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Mast is bowed, stemhead pulling out of bow

Discussion in 'Day Sailers' started by Scott C, Jun 30, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Scott C

    Scott C

    Joined Apr 19, 2018
    9 posts, 3 likes
    Hunter 17
    US Holland, MI
    Hi gang. I posted a couple of months ago about taking a Hunter 170 - I did, I love it! Had first really good sail yesterday, steady 9-10 knot winds. But here are 2 problems!!:
    The mast is bowed to the fore - it was when I got it (SEE PHOTO). When we rig (we have dry-land rigged it 4x, rigged for water 2x), pinning the forestay into the furling drum pretty much takes three people. Our process has been: lay mast into the tabernacle; attach upper and lower shrouds, port and starboard; raise mast; connect forestay to furling drum.
    Raising the main gets a little rough when head of the sail is 2-3' from masthead, possibly b/c the curve of the mast causes friction on the Luff Slugs as they ride up, but we do get it fully raised.
    After our sail, I looked at the stemhead fitting and saw that it was pulling out of the bow. YIKES!
    (SEE PHOTO). So... I need a repair on the fitting (I'll hire that out), advice on sailing with bent mast; and/or how to bend straight if feasible; and how to figure out what the heck is happening with my rigging! Thanks!!! bent mast H170.jpg stemhead fitting problem H170.jpg
     


  2. KeukaSailer

    KeukaSailer

    Joined Mar 21, 2018
    25 posts, 7 likes
    hunter 146
    us Keuka Lake NY/ Jersey Shore
    My mast had a slight bow to port (the result of a tree falling on it). I bent mine back to shape, using the tried and true method of method of putting it on two saw horses (gently a little at a time) pushing on the high point of the bow. Go slow, but it did work for me. Also westmarine sells sail slug wax, in a little cake, lube the slugs and track liberally. really did the trick on mine which was hard to raise the last 2ft also (even after straightening the mast), a new halyard would help also. My forestay is also tough to rig at my settings, yours probably has the quick adjust levers on the back stay, like mine. The only thing I can say is move the pins to a looser setting, which should result in a easier to attach forestay, but will make the backstays tighter when you try to pin them. Had to play with mine a few times before I got it right. It may have been set up before, but it's your boat now so find the best rigging for you. Good Luck:thumbup:
     


  3. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,435 posts, 317 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    Is the mast bent like that when it's not up? If not, try easing the upper and lower shrouds... equal turns on each side to keep the mast straight side to side. The uppers should create a slight bend or bow forward, using the swept back spreaders to act as the fulcrum while the upper connection pulls backwards. The lowers, besides keeping the mast straight, will limit the amount of bend. Your lowers may be too tight and are not allowing the uppers to do their job. Reset the shroud pin adjusters. If they are too hard to pin.... you can upgrade to a "quick release lever" system... very common on trailerables. [​IMG]
    Here's the owner's manual, but I couldn't find tuning instructions.
    Here's detailed piece on setting up the 170... again not sure how valuable it is but it shows how everything is connected. Good Luck... btw I would not sail the moat with the mast the way it is now.

    Regarding the stemhead... try a stronger installation, i,e, through bolted with backing plate or washers.
     


    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
    Will Gilmore likes this.
  4. jwing

    jwing

    Joined Jun 5, 2014
    407 posts, 164 likes
    ODay Mariner
    US Guntersville
    Take the stemhead fitting completely off. Make a proper backing plate; you should be able to find the material and tools at the big box home center. Rebed the fitting in accordance with the instructions found here: https://marinehowto.com/bed-it-tape/
    While the mast is down, clean the slug track and lubricate it. Then, clean the slugs and lubricate them. I didn't like the thought of using wax, in fear that it would collect dirt. I used a dry lube spray that I found at the local big box home center. It works great. I respray the slugs each spring.

    I agree with others in questioning if your mast is actually bent, or is it raked by your standing rigging. If you feel like your forestay is too short, you can add a loop of Dyneema to it and attach the Dyneema loop to the stemhead fitting.
     


