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Mast Question  Bottom

  • Hi, just purchased a Cat and the mast towards the top about a 5 foot section was drilled on both sides and has 12 holes total where they sprayed expanding foam insulation in holes.Would you be concerned or worried about using it.I have a spare mast also which i lifted the two and obviously one is heavier but would you be concerned about using it.Thanks
  • The problem with expanding foam is that it gets water logged. See if you can get the foam out of it. If it is an aluminum mast, you might be able to get it out with acetone.
  • Any extra weight at the top of a mast is no good. It will cause extra healing motion and once it starts it will tip easier. I would use the good mast and keep the other for a spare but still try and remove the foam. Did they leave the holes open or did the at least put rivets after they installed the foam.
  • Hi, so will acetone eat it away or dissolve it,and there is alot of it in there it goes all the way to the mast tang so you could imagine how much heavier.and to the holes no they sprayed it in there and left the holes open so i imagine just with it sitting around in the off season especially in northern MI it's already water absorbed.Is that what acetone does is eat it or dissolve it.Thank you for your knowledge.
  • HULLFLYERAny extra weight at the top of a mast is no good. It will cause extra healing motion and once it starts it will tip easier. I would use the good mast and keep the other for a spare but still try and remove the foam. Did they leave the holes open or did the at least put rivets after they installed the foam.

    Yeah i can see how that would be a pain cause once a hull is coming up the mast would be already top heavy causing it to continue on going over,like it's being pulled.Thank you.
  • The acetone should dissolve a good portion of the foam and break the bond between the aluminum and the foam. Then you remove both the base and the cap and push the foam out with a 1x2. I know of at least success using this method, but I don't think that it is very easy or very fast (the acetone takes a while to dissolve the foam).

    Do not do this if you have a composite mast. The acetone will try to dissolve the resin.

  • now what no one has said is ... if your mast was sealed.. and there is no moisture in it (or very Little) the foam could provide buoyancy when capsized.. thats probably why they put it in there... many boats come with it in the mast.. (or used to)
  • Andrew is correct that the foam was meant to provide buoyancy, but if the mast is sealed it is more buoyant when it only has air (or lighter gas) in it. If it is not properly sealed, the foam actually holds the moisture and becomes even less buoyant over time.

    The masts that had foam in them when they left the factory have a much more consistent fill with a specialized foam. This foam generally has no void spaces for water to enter and sit. Since the water doesn't sit in the mast, it doesn't seep into the foam and the foam doesn't deteriorate as quickly.

  • As he indicated in his response, who ever injected the foam ,just left the holes open with no attempt at sealing them. He also said it was just lying around in Northern MI which I took to be near or on the ground and with open holes drilled in the mast I am sure moisture from rain and snow probably got into the mast.
  • HULLFLYERAs he indicated in his response, who ever injected the foam ,just left the holes open with no attempt at sealing them. He also said it was just lying around in Northern MI



    Just to nit-pick
    I see neither statment (holes open, lying around) in his question... or responces..
  • brjonairHi, just purchased a Cat and the mast towards the top about a 5 foot section was drilled on both sides and has 12 holes total


    BTW.. i would be VERY concerned about a mast with 12 holes drilled in it. Depending on where the holes are and how big... they could cause a catastrophic failure (break in 1/2) and worse could actually break off and fall (on someone/something) with or without sails in the wrong conditions....
  • andrewscott
    HULLFLYERAs he indicated in his response, who ever injected the foam ,just left the holes open with no attempt at sealing them. He also said it was just lying around in Northern MI



    Just to nit-pick
    I see neither statment (holes open, lying around) in his question... or responces..
    Read the post 09-05-2009 19:58

    andrewscott
    HULLFLYERAs he indicated in his response, who ever injected the foam ,just left the holes open with no attempt at sealing them. He also said it was just lying around in Northern MI



    Just to nit-pick
    I see neither statment (holes open, lying around) in his question... or responces..

  • Andrew,
    Read the post 09-05-2009 at 19:58 hours
  • If the mast is for the hobie in the picture I would consider buying a used mast or using the spare. Hobie masts can be found for very little money. If you have trouble, just start messaging all the people complaining of delaminating hulls.

    As Andrew points out, the holes in the top (unstayed) section may can cause it to fail. If it does break, the main will be destroyed and you may end up not having enough power to get back to shore. It could be a real problem on a big lake (ie Great Lakes) or on the ocean.
  • HULLFLYERAndrew,
    Read the post 09-05-2009 at 19:58 hours


    I sit corrected! :)
  • Hello, I appreciate everyones input,Thats what i was wondering if it would snap or bend in two. the holes are 3/16" no silicone or anything covering them just the foam inside,nor did i mention this is for a Solcat 18 with no spreaders.Theres a neighbor who has a Hobie Holder 20 monohull and last summer he was out and the next thing he saw his sails going in the water as the mast bent in two and everything was in water and all over the place he said ive looked at that mast a couple of times and cant see why it would just fold like that,but anyways thats what i was worried about with mine if all that weight is up there the chance with all of those holes would it just bend at on of those cause i sure in the hell would'nt want to find out.



    edited by: brjonair, May 12, 2009 - 12:10 AM

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