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Old 12-13-2007, 10:51 AM   #1
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Hi there!

Pretty much decided on a boat, a Hudson Force 50. Seems to be in overall good condition, waiting for survey..... Is wooden masts a problem or not? Rings "bad" in my ears but donīt really know? The boat and so the masts are from late 70īs.

Take care!

Marcus
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
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Hi there!

Pretty much decided on a boat, a Hudson Force 50. Seems to be in overall good condition, waiting for survey..... Is wooden masts a problem or not? Rings "bad" in my ears but donīt really know? The boat and so the masts are from late 70īs.

Take care!

Marcus
Hi Marcus,

What does your own selected wood boat expert surveyor say ???

If you intend to have it surveyed make sure you get a 'condition , market value and cost estimate to bring up to standard survey."
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:07 AM   #3
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Hi Marcus, I do not think there are any problems which affect wooden masts that do not also exist in wooden hulled boats. Cracks, splits and fractures, rot and general wear, where fastenings are affixed, must be considered. As with all boat materials, each individual one has its advantages and drawbacks.

There is no doubt the best plan is to lay the mast down and have it inspected by a genuine wooden boat shipwright. Masts and spars of any material are expensive and failure of a loaded spar may be catastrophic.

Next to me in the marina is a converted pearling lugger. It is gaff rigged, 60' LOD and has two beautiful, lacquered wooden masts with white painted top masts. Sails are drawn up on hoops and she has wooden blocks, wooden ratlines, baggywrinkles and timber pinrails in the outer shrouds....and it is for sale.

There is something so alluring about a boat with wooden spars.......

Cheers,

David.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:08 PM   #4
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Our boat was built in 1961 and still carries her original wooden mast. I had to build a new wooden boom though. original was misisng.

All a matter of taking care of it.

Oh- and the Pardeys have sailed twice around with wooden masts on their boats.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:59 PM   #5
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We own a Hudson Force 50 and had our masts inspected, repaired, and repainted after we bought her. They had very little rot. If yours are in good shape, why would you not want to keep them? For further discussion, you might want to visit www.force50.org.
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:56 PM   #6
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Thank you for your replies!

The boats hull is fiberglass, only wooden masts. I like classic looking boats and so the Force 50 for me is absolutely beautiful. Wasnīt sure about wooden masts that are over 30 y o though. They have been restored and painted recently, looks nice..... Iīll get a good surveyor, hopefully
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:58 AM   #7
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Thank you for your replies!

The boats hull is fiberglass, only wooden masts. I like classic looking boats and so the Force 50 for me is absolutely beautiful. Wasnīt sure about wooden masts that are over 30 y o though. They have been restored and painted recently, looks nice..... Iīll get a good surveyor, hopefully
Hopefully, the seller has some pics of what the spars looked like as bare wood during/before the recent repainting and had a reputable spar maker/repair person go over the masts as part of the refurbishing/repainting. Our boat has its original (built in 1931) masts. Both have been lengthened by a few feet with a bird's mouth scarf (the main was converted from gaff rig to Bermuda in 1937-39 timeframe. Both have had a few repairs otherwise. Ours were recently stripped when we purchased the boat so luckily we (and the surveyor) could see the condition of the wood. The original wooden boom was damaged sometime between 1967 and 1980 (don't know the exact date, just between two pics taken on those dates) and whatever happened to the boom also took out the boom gallows as it was replaced as well.

One reason wooden spars are frequently varnished instead of painted is so that inspection of the wood is very easy and repair can be done immediately if rot begins. Common problems include rot around the spreaders/internal blocking for spreaders, rot where fasteners pierce the wood, glue joint failure at one end or the other of the mast/spar. Also, mastheads on wooden spars need to protect the spar from water ingress which can rot things from the inside out.

Wooden spars are great overall. Sitka Spruce best strength to weight ratio except for carbon fiber. It will last a long long time if properly maintained. The spars, including the mast are easily repaired if you have access to sitka spruce or douglas fir or similar wood. It's not rocket science. You just need a place long enough to work in while the spars are off the boat.

Good luck on your purchase.
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:29 PM   #8
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Our masts may have been in good condition, but our booms were not. The great thing about wood is that you can fix/build it yourself. We bought some really fine aged Sitka spruce, had it milled, and have made two new booms for about 5% of the cost of having someone else do the work (or buying new aluminum ones. We didn't even price carbon fiber.) With the old ones around as patterns, the work wasn't difficult at all.

Just a thought!
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:31 AM   #9
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Thank you!

Going over from Spain to have a look in the beginning of Jan. Hopefully, if all works out, cruise caribbean in Feb and leave for Europe in March.

Merry Christmas!

Marcus
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