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Old 04-13-2010, 12:34 PM   #1
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Hi all,

Im considering purchasing a 60'+ketch with wooden masts. Apparently the masts were constructed using an invisible "weldwood" glue and that has deteriorated to the point the mizzen is shot and the main needs some serious repair. The main is about 85'.

The price reflects the fact the masts need repairing (apparently). The boat is about 30 years old, timber, and everything else is in great condition.

Can someone provide a few pointers here? Id really appreciate it:

1. Not counting the cost of the mast, how much can I expect to pay on the west coast US to have a mast replaced?

2. Has anyone got any experience with "weldwood" masts and repairs - is it worth getting repaired or am I throwing good money after bad?

3. Any good yards/websites to troll for second hand masts?

4. recommendations for a good yard to undertake the work?

Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:18 PM   #2
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First and foremost you would need to instruct a Surveyor who has wooden boat experience to carry out a condition and valuation survey.

Our Moderator Redbopeep is based in Southern California, has extensive experience in that she and her husband have restored a 1930's Wooden Schooner, I am sure she will be able to give you valuable pointers.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA' date='14 April 2010 - 08:18 AM View Post

First and foremost you would need to instruct a Surveyor who has wooden boat experience to carry out a condition and valuation survey.

Our Moderator Redbopeep is based in Southern California, has extensive experience in that she and her husband have restored a 1930's Wooden Schooner, I am sure she will be able to give you valuable pointers.
Thanks, a survey is on the top of my list. Id appreciate it if Red or other log readers could recommend a good surveyor who services Washington State.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:11 AM   #4
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Id like to add Ive never been involved in replacing a mast, so all insights into this particular repair, especially on a boat this size, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Again
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaper' date='13 April 2010 - 04:16 PM View Post

Thanks, a survey is on the top of my list. Id appreciate it if Red or other log readers could recommend a good surveyor who services Washington State.
Hey there, welcome to Cruiser Log

Answers to your questions--

1. Not counting the cost of the mast, how much can I expect to pay on the west coast US to have a mast replaced?

That is a widely varying number. If the yard/spar maker has a mast bench set up and they're just bidding your job it's a different thing than if they have to build the mast bench and then build new or repair your spar. Most mast benches I know of cannot handle building or major repair of an 85 ft mast--a fellow up in Port Townsend is operating out of what was an old bowling alley and he can probably do it with reasonable pricing if so. If you're talking new spruce or fir masts...that can really range--if its easy repairs and re-glue on the old mast(s) vs making all new spars. Think of anything from a thousand dollars for a minor repair to $10-$40K or more depending on how much work, the choice of wood for new build, and who's doing it.

2. Has anyone got any experience with "weldwood" masts and repairs - is it worth getting repaired or am I throwing good money after bad?

Your bids might be for epoxy masts or for resorcinol glued masts. Weldwood should be Weldwood Resorcinol glue which is a fine way to glue up a mast. Our two (hollow and glued) masts were originally built in 1930/31 and have had a couple major repairs w/Resorcinol over the years which have held up amazingly well. We did re-do several small repairs to the (total length about 70 ft) main mast because we weren't sure of the quality of those particular repairs as done by the boat's previous owner. We used West System Epoxy rather than Resorcinol for those repairs because we had an excessive quantity of West that we needed to use up and only a tiny bit of Resorcinol left over from our oak rudder project.

3. Any good yards/websites to troll for second hand masts?

Not an 85 ft wooden mast in good shape. That's really quite a big one. There's a member here, SteveW, who might know of something--and he's in Washington state.

4. recommendations for a good yard to undertake the work?

Is the work to be performed JUST the masts and rig or is it other work as well? I suppose you won't know until you've had the boat surveyed. If the boat is up in Washington State there are several good yards that can perform the work at a reasonable price. Depending on what the work is, and where you are going to be, you may be able to hire a single boat-wright to do the job/supervise the work to be done and cost effectively do it in one of the numerous yards which cater to the DIY crowd. I'll PM you a couple names/contact info in a bit. I need to dig through some stuff to also get you the name of a spar maker in Port Townsend Washington. A fine fellow who would likely give you a good price on re-doing the masts if you needed that.

Are you in Washington state right now? Or looking at boats from afar?

Again, welcome...I'll pm you the names in a bit
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for everyones input to this (and once again many thanks for the contact details and PMs we shared Red! Valuable stuff.)

Just wanted to let ppl know after due consideration of all the advice I've recieved I won't be going down this road - too many potential headaches. At the end of the day I want to be out on the water sailing, not overseeing a potentially endless reconstruction project.

On with my search!
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