Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What's Old is New Again

While I made a few posts on my mast and boom already, I decided to post something longer to show the progress that went into where the mast is today.

When I moved the boat from Tennessee to Virginia, I had it parked nearby in the neighborhood. I moved the boat to Rockhold Creek Marina a week later. Before the move to the marina, I took the boom off and stored it in the garage at the house for some work. Took the hardware off, and cleaned up a few pieces here and there. I had expected to do all the work myself, but then decided that it would be best to hire some of it out.

I took the gooseneck end off as there was a LOT of corrosion and paint was lifting up and it was just a horrible mess. With two cam cleats mounted on either side, I went to remove them. One of the bolts holding it on did NOT want to come out no matter how much I used the hammer. I used pliers to twist it out but still nothing. The pliers caused the exposed portions of the bolts to shear off. I ended up having to drill it out and knock out the piece that was left after the drilling. Thankfully, drilling it out worked out well. I sanded it down with 80 grit sandpaper to get a lot of the corrosion off and soaked it in vinegar too to hopefully eat away some of it. Of course, I rinsed it down with water as well.

From what I have been able to find online, or rather NOT find, is that these two end pieces on the boom are not available anywhere so it's a good idea, I think, to take care of these before they're too far gone.
Badly Corroded

Drilled out, mostly

Knocked the last piece out

Vinegar soak
I pulled the piece off from the other end of the boom. I removed the lines going through it and set them aside for measuring and replacement at a later date.


this is how the outhaul was attached in the boom

Serial number?

Made by Forespar USA
Here, a video showing the boom and hardware placement for the reefing setup.

When the end pieces came back from the rigging shop, they came out very nice. You can still see the pitting from the corrosion that was there but it's so much better than it was before.

Took off all the hardware from the boom. The slide for the gooseneck had a backing bar in the boom that dropped from place when the bolts came out.

When I took off the three reefing blocks, I found electrical tape on the bottom side. I believe this was meant to keep the metal from rubbing and ruining the finish on the boom.

Last piece to remove was attached by rivets.

The mast work to this point has been pretty slow as I work on other projects.

I consulted a shop about fabricating hardware for the mast. Like the tangs holding the standing rigging. It's more for preventative measures since much is still 35+yrs old. I also want the shop to repaint the mast, but the owner said I have to do the grunt work. Meaning, I have to take all the hardware off, pull the wires, running rigging, and even sand it down to bare metal. NO Paint!

Since the boom is already started, I went ahead and pulled the hardware off the mast and started sanding it down. For the end of Aug 2016, it's been going well with lower temperatures.

While already posted, here's the video showing the mast stripped of hardware.

And views of the grunt work:

The start of sanding

almost half way down one side

most of one side sanded. At this point, the sander I borrowed stopped working.

Found this line when I pulled wires, so using it for when it's time to run the wires back.

Since the sander I borrowed stopped working, I used the time to see how a paint stripper would work on getting the paint off the metal. Mainly looking to use it in the cracks/corners where the welds are. I thought it worked out well for the most part. Just have to wait for it to do the work.

The square is from the old Forespar factory sticker.
The mast step itself also had work done to it. Here, you can see the wire connections were made on deck. The rigging shop doing the work on the mast insisted all connections need to be made below, in the cabin. So he took the mast step and added a tube to it that would allow wires to be routed below deck.

While the mast, boom and spreaders were at the shop, they did a few modifications. They added a post by the mast head to move the location of the tri-color/anchor light. They patched up some holes for old hardware that was no longer needed and cleaning up some of the corrosion. The antenna connector was replaced and moved to a new location as well. Inside the mast, the rubber flap used for the wiring was taken out and a new conduit was installed. Main reason for this was some of the wires for the light by the spreaders crossed by the halyards

I went to the shop to see the work that was done, and to reattach the hardware myself with the shop owners help using their compressor and riveting tools.

the boom

I'm really happy with how this project turned out. A few people I mentioned this to were a bit surprised that I wanted my mast to be bright yellow and even talked me into other options... white (like everyone else), bare aluminum (which is still protected anyway.... but still, boring) and even one who suggested black stripes with the yellow going the full length, like hazard tape.

My boat will certainly stand out in an anchorage and will be easy to tell people to "find the boat with the yellow mast" in order to find my boat. :-)

And lastly, I wanted to mention that the work was done by Eastport Spars and Rigging in Galesville, MD. John, the owner, and his crew did a wonderful job. Many suggestions and discussions to make sure things were done the right way. Awlgrip products were used in the paint process and the color is Federal Yellow.


  1. Looks great! Making that mast yellow will add character to your boat!

  2. Great job.
    S/V Bonnie Mae

    1. Thanks Dwight.
      Good luck with your mast work.

  3. Great job. I have been thinking of doing the same work on my spars. I would like to add two more halyards, to have two fore and two aft. Did you discuss this with your rigger?
    Thanks for great post.
    S/V Bonnie Mae

    1. Yes. The mast had two sheaves forward and aft, but only one halyard was run on the front and back. I intended to have all the sheaves run with halyards. Even as backup, they will still come in use.

  4. Dan I like the yellow mast--your vessel has character! I noticed on your boom video the interesting possibility that past-owners were indecisive about reefing it seems. That is, your boom had the 3 eyes on one side and the 3 cheek blocks as well, plus, you have the inboom sheaves aft and fore, in order to run reefing lines through the boom and out the fore. On mine, the external reefing lines (i only have two and you have three) are attached to the eyes located on one side, then up to the reef rings on the leech of the sail above, then down again to the external boom to cheek blocks, then forward to tie off. It appears they also could run internally via the end of your boom thus "cleaning up" the presence of lines. I think it was a "choice" the way the boom was altered. My two cents. I think either way works. You just inherited what others' put on there for their preferences.

    1. Thanks Bill.

      I have only a couple photos from two owners ago that was hanging around on the owners group to give me an idea of how the reefing lines were setup on this boat.

      There's a couple blocks sewn into the main sail for reefing. I don't have a good picture of it to show at this time.

      The line apparently goes from the cockpit, to a deck mounted block at the base of the mast, up to one of the sewn sail blocks, back down to a mast mounted block at boom level, then goes to the boom block/sheave, then up the sail again and down the other side, tied to the eye. (hope that makes sense)

      if I forget, remind me when the rig is setup again, I'll try running a reef line and post pictures/video of it that might be more helpful.

      You're right though, just inherited everything from all the previous owners. At least a few previous changes have now been patched up/fixed.

      The sheaves at the gooseneck and other end seemed to have been used in the past for the outhaul, which I'll also be changing too. As you can see from the photos above for the outhaul, there wasn't much to it. Just a wire with a line tied to it... I'm swapping it out for a couple fiddle blocks. Similar to the 5:1 on this page: http://www.harken.com/content.aspx?id=3910

      As always, more to come. :-)

  5. Great job and thanks for sharing your experience. I'm refinishing my mast and you've got me thinking about colors! I love the yellow.