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Date Posted: - Saturday - 08/11/12 - 8:19pm
Author: Ardian
Subject: A wooden masts story

Kanani
Senior Cruiser





Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southern California
Boat: Was - Passport 45 Ketch

Posts: 829 Don't fall for the, "Wood masts are bad" mentality. I felt the same way before I bought my Passport 45'. BTW, she was built in the same yard as the HC......

When I bought her, one of my 1st steps was going to be to replace the wood masts with aluminum masts. The main mast had wood rot in the spreader area.

I removed the masts as soon as I bought the boat, before I put her in the water.

I was amazed at how light the masts were, compared to a comparable mast in aluminum.

A guy came up to me in the yard and asked if I needed help repairing the mast (he was a out-of-work shipwright). I told him that I planned to use them for firewood and buy aluminum masts. I thought he was going to faint. He told me that not only are the wood masts light but they are stronger and more flexible than aluminum masts. That started me on a quest for more info on wood masts and I found that he was correct.

Anyway, he scarfed a new piece into the mast for me and showed me how to do it. I coated the mast with 2 coats of West System epoxy resin, 2 coats of epoxy primer and then 2 coats of LP paint. I replaced every fastener and every tang. I never had another issue with those masts (in 9 years and a circumnavigation) and I felt confident that if I had a failure in some obscure place, I could repair it on my own.
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