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 Post subject: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:14 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Dexter, MI
I just bought my first boat, a 1980's Hobie 16. In the process of cleaning everything up (and, unfortunately, not when I initially inspected the boat before purchase), I noticed that there is a crack in the mast along side the sail feeder. It extends below the feeder opening. You can see the extent of the crack in these pictures:

http://imgur.com/a/Zu9wp

Is this something that can be repaired? How serious is the issue? I've tried to search for similar issues, but haven't come across much.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:28 pm
Posts: 332
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Yikes, I'd start hunting for a new mast. That looks pretty dangerous.

Put a post up in the "looking to buy" section here and someone can probably help you locate one in your area. Be sure to include your location.

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94' H16 - 114050
www.HobieFleet97.org
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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:23 pm
Posts: 60
I'm not sure if the crack is in a place that is structural. It looks like from the pictures that the crack is in the mast track below the slot, which would not be structural. correct me if I'm wrong, but if the crack would weaken the mast wouldn't the mast slot weaken the mast as well? if you really want to replace it i have a comtip mast currently for sale in MD.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:14 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Dexter, MI
As I understand it, the mast cross section on the Hobie 16 looks something thing this:

Image

I marked in red what I'm guessing is the break point: right behind the luff track. It seems to be a weaker point. My concern is partly for the vertical integrity of the mast, but more specifically, for the horizontal integrity. The crack is right about where the gooseneck shackle for the boom would rest with the downhaul marginally tight. I'm guessing that's handling a decent amount of the force of the sail directly at that location. It's possible the previous owner sailed it like this for years and never had an issue, but I'm trying to assess the urgency of the repair.

I've contacted my local sail shop this afternoon, and they have suggested that they do Heliarc (TIG) welding, and might be able to repair it, but will need to see it first. Has anyone had any experience with having a mast repaired via this method?

Failing that, I'll be looking for a used Hobie 16 mast. GD_NC, thanks for the suggestion on the "Looking to buy" section. I'll check it out, if it comes to that. Rab1516, I'm in the greater Detroit area, so MD would be a bit of a haul, unfortunately.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:18 am
Posts: 759
Location: Virginia Beach VA
Why not just take it somewhere and have it TIG or MIG welded? I don't think I would attempt to sail with a crack that long.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 340
Location: Charlottesville, VA
If the crack were only through the track, I think it would be easy to tell because that flange would flex very easily.

I'm wondering if water froze in that section of mast somehow. Maybe the mast leaks, water pooled on top of the foam plug and then froze during the winter.

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'00 H16 #104691 - '78 H16 #32692 ex-rental - Old Holsclaw trailer
My Hobie 16 pages


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:11 pm
Posts: 226
Location: West Point, Utah
Welding an aluminum extrusion is never a good idea. Maybe better than not sailing, but you completely change the material properties in a small area and that spikes the loading in the area so you will get further cracking and damage. Anyone know the alloy and heat treatment of the Hobie mast? In aircraft damage repair you would replace the part or if that is not possible do a doubler repair that would replace 100% of the strength to the area. That would imply that you know the loads in the area and that you could put enough fasteners in the doubler to carry the load in shear. Also possibly stop drill the crack at both ends.
There is no area of the mast that is not structural. Even the track adds quite a bit of stiffness to the entire extrusion.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:11 pm
Posts: 226
Location: West Point, Utah
After looking at the pictures, a doubler is not a possibility. I would start looking for a mast.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 765
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Keep an eye out for a replacement mast. They aren't too hard to find on an old beat up boat.

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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:14 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Dexter, MI
mdgann, thanks for the input on the welding. I was worried about the same thing. If the price is right, I may have it welded to at least get on the water (we have a vacation planned in a couple of weeks and it would be a real shame not to get to sail it), and then start searching for a replacement mast in the area.

AntonLargiader, the freezing concept is an interesting one. The mast (even excluding the crack) is definitely not watertight yet. One of the cleats is gone, and so there are a couple of open rivet holes at the base. I'm also guessing I need to re-seal the tip (assuming I keep the mast) and possibly base.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:18 am
Posts: 759
Location: Virginia Beach VA
My first H16 had a cracked mast at the top where the comp tip inserted. I had it welded and sailed it for five years before I found another mast. I kept the welded mast just in case. A friend of mine lost his mast in a hurricane so I traded him the welded one for a favor he had done. That was six years ago and it is still in use. Maybe it doesn't meet FAA air frame standards....but who cares?


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 340
Location: Charlottesville, VA
I sailed my '78 with a broken/rewelded mast from the time I bought it in '93 through this year.

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'00 H16 #104691 - '78 H16 #32692 ex-rental - Old Holsclaw trailer
My Hobie 16 pages


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:14 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Dexter, MI
It's good to hear that people have had successful experiences sailing with welded masts. A weld job is a much smaller obstacle preventing me from getting the boat on the water for the first time than finding a new mast would be.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:33 pm
Posts: 185
Location: Southern California
I have a good mast and the price is right (Free). The only problem is that you have to pick it up in Los Angeles.

I also have a good H16 tramp frame (Free). Same deal on the pickup.

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1979 Hobie (sold)
1983 Hobie 16 Hawiian Sunset (sold)
1981 Hobie 16 Tequilla Sunrise - still own
2008 Hobie 16 (currently sailing the crap out of this boat)
1977 Super Sunfish
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 Post subject: Re: Cracked mast
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:28 pm
Posts: 332
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
I wouldn't give up on a replacement mast yet. Hobie 16 masts tend to far outlast the hulls and there's not much demand for the old ones. If you live near a decent sized body of water you can probably find one without much effort. Most hobiecat sailors are more interested in seeing a new hobie sailor on the water than making a buck off you. (See post above)

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Garrett
94' H16 - 114050
www.HobieFleet97.org
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