    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  5. CrispyCringle

    CrispyCringle

    Joined Sep 30, 2016
    108 posts, 38 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Patoka
    Like others said, the stays are way to tight. When lowering my mast on a 23.5, I always loosen the stays with 5-6 turns each. At the point you are at now, loosen your until they are just starting to get slack. You will need to retune when you put it back up. You shouldnt need three people to fasten the forestay. It should be fairly easy for one person to pull the forestay to the stemhead. If you have the mast true before you take it down, and you count the number of turns you loosen the side stays, it goes up true when you put it back up and retighten the same number of turns. Maybe only a minor tweak.
     


  6. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,435 posts, 317 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    According to owner's manual, the shrouds are equipped with pin hole adjusters, not turnbuckles. So counting turns is irrelevant, the pin holes are numbered so you can match settings on either side.
     


  7. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,608 posts, 1,090 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    It looks like your lower shrouds are too tight. They pull back against the middle of the mast while the forestay pulls the head of the mast forward. The upper shrouds need to be tight to push the swept spreaders against the middle of the mast to straighten it out.
    When you first raise your mast, loosen all your stays. Set the forestay to hold the rake, the masthead relative to the foot (guessing something like masthead set 3"- 4" aft of foot). Keep the lower stays loose and tighten the upper stays until the mast is flexed slightly back (curved opposite to your photo) then tighten the lower shrouds until they just start to pull the curve back out. Then tighten the upper shrouds a little more. You probably won't have to work the recurve out on a bench. See if the upper shrouds can do it first.
    Remember, keep the lowers lose until the uppers have pushed the curve out with the spreaders.

    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  8. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,785 posts, 2,122 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    WOW.

    Assuming that is not a permanent bend in your mast but one induced by rig tension, ease the UPPERS first, then the lowers. The mast pre-bend is 'inverted' and the lower are holding it backwards. But for it to straighten, the uppers have to be eased first to allow it to stand up straight.

    The picture of the bow fitting gives me the willies. SCREWED to the deck, what where they thinking?
     


  9. jwing

    jwing

    Joined Jun 5, 2014
    407 posts, 164 likes
    ODay Mariner
    US Guntersville
    They might have been thinking that pulling the fitting off the deck is preferable to pulling the deck off the hull.
     


    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  10. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,785 posts, 2,122 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    I hope not.
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  11. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,442 posts, 506 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    Take a close up photo of the shroud adjustment tangs for me so I can see. I can tell you the mast tension on the shrouds is way too much. That was done by an inexperienced person or bozo.
    The forestay chain play was screwed into he a wood plate encapsulated in the deck and concur this was not the best way of doing that. Pointed that out to the powers to be at Hunter. You will have to put an inspection port in the deck to repair that. Send me a private message with location and phone and will be glad to advise. I introduced the boat and sold my fair share of them
     


  12. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    866 posts, 240 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    I recently did some transom repairs on an ACP hull that had a couple of screws pull out. I drilled some oversized holes where the screws were, hit the holes with a blow drier for a long time to get the wood inside good & dry, then stuffed the holes full of epoxy soaked fiberglass cloth that was rolled up tight. After the epoxy hardened, I then cut off the excess glass that was sticking out of the holes & filed the stubs flush with the original hull. The results were good. The new glass took a screw real well. I think that the screw will probably break before it pulls out again. My glass plugs were 5/8" in diameter & a few inches long. In hind sight, I would probably only go an inch or an inch & a half deep with the glass if I were going to do it again. A similar repair may work well on your bow.

    As for the bend in the mast, chances are pretty good that once you get your stays adjusted correctly, the mast will just pull itself straight. Give that a shot before you go trying to bend the mast itself back straight. Trying to bend the mast may do additional damage if you goof. It's not hard to goof.

    As for the head stay being tight, I sometimes pull mine tight for good performance. Other days, when the wind is weak, I sometimes get lazy & add a shackle at the bottom of the furling drum to make it easier to pin the head stay to the deck.
     


    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  13. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,442 posts, 506 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    The biggest problem with stuffing rolled fiberglass into the holes there are two things.
    First the wood could have deteriorated and secondly the above has been tried with the screws pulling out again and with the forestay chain plate, I would suggest a better
    Repair which will necessitate going underneath requireing an inspection port