Skerry Mast Cracked - need suggestion on replacement

I was sailing my Skerry on the Potomac near Alexandria DC the past two weekends.  The first weekend out the winds were around 10 knots w/ gusts to 15 and above.  Toward the end of the sail, I noticed that the mast, a stock CLC kit mast, had a series of cracks right above the hole in the forward seat above the mast step.  The mast had a very visible bend when I was sailing but it often does under load.

 Anyway, when I got home I expanded the cracks with a chisel, put epoxy in the crack where could reach it, clamped it and shot some wood screws where I  thought they would be needed.  

 I took the boat out again yesterday in sustained 13 or so knot breezes with gust probably close to 20.  Unfortunately, the mast cracked again and, while the screws held it so it didn't break in two, I think I will have to replace it.

 It seems like it would be pretty easy to go to the lumber store and get two long pieces of wood and laminate them together to replace the mast since I have all the dimensions from the original.  Anyone have any suggestions on what kind of wood to use?  I want something sturdy but supple enough to bend like the old one in a stiff breeze but without cracking.

Thanks for any and all suggestions. 

4 replies:

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RE: Skerry Mast Cracked - need suggestion on replacement

Have you considered repairing the existing mast with fiberglass and carbon fiber? A couple of feet of 17 oz 2.5 inch diameter unidirectional CF tubing backed up with a layer of 17 oz biax glass tubing should fix it if I'm picturing your description correctly.

Cost should be in the vicinity of $21 plus epoxy and take an hour or so (plus cure times).



RE: Skerry Mast Cracked - need suggestion on replacement

Nighduckman 2: I would seek out Sitka spruce as a first choose for a spar. If this is unavalible my second choice would be KD Clear VG Doug Fir. Last choice would be to see what type of dry Doug Fir is avalible at your lumber store (not big box) and pick thru their unit to find the best grain with little or no knots. I would further rip your choice in half and epoxy it back together with the end grain opposing. Hope this helps.

Hagen H

RE: Skerry Mast Cracked - need suggestion on replacement

Both good suggestions.  Thanks.  Hadn't thought of trying to repair the existing mast with carbon fiber.  And hand't thought of Sitka Spruce, only Doug Fir.

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