Cutting a bad section out of Aluminum mast

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by daveyd, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. daveyd
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    daveyd New Member

    I am looking at purchasing an older aluminum mast for a very low price because there is a big dent in it. The mast is 50+ feet and I need 41 feet so I need to remove over 10 feet.

    It was a two spreader rig and the way it works out, if I cut out the amount I need to reduce it to 41 feet, what was the upper spreader is at about 21 feet off deck.

    It consists of two sections spliced together. Fortuitously, the splice is just above where the damage is so if I shorten it properly, it ends up removing the dented section.

    The question is: Do I try to drill out the old poprivets for the lower part of splice and hope to separate the lower section from the splice - or - Do I cut just above the splice and have a new sleeve fabricated.

    My gut feeling is that it would be a lot harder to break the lower section loose than it would be to get a new sleeve.

    If I make a new splice, can I insert it in two halves. That would allow me to put the spice around the internal halyards!

    Anybody been there and done that.

  2. wardd
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    wardd Senior Member

    seems to me another splice would add weight and not do the structural integrity any good

    but pics would help
  3. daveyd
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    daveyd New Member

    Thanks but you missed the point

    I was not considering two splices. The choice was between reusing the original splice if I could get the lower half of the mast off or totally replacing the first splice.
  4. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    gggGuest ...

    Is there a downside to attemptiing to take out the current join and reusing it? I rather suspect not. So go for it.

    I would chop the mast just below where the splice stops (you'll be chucking that piece no matter what happens) and use an angle grinder to divide up the remaining piece of original longitudinally so the bits can be peeled off the splice piece - doubtless there's lots of anti corrosion sealer tending to bond it on. The worst that can happen is you have to get a new splice piece because you stuff up the job, and that will have to happen anyway...

    Oh and take the halyards out first no matter what. Very foolish not to inspect them off the spar, and the chances of damaging them with all the faffing about are high...

  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    That method of taking the section apart is good. Many of those splices are set in adhesive. You may have to heat it up to make it come apart. Apart from that, you got a good plan
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