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Sun Cat mast modification question

Sep 1, 2019
27
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
Greetings all.

I’m a new sailor in the process of getting a first boat. I looked at a late model Sun Cat this weekend that seems very well cared for and appears to be in outstanding shape. I’d like to make an offer for the boat but there is one wrinkle that worries me.

The owner had the mast modified to, as I understand it, be able to nearly fully remove it so as to clear a garage door for storage. The modification consisted of cutting the mast below the boom, close to where it emerges from the deck. The modified mast is secured to the “stub mast” via an aluminum clamp when the boat is in use. I’ve attached a photo that hopefully does a better job of explaining what the modification is.

It’s not clear to me if the mod is something done at the factory or by a third party after delivery. Either way, is it something non-standard that could impact performance or service life? In other words, is it something to be concerned about?
 

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Sep 22, 2018
1,419
Hunter 216 Kingston
Greetings all.

I’m a new sailor in the process of getting a first boat. I looked at a late model Sun Cat this weekend that seems very well cared for and appears to be in outstanding shape. I’d like to make an offer for the boat but there is one wrinkle that worries me.

The owner had the mast modified to, as I understand it, be able to nearly fully remove it so as to clear a garage door for storage. The modification consisted of cutting the mast below the boom, close to where it emerges from the deck. The modified mast is secured to the “stub mast” via an aluminum clamp when the boat is in use. I’ve attached a photo that hopefully does a better job of explaining what the modification is.

It’s not clear to me if the mod is something done at the factory or by a third party after delivery. Either way, is it something non-standard that could impact performance or service life? In other words, is it something to be concerned about?
I found this on the company website. If you are really concerned about the modified “joint” I guess you could buy a new mast. Although it doesn’t list it you might be able to buy just the bottom section.
 

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Sep 1, 2019
27
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
Thanks for the reply.

I'd already sent a note to Com Pac and just heard back from them. The mod is done at the factory if requested by the customer and is known as their "garage package." The reply also stated that they've "never had a problem with it."

I guess it's really nothing to worry about, but your suggestion about seeing if the lower mast is available for purchase is a good one and worth looking into, just in case.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,419
Hunter 216 Kingston
The mast only price is $727. Might be a good negotiating tactic to help close your deal.

Interesting boat, hope it goes well for you.
 
Sep 1, 2019
27
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
The mast only price is $727. Might be a good negotiating tactic to help close your deal.

Interesting boat, hope it goes well for you.
On further investigation (aka discussions with some of my more technically oriented friends), the consensus view is that the stress on the lower mast is much more in the vertical plane. This means that the collar at the "garage package" cut serves mostly to keep the mast in place and does not experience high horizontal force. The general sentiment is that the mod nothing to loose sleep over.

I negotiated with the seller and we eventually agreed on a reasonable price that had much more to do with me agreeing to buy a boat in the cold of late November than it did on concerns about the mast mod. So I got a good deal on well-cared for Sun Cat and the seller did not have to wait six months to unload his boat.

On a related note, I'm impressed with the folks at Com Pac/Hutchins. My several queries were answered quickly by one or another of the Hutchins family, depending on the information needed, with each providing answers very quickly, sometimes in only a couple of hours.
 
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Sep 22, 2018
1,419
Hunter 216 Kingston
Congrats in joining the hole in the water to pour $ into! ;)

Off season is a great time to boat shop for the very reasons you mention. However it can be a long wait till sailing season!

Given the mod was done at the factory I would agree that there’s likely nothing to worry about.