Three Tips on How to Locate Hidden Sailboat Mast Issues

12 August 2021

Whenever sailors go for a trip, they certainly conduct inspections to ensure that their sailboat components are in optimum condition. But despite their rigorous assessment, certain parts of their sailboat can still boast some issues that would potentially lead to complete failures.

One of the worst scenarios that sailors might potentially face during their trip is having a broken mast. If your sailboat is already far offshore, then having a broken mast in the middle of the trip can be extremely dangerous for you and other people on board. The existence of a broken mast, after all, will only lead to the sailboat being stranded. And if the surrounding conditions suddenly worsen, then you have no choice but to radio for help and potentially even abandon your vestal into life rafts.

Fortunately, the main hidden sources of sailboat mast problems can be discovered in advance. Here are some helpful tips on locating hidden sailboat mast issues.

Conduct a Visual Inspection

One helpful tip on locating hidden sailboat mast issues is to conduct a visual inspection. With the mast sited up on all sides, you must check if it does not excessively bow out or bend to one side or the other. Once your mast appears to be straight, you should then check the upper shrouds. Checking the upper shrouds can be done by easing the mainsail halyard, bringing the slack out of the halyard before cleating it off, and moving the upper shroud turnbuckle to the opposite direction. The upper shroud turnbuckle must touch the same point as before so that the mast can stay straight during the sail.

Look for Signs of Corrosion

Corrosion often brings negative effects to sailboat components. Hence, it must be identified right away before it could ruin and damage the mast and other associated sailboat parts. The bottom part of the mast or the heel and its surrounding areas must be checked for any signs of internal corrosion. Corrosion may likewise exist in mast fittings. If corrosion does exist, then you must replace your mast immediately.

Check for External Damages

Another tip that can help identify hidden sailboat mast issues is to check for external damages. A mast may contain scratches, scarring, and dents due to the continuous contact with metal shackles from the halyards. And as these external damages amplify in size, they can effectively remove the protective coating of the mast, making it vulnerable to corrosive elements. For minimal dimples in the spar, you can still clean it and wax the scratches. Alternatively, if the external damages to your mast are already excessive, then you may have to call for a full mast replacement.

If you want to obtain vital components for your mast and sailboat, you can contact us at Riggtech. We are a quality supplier, fabricator and fitter of marine and architectural rigging systems including custom spars, painting, rigging, rope technologies, yacht fittings, shading, and balustrading.

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