth, would it be any weaker than doing the whole depth, given than all the pressure is on the outer skin of the mast? Would be much easier to do.
Stephen - I'm an out of practise boatbuilder based at Whitefriars, down the road from you. If you'd like me to take a look, let me know.
Rupert

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Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by Ancient Geek » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:39 am

If it is compression cracks (Horizontal ones.) the old prescribed cure is to spokeshave a "scoop" out glue and clamp in a piece of the appropriate wood (Spruce.) then to plane away from the middle both ways till it is round and smooth again.
Simples.

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:05 am

All,

The mast is solid and tapers up to the top.

The cracks go across the width of the mast.

I might be using too much tension and also be trying to rake the mast back too much to get it to keep up with the aluminium masted boats at the club. It might be that the wooden mast prefers to be more upright?

Rupert, we have met before, you kindly gave me some old tuffnel fittings for an old Heron a few years ago.

The boat and mast are now in a garage in Swindon drying out for the winter.

Anyone got any spruce offcuts?

Cheers

Steve Hawkins
Steve Hawkins

1967 National 12 2383 "Sparkle"

chris
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Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by chris » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:16 pm

I have an old cadet wooden mast in the garden, so far I just use it to make a tarpaulin tent over a bot when on the trailer so it has been mistreated for several years. It's as you describe and with a bronze/brass track up it. If you want to come and see it you're welcome (I live in Frome, so not not the other end of the country for you) It may at least provide timber for a repair. But looking at it It would be about the easiest mast to 'have a go' yourself.
Chris

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:49 pm

Chris,

I would love to come an see it.

But before I do, a couple of questions:

1. Is it straight?
2. Does it have any cracks in it?

Cheers

Steve Hawkins
Steve Hawkins

1967 National 12 2383 "Sparkle"

STEVEB
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Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by STEVEB » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:39 am

Hi,
you have to have a sense of humour (or great optimism) if you are trying to sell an old Cadet!
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... RL:GB:1123
Surely decimal point needs to move two places?
Steve :roll:
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Rupert
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Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by Rupert » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:18 am

"Lightly hitting boat with a compact tractor"...and he still thinks it is worth hundreds!
Rupert

Garry R

Re: Cadet - Wooden masts

Post by Garry R » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:12 pm

You have to be fair - all the bad points have been acknowledged. It must be costing more in listing fees than the boat is worth - this has been up about 5 times now with no price reduction.

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