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Old 03-21-2010, 01:46 AM   #1
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When I had my Cal Cruising 35 anchored near the Green Bridge on the Manatee River (which separates the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto), I had to dinghy out past a nice little Bristol 24. I would think of how much easier it would be to have a little boat to go sailing on while fixing up the Cal.

A few months go by, and a failed mooring sent that poor Bristol under a VERY low bridge! A week later there is an ad on Craigslist advertising a dismasted Bristol for $200! A made the call, rushed out and took a quick look. The boat got banged up in a couple spots by the bridge, but definitely fixable. The sails are in decent shape. The 8hp outboard runs but needs a new shearpin.

On talking to the seller I discovered that he would sell it for $100 if I provided my own anchor, and since I've got a couple monsters lurking about (the 150lb Navy anchor ought to hold a 6,000lb boat), along with some extra rode on the Cal, I decided to take that route.

So, joy of joys, I get to fix up two sailboats now instead of one The Cal is getting only top-quality equipment, but the Bristol is going to be done "on the cheap." Galvanized instead of stainless, deck paint instead of Awlgrip, etc.

So the story begins, with the hunt for a new mast...
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Seafarer View Post
A few months go by, and a failed mooring sent that poor Bristol under a VERY low bridge! A week later there is an ad on Craigslist advertising a dismasted Bristol for $200! A made the call, rushed out and took a quick look. The boat got banged up in a couple spots by the bridge, but definitely fixable. The sails are in decent shape. The 8hp outboard runs but needs a new shearpin.

So, joy of joys, I get to fix up two sailboats now instead of one The Cal is getting only top-quality equipment, but the Bristol is going to be done "on the cheap." Galvanized instead of stainless, deck paint instead of Awlgrip, etc.

So the story begins, with the hunt for a new mast...
This one has a mast :- CLICK
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:28 AM   #3
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How tall/big is that mast? Diameter?
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:11 AM   #4
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Congratulations. Nice boats the Bristols and at $100 you can't really go wrong.

Well done

Aye // Stephen
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:44 PM   #5
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There was a FREE Bristol 24 (with trailer!) in the Keys for a while. If I wasn't in the middle of swapping 1/2 ton axles into my 1/4 ton truck I'd have been making a road trip. Someone took the boat- just had them launch it and brought a motor to move it away. The trailer was given away soon after.

It turns out that mine is a transition boat, made under the Sailmaster name with a concrete/lead mix for ballast and virtually no bilge space. Apparently when Peterson moved the plant to Bristol he renamed the company and began using better ballast.

Still, the hull is thick and the deck and cabin are solid fiberglass. Tomorrow I'll be fixing up the engine. At least, I'll be trying to fix the engine, seeing as how I've never really worked on an outboard before. I can't even get my 2HP 2-stroke dinghy motor to run, hence why I'm still rowing a year after buying it.... (Of course the mechanic just pulls the cord and it sputters right up.)
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:39 AM   #6
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Is it called luck?

Here is a video on how to build your own mast. According to my calculations making it from glassed epoxy may be cheaper than a second-hand alu mast (here with a sadly small market anyway). And definitely cooler.

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Old 03-23-2010, 02:07 AM   #7
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On the mast thing--depending on how big it is, it's not hard to make a box section wood mast of readily available wood--Douglas fir for example.

You can also sometimes find masts really cheaply at the boat storage yards.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:47 PM   #8
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I remembered some boat bums with dismasted boats and had a chat with them today. I should have a mast, with rigging and boom and steps for $150 by the weekend.

The mast is from a Catalina 25, which should be 28' though I was told it is 31'. The factory Corsair rig measurements for I and P are 30.30 and 26.40, so I figure either height will work. Displacement is right around 6,000lbs, and a little more sail area would be useful around here.

I'm going to look at making some rigging changes- dual lowers and single uppers, plus twin backstays. Maybe a removable baby-stay. Should be a fun project.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:47 PM   #9
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I don't know how far you live from the West Coast, but Minneys yacht surplus has a few masts laying in the yard. Here's the number (949) 548-4193
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:18 AM   #10
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Actually, I live right on the west coast, right at the bottom of the bay.

That would be the west coast of FL, and the bottom of Tampa Bay.

I need to update my profile to reflect this, otherwise that would have been a great tip on a source for masts!
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:20 PM   #11
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The night of Easter Sunday, I spent my first night aboard. Was it on the 35' Cal I've owned for a year? No- It was on the 24' Corsair I've owned for a week. It was a busy week, in which I went through every item aboard, threw out what I didn't want (which was considerable), and organized the rest. I washed all of the bedding. I bought a couple bottles of Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover (with bleach) and sprayed every surface, let it sit for a few minutes, and wiped them down. I brought aboard battery-powered LED "tap lights" for interior lighting, and the always-popular solar-powered pathway lights for exterior lighting. I turned my little shipwreck into a little ship.

It was a gorgeous night, but my proximity to the mangroves and being between two busy bridges forced me to close the boat up to keep the bugs and noises out. The V-berth was cozy, and my biggest worry was that my neighbors might do some drinking and feel mischievous enough to move my dinghy ashore while I slept.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:29 PM   #12
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That is really cool.

I would love to find a deal like that.

You rock.

Thanks,

Alan
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:45 PM   #13
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Next week, I'm picking up the mast from the Catalina- which turned out to be a 27' boat with a 31' mast -for $100. I'll motor my boat down to Cortez and tie up alongside, but I'm pretty sure taking down the Catalina's mast is going to be a dramatic affair. The best method I've come up with thus far is to tie a round fender buoy to the top of the mast, use halyards as temporary stays while the rigging is disconnected from the deck, and then "cut it loose" and let it fall into the water.

I would love to hear more elegant methods, but please remember that the Catalina is not going to be removed from anchor during this process.
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:31 AM   #14
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Easiest--do your stepping/unstepping of it from a nearby bridge.

There are folks who have built wooden A-frames (either two leg or 3 leg) to be used aboard a boat at anchor. Typically bigger masts than you're dealing with.

Suggest that you have at least one other person to help you get the mast off the Catalina though. You could sustain injury to yourself and to the mast you will have just paid for if you try to drop it without control. The base of the deck stepped mast will want to kick out big-time and you really want to manage the whole process.

There's a pretty good discussion of mast stepping here which you might find useful to your situation.

Good luck
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