Hobie Cat Forums

It is currently Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:16 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Mast Step Ball Failures
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:01 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
I'm looking for advice!

I'm about to place the third (maybe fourth) mast step ball on my Hobie Tiger. That averages one ball per year sailed. Is this normal? These little jewels cost $21.55 US and let loose in the most inopportune times.

It looks like the threads fail from raising and lowering the mast. If this is the case, this is amazing because I usually leave my mast up (it stays on a lift) and that means these beasts are the tender-revenue-generating-soul of Hobie.

Or, is it the way I lower the mast? Does the weight of the mast pull on these balls and strip the threads? If so, does someone need to push down on the bottom of the mast to prevent a failure?

Or, have I installed it incorrectly? Can you screw it down too much? Did I not crew it down hard enough? Maybe I need to put silicon glue on the threads to help take the load?

Since I leave the mast up, maybe I have the sidestays too tight and the ball is rotating with the mast? I think not. I'd be surprised.

Any experience out there with this problem? Something must be going on -- I just received an email from a new Tiger owner (he bought a Tiger Worlds boat). "I'll be there, I may need some help setting up, I have a mast ball back ordered so if you have a spare or know where I can get one off the shelf let me know."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Or maybe ...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:25 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Or maybe the ball is rotating with the mast and wearing the threads out to the point of failure? Do I need to sand the mast step cup? If so, what grit do I use.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:12 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:00 am
Posts: 383
Location: Long Beach, CA
The same thing is happening to me. I am on my third or fourth, cannot keep up with the count.

The last one I got seemed to have a tighter fit. You have to make sure that the ball is all the way down and resting on the top of the treads. To do this get something that fits inside the hole in the ball. Mark the edge then mark the treaded part on the crossbar so you know that you are landed on the top of that. I use a vice grip around a cloth to cinch the ball down all the way.

I think that the compression of the load of the mast is the most suspect in the stripping of the threads. In other words if you do not make sure it is seated nicely then the mast will always be pushing on the threads. With the rig tensions and sheeting loads it will fail, as that is just a delron ball and cannot be expected to take that kind of abuse. I would like a better system.

You notice that it broke when you lower your mast because as you are holding the mast waiting for someone the prop up the tip you are the fulcrum using a lot of levering force on the ball pulling it up.

Later,
Dan


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Ball failure
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:22 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 9126
Location: Oceanside, California
That would be a new one.

The H20 and 17 use the same base casting and ball system and I have not heard of it. There is as much or more lever arm force when you are stepping a 20 for sure. These Tiger step balls come from France, so are threaded differently, so maybe that is an issue? Materials? This many people having a problem certainly raises my eyebrows!

I would think for a ball to pull off, it is a mast rotation issue when stepping the mast down. I have never heard of anything else. Never heard about loose or incorrect threads. If you get the wrong ball (for a US Hobie 20 for instance) maybe. You would find indents on the failed balls and scratches on the mast base casting where it contacted the striker post. That would then lever against the ball.

We will review with France.

_________________
Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:14 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Thanks Matt and Dan.

Yes, it lets go when lowering the mast. It is always when the mast is nearly down, so the upward shear force on the ball is probably at its highest. Just when my crew has gone around to catch the mast. His arms are stretched out, reaching to grab the mast. Bang! It comes down real fast! The ball is usually found laying on the ground, popped literally off the striker post.

The threads have been significantly woren away. It looks more like they failed from wearing than a shear force, such as a mast lowering

Dan your idea seems reasonable. Seating the bottom of the mounting channel (hole) to the top of the striker post makes sense. Have you ever had a failure when you've seated the ball in this manner?

Matt, you are right. Every H20 driver I've talked with says, "Mast step ball? No problem; I've never replaced mine." I've only used a Tiger ball on my boat -- never a H20's. The mast base casting is clear of scratches; the outside of the ball is smooth. Whatever light you can place on this problem would be greatly appreciated.

Bruce Ray


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Mast ball rotating
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:54 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Matt,

I noticed this weekend that the mast step ball on my Tiger is rotating with each rotation of the mast. This particular ball already had its threads fail, so I would expect it to be moving freely.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:08 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:33 pm
Posts: 14
Hi guys,

Mine failed at the worlds when the boat was less than a year old and the mast had only been up and down less than a dozen times. Luckily my sons, or anyone else, were not near the back of the boat when it let go. It did leave a good dent in the cross bar though.

