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Date Posted: - Monday - 01/14/13 - 6:43pm
Author: Connor Dibble (Dibble)
Subject: Mizzen Compression

Hi All,

I own M31 #115 and sailed from Berkeley, CA to Whangarei, New Zealand in 2012. I'm about to start repairing some of the wear and tear from the crossing and the most pressing issue is the compression under the mizzen. The cockpit sole has begun to separate from the cockpit decking (about one cm directly under the mizzen step). I'm having the masts stepped in a few days and will set about addressing the compression at that time.

If anyone has experience re-aligning the cockpit sole and reinforcing the deck under the mizzen, I'd appreciate any insights or techniques. I know Murre had some similar work done before Randall took her around the Pacific, so if there is any specific information on that project, I'd greatly benefit.


Connor Dibble

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[> Yes, similar on Murre -- Randall, Murre, Mariner 31, - Tuesday - 01/15/13 - 12:36am

Hey Connor,

Yes, Murre had that exact problem. The design called for the support of the mizzen to be taken by the cross members, which were precious thin.

The support work on Murre was one of the first projects after I bought her and was before I knew much at all. I had it done by a local boatwright, so I can't tell you too much and I've never documented it.

But go here (http://www.marineryachts.com/projects/murre/cockpit/Cockpit%20Footwell%20Rebuild.htm) and look at photo 004 and photo 010 to see some general shots of Murre's solution.

Essentially on starboard I had installed a 2 x 4 sized post made of a hardwood that runs from the deck cross members down into the hull (along the cockpit side, which adds to its strength). On the hull the boatwright built a box to sit on the curvature of the hull (not pictured) that created a flat surface for the support to seat into. The box if filled with resin and so creates a nice anchor for the support.

On port even I am confused. I think the boatwright built out from the cockpit and tied into the existing structure that holds the ice box. That's what the picture suggests. ???

Again, this was the first job I had done…back in the day when I still thought a deck of plywood covered in glass and a fiberglass deck were the same thing.

I know Bruce on Gitana Vela did this work in a different and very successful way. If I recall he added a much reinforced cross member over the engine for the vertical support to tie into. ???

Sorry I can't be better help here. This is one of those jobs that's a bummer to contemplate, but once you're done you'll have the luxury of forgetting that part of the boat altogether.



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[> By the way, congratulations... -- Randall, - Tuesday - 01/15/13 - 12:50am

...on your crossing from California to New Zealand. That's really something!

Given the age of our boats and their imperfect build, I'm always amazed at how many are out braving the ocean with an ease equal to many that are bigger, newer, more expensive, more comfortable, yet somehow no more capable than ours.

Did you pass through the Tuamotus? Fiji? Samoa?

I was heatbroken to turn north at Bora Bora (when I wasn't scared out of my goard, that is), and even now I would have loved to continue west, to see more of the tropical south pacific, fabled New Zealand first penciled in fully by Cook.

But I also feel fortunate to have seen so much of the deep ocean, north and south. To see the ocean on its own terms. And to have made Alaska...

Fair winds,


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[> [> Thanks Randall -- Connor, - Tuesday - 01/15/13 - 11:59pm

Thanks for the tips, Randall. I'd seen those picture before but, as you mention, there is a bit that is not made clear in the photographs. Your description is quite helpful. I'm having the masts pulled tomorrow and will start to gut the cockpit decking and figure out the best way to go about it. I'll certainly document it thoroughly and post it here for future reference.

One thing I was a bit surprised to hear is that your shipwright supported the deck on the hull. I've always tried to avoid points of contact on the hull when possible, but it does seem feasible on a spot filled with resin. I'll certainly make that a consideration.

I too am proud to see Mariners crossing oceans. In an age where most boat builders don't bother with anything less than forty feet, it's good to know that there still exists a contingent that sees fit to head to sea in small boats. As for all those things like comfort... well, ignorance is bliss- Ardea remains the most comfortable boat I've ever taken offshore. In any case, she did damned well and carried on with indifference.

I traveled along a pretty typical Coconut Run. CA-Mexico-Marquesas-Tuamotus-Societies-Cooks-Niue-Tonga-NZ. I had a couple of buddies on as crew until Tahiti or so and then single-handed from there. I wrote extensively on www.svardea.com and will continue to do so as I peruse the wonderful coast and islands of NZ. To be sure, your musings from aboard Murre were an inspiration back when I spent my days in a lowly cubicle and my nights toiling away on my boat.

I'll post to the forum with some photos and whatever solution I come up with soon!



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[> Mizzen Step -- Bruce, - Monday - 01/28/13 - 1:38pm

Indeed, Randall is correct. I added additional support below the deck which spread the load out to the corners. I then installed compression posts on each corner of the forward cockpit bulkhead down to the hull, and fiberglass'ed in a couple of sockets to secure the bottoms of the new posts. I also fabricated a new bronze mizzen step which is identical to the mainmast step (except with a slightly smaller cross-section) This all worked well, and allowed me to tune the rig properly. Please email me if you would like photographs.
And congratulations on your passage to New Zealand.

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[> Done! -- Connor, - Saturday - 02/ 2/13 - 10:40pm


15 days with the masts off and I've finished my work. I ripped out the forward part of the cockpit and followed in the footsteps of Randall and Bruce, except that I ended up bolting vertical supports to the rather gigantic engine mount runners instead of glassing in new supports. The latter definitely has its advantages, but in the interest of time, I opted for the existing structure. Incidentally, I'm happy to have the weight distributed over a greater section of the hull.

I also replaced the deckward portion of the main mast step and added a wooden support frame beneath that the shore it up.'

See my blog: www.svardea.com for details and pictures. I would be happy to write a more technical post with greater detail on materials, pitfalls, etc. if there is interest (in the Projects section?), but for now I'm off to explore New Zealand.

Thanks for the support here and happy sailing to all.


Ardea, M31 #115

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[> [> Congrats! -- Randall, - Tuesday - 02/ 5/13 - 1:12am

Excellent work, Connor. Thanks for the super photos. Must feel good to get that one knocked out!

Enjoy exploring the islands (I'm more than a little jealous!)


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[> [> Good Job !!! -- Bill Kranidis, - Tuesday - 02/ 5/13 - 8:21am

Good job, Connor.

Yet another way for sufficient support of the mizzen.

As attention demanding as the Mariners are, when it comes to upkeep due to wooden structures, the easier it becomes to facilitate "fixes" to certain issues that might pop up.
All you need is a few tools and time to think.
When I had to do this, I anchored two long (2x10's ???) beam to beam one at the aft end of the cabin and one at the forward end of the cockpit well, bonding them with other crossmembers by huge bolts. Overkill yes but you could support the mainmast on those puppies :-)

Just noticed you bought "Salvia".

Sent some info my way to update your page.

Fair winds,
Bill Kranidis

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