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Cal 2-25 mast compression

rayras

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Dec 14, 2015
6
Cal 2-25 Sausalito
My 1979 Cal 2-25 is showing signs of mast compression in the form of a sagging bulkhead that separates the main salon from the head. I see no stress cracks topside near the mast step or below in the area shown in the photos. I'm seeking advice regarding the seriousness of my situation and what steps I should take next.



Sag 1.jpg
Sag 2.jpg
 
Nov 22, 2011
959
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
My 1979 Cal 2-25 is showing signs of mast compression in the form of a sagging bulkhead that separates the main salon from the head. I see no stress cracks topside near the mast step or below in the area shown in the photos. I'm seeking advice regarding the seriousness of my situation and what steps I should take next.



View attachment 118088 View attachment 118089
Has the head door become hard to close? If you stand on the dock, squat down, and eyeball the mast step with the base of the mast at eye level, does it appear depressed? Has the rigging become looser over time?
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
you show photos of the top of the cabin, and we see the sag which is a symptom of the problem. the problem will be at the bottom of the compression post or underneath the liner.... look there and let us know what you see...
 

rayras

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Dec 14, 2015
6
Cal 2-25 Sausalito
Thanks for the quick replies. Yes the head door has become difficult to slide. I'll check the other items suggested next time I get to the boat (probably next week) and report my findings.
 
Mar 2, 2008
406
Cal 25 mk II T-Bird Marina, West Vancouver
I have a 1979 CAL 2-25 also but can not see anything unusual in your pictures. What makes you think you have a problem. Is your rigging getting slack or is there a concave depression around your mast base? The headliner is part of the deck sandwich in that area and is over an inch thick. I think it is solid under the mast but has a pink foam in other areas. Give us some more info/details.
 

rayras

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Dec 14, 2015
6
Cal 2-25 Sausalito
Jalapeno,
It's not real obvious in the pictures, but the bulkhead above the sliding door is definitely sagging to the point of impeding the use of the door. It would probably show better if I put a straight edge along the length for comparison. I have not as yet noticed a depression around the base of the mast but plan to investigate that further upon my next visit to the boat. I'll report my findings...stay tuned!
 

rayras

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Dec 14, 2015
6
Cal 2-25 Sausalito
Today I was able to return to the boat and investigate further. I found some minor cracks in the cabin liner at the base of the compression post (see photos). At the top of the compression post I see what looks to be plastic shims. Are these supposed to be there or is it something a previous owner could have installed to try to mitigate the problem? At the base of the mast there may be a slight depression at the aft portion under the step but it was hard to tell without a more thorough investigation. It was raining pretty hard and I didn't bring a change of clothes!

I stuck my camera in the bilge under the compression post to see what is there and found a piece of plywood that appears to be glued to the sides of the fiberglass box on which the compression post sits. This doesn't appear to be designed to support the stress of the mast to me. I'm left wondering what and where the failure is. Which is the cause, and which is the symptom?

Thanks for any insight anyone can give.

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Last edited:
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
I think that the proper support is missing from underneath the liner... it may never have gotten put in there.
then as the load has been applied by the mast/rigging, the liner has sagged until it has came to rest on the hull at the top of the bilge/keel.
as with the problem over the bulkhead door, the cracks in the liner around the base of the compression post are a telltale..... with the proper support below, the cabintop wouldnt be interfering with the door frame, and there wouldnt be any cracks in the liner below the compression post because it all wouldnt have sagged...

the good news is, at this time its not irreversible.
you need to release the load on the rigging and let it set for a couple months to relax.... it may spring back up so you can add the necessary support, or at that time you could jack it a little bit to put it back into position, then add the support..... its really a quick and easy fix as compared to one that has been damaged so severe that water is coming in, or it has tore the bulkhead tabbing loose.....

just dont try jacking it back up too soon before it has a chance to relax or you may get cracks going the other way from moving it too much, too quickly..
 

rayras

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Dec 14, 2015
6
Cal 2-25 Sausalito
Centerline,
Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure that I want to assume that any additional support was ever intended to be beneath the liner as I see no place in the bilge for anything to attach. I wouldn't want to place any stress on a portion of the hull or keel where none was designed for or intended to be.

Jalapeno,
Would it be possible for you to check this area of your boat and let us know what you find?
 

