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I need to saw off a mast - need some advices

Oct 22, 2014
9,929
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Be careful and let us know how it goes. Best of luck.
 
Jun 2, 2004
2,867
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
Looking at the picture, if you can get the aft stay disconnected or cut you can probably grab the mast and pull it forward bending it if necessary to get the thing down for what you need to do.
 
Feb 3, 2019
7
Ericson 26 Wings Alameda, CA
Looking at the picture, if you can get the aft stay disconnected or cut you can probably grab the mast and pull it forward bending it if necessary to get the thing down for what you need to do.
Yes that is a superb idea; I will definitely try that!

Right now aiming for Friday Feb 8 to execute. Not the best tide condition but then I can get some helping hands.
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,057
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
There a many ways that deck stepped masts are anchored. Some have a tabernacle, which is a hinged step that allows the mast to pivot aft when the stays are removed. There will be a bolt or a long SS pin at the aft end of the step if it is on a tabernacle.

Other steps may have a recess in which the mast sits. There will be a small raised ridge around the outside of the mast at the base.

A third option is the opposite of the last one, the mast step has a male plug over which the mast sits. This will look like the mast is just sitting on the step.

Any of these options may have additional pins or bolts to secure the mast and would explain why the mast seems as though it is stuck on the boat in spite fo the loose shrouds.

Search google images for "mast step design for deck stepped masts" and you'll get a lot of images of different designs.
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,587
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
No need to cut it. Attache the halyard to the dock, disconnect the shrouds and stays (cables) and hoist it onto the dock using the halyard. You might be able to sell the mast for a few hundred dollars.
 
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Jun 2, 2004
2,867
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
Yes that is a superb idea; I will definitely try that!

Right now aiming for Friday Feb 8 to execute. Not the best tide condition but then I can get some helping hands.
Let us know how it went

Video or pictures will make it even better
 
Feb 3, 2019
7
Ericson 26 Wings Alameda, CA
First I want to report, that it looks like the once-great free photo hosting site PhotoBucket is lost -- I signed in just now to upload photos after maybe 3 years of absence, and was hit with solicitation for paid service, and after I declined it there was pop-up ads left and right, and every other click the screen shows email confirmation request (but no email received). Anyway, Google Photos seems a good replacement; nice and easy.

So today I have some progress to report. I disconnected all rigging from the tip of the mast. Since the mast was resting on the other boat, I had easy access. After all rigging were removed, I first tried to bend it forward to break it; could not. Then I found that it was dropping down, so I tied a rope to it and let it drop. It went down about 15' and rested at the bottom. Below are the before and after shots:





With the mast nicely out of the way, I tried to drag the boat toward the bank with another person; could not do it. The boat leaned forward, but did not move much; when let go it went back to the former position. At that point my next step was to cut the mast at low tide, and see if the reduced weight + additional helper would allow the boat to move.

Then at low tide this evening, the bottom of the mast was exposed! A pleasant surprise! In fact this is a mast that is designed to bend backwards:



Upon closer inspection, it seems if I remove the pin (circled in red in the 2nd photo), the mast can be detached. Do experts concur? That seems the only hinge.



As for the boat itself, I think I need more than 2 people to drag it forward. I observe one thing though - the tip of the boat is floating on water, even though the fiberglass hull is broken at the bow. Does this mean that there is air pocket still inside the front of the boat which is causing this flotation? Or could this be due to the keel and rudder somehow propping the boat up this way? I am trying to figure out what can allow me to more easily move the boat to the bank. If the keel or rudder is sticking into mud like a needle, perhaps I want to level the boat?



Finally, I got a saw with blade to cut metal, in anticipating of cutting the aluminum mast. Now I may not need to cut metal. Does anyone know if this blade will work on fiberglass hull? Or whether there some other blade more suitable?



End of today's report.
 
Dec 28, 2015
476
Laser, Hunter H30 Standard Tacoma
Any of the wood or metal blades will work. Anticipate needing a handful of them and get a Air Purifying Resperator to protect your lungs.
 