With the rig tensions being so high I am not surprised the balls are rotating which eventually will destroy the threads. I know that these balls that they use are probably the most cost effective way of doing it but the old hobie 18 mast support never had these problems so that may be a solution to the problem.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Old Hobie 18 system
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:34 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 9126
Location: Oceanside, California
Old Hobie 18 system...

They had plenty of issues. Biggest of which, the hinge castings can fail when the mast is leaned left or right when stepping. Same result... not a solution.

The fact that the Tiger system is widely used, and this is just now appearing to be a big issue makes me think something has changed. Maybe materials, threading or maybe even changes in rigging technique.

I would suggest sanding the inside of the base casting and adding a little lube on top of the ball. Greg and Jacques do. They have never failed a ball.

In the mean time we are going to get some balls made here. Just looking at a Euro Tiger ball... they look to have a molded thread. A small portion is actually missing due to the molding process. The material feels softer too.

It takes time though.

_________________
Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:00 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Let me know if you make progress with a different ball. I agree with your accessment. The threads are soft on the new ball and they are mush after it fails.

Sand and lube with a well seated ball sounds like it will work! What's the lube? Silcone grease I assume, like one uses on the rudder lock down?

Thanks for your very responsive help Matt!
Bruce


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:04 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:33 pm
Posts: 14
Yeah, the hinge system was a little goofy on the 18 but I never has one fail. As a matter of fact in the almost 20 years of sailing the 18 I replaced the hinge once and plastic portion on the cross bar a few times but they never broke, but the hull did break in two at the front cross bar on my 1986 model but that is another issue.

Actually what I was thinking was having a hard style ball that would be attached with a counter sunk bolt. This would eliminate the need for a hinge and the need for threads, but I am sure that it is probably not cost effective to do this.

It seams that most of the multihulls have the same ball setup that the Tiger has so there is probably some minor production issue that needs to be addresses. Good luck!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Mast ball
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:08 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:54 am
Posts: 50
I take the ball off and dip it in mold release and then mix up some marine tex . Clean the bottom of the mast and put some marine tex where the ball goes then push the ball in. Tape the ball there until dry and clean up excess marine tex. After dry pop ball out and do final clean with a dremel tool. I have done this to several boats and never replaced a ball even after 2 Worrell's. I do put a little clear teflon grease on the ball before stepping. I hope this helps.

David Lennard


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Replacements
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:25 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 9126
Location: Oceanside, California
Replacements are ordered. We may be able to get them in as soon and a couple weeks.

In the mean time:

Be sure your ball is fully seated on the post. I think that the threads are possibly failing when the ball is not fully seated and the threads are taking the entire compression load of the rig. If they are fully seated, I would think that the top of the post should be sitting against the ball.

Perhaps add some epoxy to lock it on.

Tie a line to the base and to the post under the crossbar as a safety when stepping or have the crew hold the base down.

Keep crew out from under the mast until stepped.

_________________
Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:48 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:33 pm
Posts: 14
Great idea with the line as a safety!

I checked the ball on my boat yesterday and I can turn it with ease about a 1/4 turn. Is that normal or should it be tight?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:47 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:58 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Dave

What is Marine Tex? Is there a substitute?

_________________
Cheers
Alan


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:19 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:43 am
Posts: 779
Location: St. Louis, MO
Marine Tex is a premixed resin and filler packaged with a hardener. The filler gives it it's color and consitency. It's a great way to do small repairs without having to buy all of the components individually. You could use West Systems or MAS and buy the resin, filler, and hardener then mix it all togeather to obtain the desired consistency.

I have found that unless you are undertaking a huge expoxy project Marine Tex is the be$t (fiscally) way to go.

West Marine has it and so does your Hobie dealer. Most marine supply stores will carry it.

Also, if you don't have mold release I found that cellophane (Saran wrap) works too.

_________________
Nick

Current Boat
In the market
Previous boats owned
'74 Pearson 30
'84 H16
'82 H18 Magnum
St. Louis, MO


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group