Reefed

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Dec 23, 2015
1
Cal 25 mk II Clover Island
bilge.jpg
cabin sole.jpg
Hi,

I have a 1980 Cal 2 25; they do not have any support in the bilge under the compression post. The glassed in piece of plywood athwart ship that's visible in Ray's picture and in mine may not have any real structural purpose. Ray - I'm jealous, your bilge is much cleaner than mine! But your door not sliding suggests the cabin roof is sagging. Shims between the cabin ceiling and compression post seems odd too - I don't have any shims there in my boat; my deckisn't sagging and my bulkhead door slides just fine. Check the tabbing between the bulkhead and hull to make sure it's in good shape. As you can see in the cabin sole picture I have many stress cracks and one pretty good crack. I eased the shrouds and baby stays - when I bought the boat they were way too tight. Been keeping an eye on the crack, which doesn't seem to be getting any bigger. I have thought about glassing some cloth on the top and bottom of the cabin sole but haven't yet.
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
anyone who is familiar with fiberglass layup will tell you that if you have stress cracks like the ones that are showing, there is definitely a problem at the lower end of the support. what shows at the top is only a symptom....
it is possible that the manufacture thought the liner was built strong enough to take the load, but its obvious that it is not doing its job....
AND.... this comment, "I wouldn't want to place any stress on a portion of the hull or keel where none was designed for or intended to be" , in both posts, the photos show that the liner is already acutely setting on the hull/keel.... so why not raise it back to its intended position and bed it properly so the load is spread over a larger area?.... just because the manufacture had a flaw in their design doesnt mean it shouldnt be repaired to remedy it.

some of the earlier Cal boats had a steel beam that spanned across, and it set directly on the hull and took the load of the compression post thru the liner.... due to corrosion issues they did away with the beam and used more layup and a supposedly better design of the liner to get the necessary support. it doesnt appear to have worked so well on some boats.

so if you feel my previous idea is a insufficient method, then you could just pop the liner out and reinforce it with more layup, or a beam....

one has to remember that over several years, under a load, fiberglass can give and settle a bit, and it absolutely will if it is lacking in enough support, and the only way to remedy it is to give it the support it requires.

so you can shim the top of the post to raise the cabintop, and leave the rest under stress and sagged out, or you can shim the bottom of the post and do the same thing.... but if one wants it done right to releave the "un-designed" stress from the cabintop, the bulkhead and the liner, it needs to have its support from below. and it will stop the stress cracks from progressing also.

my 34-III has the liner fiberglassed to the hull, as this gives rigidity and support, which is what is needed for good solid boat construction, so essentially it is "setting on" and bonded to, the hull...
 
Last edited:
Mar 2, 2008
406
Cal 25 mk II T-Bird Marina, West Vancouver
The CAL 2-25 hull liner (cabin sole) and the overhead liner and integral parts of the hull and deck structures. There is no air space between them. The hollow trapezoid at the base of the compression post is a very stiff and strong structure that is part of the hull liner and is glued directly to the hull on top of the encapsulated keel structure. I have a consistent 1/8” gap between the top of the sliding door the track. I don’t know if I have the plywood shown in your pictures, but I do not have spacers or cracks. Don’t know if this helps but I don’t see any problems on my boat.

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Yes that is a real silver Canadian dime for good luck.

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Happy New Year from the captain of s/v Jalepeno
 

rayras

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Dec 14, 2015
6
Cal 2-25 Sausalito
Jalapeno,
Thanks for your information and photos...that interior fabric sure looks familiar. I'm still working to find a solution for my minor problem before it becomes a major problem. Meanwhile...tell me about those portlights.
 
Last edited:
Jan 16, 2014
12
Cal 28 River Raisin Marina
The bit that sits between the top of the compression post and the mast step on my old 1968 Cal 28 looks like this. Although the upper decks are all wet, I am hoping that this is just old tired fiberglass (cosmetic). Does anyone know what is actually in there, how I can assess it's condition and what I would need to do to repair it?
Thanks,
Bill
 

Attachments

Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
you may be aware that this is an old post that you have replied to.... you may want to post a new thread of your own, and describe the problem with a bit more detail. from what I read here, I cant tell if your problem is a wet core, or if its a compression support issue, or both.. from the photo, it shows there definitely was a wet core issue at one time, but is that the only issue?