Oct 29, 2016
1,353
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
I truly have my doubts about pulling that boat by hand out of the water, any water trapped in it will be dead weight against your efforts. You might want to think of how you can float it first.
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,057
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Upon closer inspection, it seems if I remove the pin (circled in red in the 2nd photo), the mast can be detached. Do experts concur? That seems the only hinge.
Yes. The mast step is a tabernacle. The bolt is the hinge that makes stepping and unstopping the mast easier. Remove the bolt and the mast should come off. If it doesn't, it may be the crud that has grown in and around it. A small sledge hammer may help.

Does anyone know if this blade will work on fiberglass hull? Or whether there some other blade more suitable?
Yep, that blade will go through fiberglass.

As for the boat itself, I think I need more than 2 people to drag it forward. I observe one thing though - the tip of the boat is floating on water, even though the fiberglass hull is broken at the bow. Does this mean that there is air pocket still inside the front of the boat which is causing this flotation? Or could this be due to the keel and rudder somehow propping the boat up this way? I am trying to figure out what can allow me to more easily move the boat to the bank. If the keel or rudder is sticking into mud like a needle, perhaps I want to level the boat?
Tough to say. There may well be some air trapped in the bow, water depth and the bottom contour will also make a difference.

Salvage companies use air bags to re-float a boat. The bag goes in empty and then a compressor is used to inflate the bag and displace water. Once enough water is displaced the boat will float. The same could be accomplished with truck inner tubes. Put one in the cabin and inflate it. Find somewhere in the back of the boat to attach another and inflate.

To get this out of the water will take some time. Water is heavy at ~64 lbs per cubic foot. The boat will need to come up a little, the water drain, up a little more, the water drains, rinse and repeat. A 19 ft boat with a 6 ft beam has a surface area fo about 120 square feet, figure a depth of about 2 feet and you have 240 cubic feet of boat at 64# per cubic feet plus the weight of the boat. That's somewhere around 15,000 lbs.
 
Jun 2, 2004
2,867
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
I've seen success with a waterbed mattress stuffed inside a sunk boat and inflated. Myth busters accomplished the same thing with ping pong balls, lots of ping pong balls.
 
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Aug 1, 2011
3,457
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
To float it you have to displace the water, replace it with air and provide greater displacement than the weight of the hull and keel. IF you could get it to the point where the access to the insides is above the water level, you could pump out the water and it would, assuming there are no open holes in the hull, float.
 
Feb 3, 2019
7
Ericson 26 Wings Alameda, CA
I will not be lifting the boat out of water. My plan is to drag it 30' to the estuary bank on high tide, then at low tide about 15' of land adjacent to the bank will be exposed. At that time the entire boat will be out of water and sitting on that land.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
9,929
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Richard, getting the boat up and on dry land might be less messy than slipping in the muck of the estuaries around Alameda.

Not sure the tree huggers will let you saw apart a boat on the beach bank. They may say your leaving all sorts of plastic debris in the water.

Looks like the saws-all and blade I have and would use to cut apart a boat. There are some more aggressive toothed blades for the plastic/fiberglass. They will leave the pieces more ragged but should reduce the time involved.
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,057
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Not sure the tree huggers will let you saw apart a boat on the beach bank. They may say your leaving all sorts of plastic debris in the water.
And they would be correct. Cutting up a fiberglass boat is nasty business. If you cut, wear lots of protective gear, there will be fiberglass dust and shards all over.`
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,817
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
Whenever I see a sunken boat raised, slow is a theme. It's a matter of waiting for the water to drain.

I'd be thinking winch or come-along and a forgiving grade to drag it up on.

A saw-zall will cut the hull up. Coarser teeth, demo blades, will go faster. Get lots.
 
Oct 29, 2016
1,353
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
A question on demo, could one not just put the boat on a trailer and haul it to the dump as is, or is it a must to cut it up? I was thinking the guy that drives the bulldozer at dump may have fun with crushing it.
 
Dec 28, 2015
476
Laser, Hunter H30 Standard Tacoma
Winch it up as far as you can then drain with a hole saw. Plunge cuts with a sawzall are not fun and are messy.