Old wooden mast

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by captainkathy, May 1, 2010.

  1. captainkathy
    Joined: May 2010
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Turkey

    captainkathy New Member

    Good afternoon.
    If anyone has any advise on wooden masts i would appreciate all input. I have a ketch rig and the masts are original from 1963. A couple of years ago, we got a split in the main. We replaced the section and all has been well until this winter. Based in South Turkey, a lot of the glue lines seem to be splitting on the mizzen, main and booms. Do you think this could be because of the extream cold and rain in winter then hot in summer? We have been fixing them and all seems to be well. If we replace them, we will never get the wood as good as it was back then (sitka spruce). Has anyone got any experience with glue failing?
    Many thanks
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    You can get good wood today, it's just more expensive. What good is sitka spruce anyway, if it is slowly coming apart? Extremes in temperature can stress wood somewhat, though it's common here in Maine to store wooden masts in unheated sheds and the temperature range can be from -20f to 110 (130f degrees range is about 70c).
    What makes the difference is constant maintainance. Varnish and lots of it to protect the wood from rapid moisture changes, properly bedded hardware(rebedded in older boats), immediate addressing of any visible problems.
    Also, not all glues are the same. Quite a few different glues were used on older boats. It's not often possible to know by looking what glue formulation was used, though resourcinal was the most likely for that vintage, and it is red in color.
    Hulls have been strip-built using resorcinal and lasted more than fifty years.
    Is your mast construction hollow?
    In any case, nothing lasts forever and your masts are over fifty years old. If glue is failing, that means the rig is constantly in a state of comprimise. It is possible to reuse the same wood by cutting the old mast apart and re-gluing it with epoxy (fror example). There may be someone here on the forum who has more experience than I in regluing masts. Hopefully, they will comment.
  3. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Go to Bozburun, the Gulet Tersane there build crappy boats, but their spars are as good as any wooden spars, and will cost you not much more as you would spend on wood and epoxy for a repair!
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