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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:35 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:11 pm
Posts: 2
Hello buddies,
There are many topics devoted to typical crossbar problems on this forum but still I have to ask Your advice.
Month ago I bought H17Sport catamaran from UK and now it is trailered to Latvia. I had no chance to check visually the condition before the deal but seems like it`s fine for asked price and age. Exception is condition of crossbars. As you see below, crucial connecting tips of beams are corroded and there is at least one observable crack.
Therefore question: Is it worth to weld and try to refurbish them?
I realize that welding decreases durability of aluminum but what options do I have. Buying even secondhand beams will increase cost of catamaran to the price of newer one. Besides good secondhand beams are hard to find. May be it is reasonable to sell the cat with profit and go to UK or Germany for another one. I guess welded beams will be fine for some lightweight sailor.
That`s my dilemma. Please share Your ideas/experience or give a hint where issue is discussed earlier.

p.s. pardon for my clumsy English.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:01 pm 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Buffalo, NY
Others may correct me if I'm wrong, but the crossbars are actually a heat treated aluminum... Welding on them doesn't decrease durability, it actually compromises the heat treatment from the crossbar, significantly weakening it... to the point that it may not be able to handle the stress from sailing, and it will break on you.

The forces on the crossbar have very little to do with the weight of the skipper/crew. The forward crossbar handles all the tension in the rig... the tension in the shrouds & forestay pulls the mast down and sharply point loads the crossbar in the center, while the thrust from the sails pushes the mast... and therefore the crossbar forward. The tensioning rod and dolphin striker help the crossbar to "push back," but as soon as it starts to develop cracks, it really can't keep handling the stress. The crossbars also deal with the tension of the trampolines, twisting motions of the boat and impulses, or "jerking" forces as each hull hits waves... they are essential to be in good working order.

If the boat was unusually cheap, that crossbar is the reason. You can't sail it like that, and you can't repair it by welding. Your only options are to find a used crossbar in good condition to replace it with, or find another boat.

However, if the rest of the boat is in good condition, the parts may be worth more than what you paid for it. If you end up getting the same type of boat, I'd use this one for spares, and sell the rest for parts.

_________________
Mike
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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:11 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:11 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks SabresfortheCup for comprehensive explanation.
You confirmed my suspicions and seems like I have to sell the boat and go for the newer one.


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