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Author Topic: Mast wedges and tuning  (Read 471 times)

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NewToTheRoad

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Mast wedges and tuning
« on: May 29, 2019, 01:31:21 PM »

So some background and a few questions.

Background - mast was stepped\re-stepped by yard and I replaced the standing rigging.  New mast boot was put on (that I purchased from Catalina Direct) before the mast was stepped .  This is NOT the split boot version but the exact fit version, maybe too exact..  The process was owner assist so tuning is left up to me.  I'm a bit confused on the tune\wedge process.

Questions -

1.  Mast boot does not fit (see pic) exactly as mast is a bit off center toward aft.  I am assuming that rig should be tuned prior to wedging, and the wedges help to support and hold that position.  Correct?  Or are the wedges part of the tuning process?
2.  Will tuning possibly move the mast's position within the mast collar?  I would imagine that a 1/4" port forward at the collar would move like 5x that at the masthead so I'm not sure that will be possible.
3.  Also, due to the vang attachment hardware (see pic) I will be unable to slide the boot upward to wedge, unless I cut it, but CD says if I do there is no room for overlap. So, assuming mast can move forward, and boot fits, then my only option is to wedge from below or buy the boot to be installed with mast in.  Does that sound about right?  Do wedges really hold from below or will I forever be fighting gravity?  Seems to me that wedging from above would be ideal because you are wedging the mast against the metal mast collar.  Seems like wedging from below you are wedging the mast against the cabin top which doesn't seem right to me.  Then again Spartite does this so maybe not a big deal.


Honestly, there is very little play in this boot.  The plastic is very rigid and it would only seem to be able to fit if the mast was exactly centered in the collar opening.  I imagine a heat gun might help stretch the boot too.  A rubber mallet helped slightly.

Thanks,
  Bryan
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Lori & Bryan
1988 C34, M25XP, Std Rig, Fin Keel - Hull # 697
Portsmouth, RI

Sdsailor

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 07:52:43 PM »

Hello. I am at the same point as you. My wedges fell out into the salon one day.  The mast is a little off center. I had a rigger informally look at it and tell me to put a few turns on the back stay.  But I know the right thing to do is use a line to measure the side stays and ensure they are equal. I have some standing water that collects in the forward part of the cockpit sole. So the backstay tension is most likely off. But you are correct in tuning the rig first before wedging in the deck. The same rigger told me that a lot people donít even wedge it! The creaking bothers me. This weekend I plan to tighten it up. Iíll post pics here.
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Noah

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 08:29:18 PM »

My recommendation is to center the mast in the hole with wedges going in  from the top on all sides. Tighten rig with Loos gauge. The CD collar should fit.
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
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Noah

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 08:37:09 PM »

Then make a Sunbrella cover to protect the vinyl mast boot.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 08:55:13 PM »

Noah's right.  Wedges first, then tune.  The Catalina manual that came with your boat and which is also available ion the tech 2wiki, has a great tuning guide even if you don't have or choose to use a gauge.

Don't forget the turnbuckle in the saloon.  I keep forgetting what it's called.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Patches

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 06:56:09 AM »

+1 on mast wedges from the top.

I just had my rig professionally tuned in connection with hardware replacement at the top of the mast.  We had issues with "noisy partners" both before and after tuning, and would be interested in your experience with this.  I posted on this last week, but didn't get much of a response even though another C34 worked on by the same rigger later that afternoon had the same issue.

My rig was not pulled, but we took the mast boot off to check out the partners and existing wedges--only the side wedges were still in place. I found the vang attachment on the mast interfered with the old mast boot removal, and will interfere with the replacement mast boot tape I will be installing in its place.  I plan to move the lower vang attachment up the mast to allow the new tape to be installed.  On my boat, the lower vang attachment appears to be secured with allen head bolts, which means I will likely be tapping new bolt holes.  Will have to do until I get a rigid vang!

It seems like moving the the lower vang attachment eye upward, or at least temporarily removing it will assist with getting the mast boot snug.

Patches   
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NewToTheRoad

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2019, 08:21:41 AM »

Lot's of good info.  Thanks.

@Patches - I will try and move the eye upward, so I can slide up the boot to wedge.  The PO slathered with silicone\sealant  of some sort but I will check to see if I can possibly undo it.  The top of the boot is already covering the bottom of the eye (see pic) so I'm not sure I can get to it without slightly cutting the boot.  I sure wish I knew about the close fit before it was installed so I could have cleaned up the old silicone and moved the eye then.  oh well...  Hopefully this will be the first and last time doing this.

BTW, mine previously had 3, very old wedges - at least that's what was left on the salon table after the yard unstepped.  It never made any noise in the almost 3 years I have owned her.  With my luck it will when I'm through with the project..

Bryan
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Lori & Bryan
1988 C34, M25XP, Std Rig, Fin Keel - Hull # 697
Portsmouth, RI

Stu Jackson

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2019, 08:29:56 AM »

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
It never made any noise in the almost 3 years I have owned her.  With my luck it will when I'm through with the project..



Bryan,

Think of it "as music to your ears."  It'll mean the wedges are placed properly, making adequate contact, and the interior turnbuckle is all that needs to be adjusted.  For silence.

After my mast was stepped it took a few sails to adjust it just right.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Ron Hill

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2019, 03:13:03 PM »

Guys : When the mast wedges "pop out" - make some new ones slightly bigger. Use hard wood - I used pressure treated lumber. I also went for 6 rather than the factory 4.

A thought
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Patches

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2019, 06:40:20 PM »

Bryan:

Moved my vang fitting up today.  I basically made the old top hole into the new bottom hole, and tapped in a new top hole.  My fitting has a 1/4" X 20 allen head bolt.  Drilled the new top hole with the # 7 bit for such purposes (which I believe is a 7/32 bit), then tapped it.  Works perfectly, and gets the vang fitting out of the way of the boot.

FYI:  Slide that vang fitting and the boot up the mast while you put in new wedges and take out the old silicone mess.  That was most of my day, trying to remove the globs of silicone that were mindlessly squeezed into the partners.   Lots of work with plastic putty knives and plastic razor blades.  I am now going to use a product reviewed by Practical Sailor--"Re-Muv"-- which supposedly did the best job of totally removing old silicone.  Because my new mast boot is an adhesive wrap-type, I need all the old silicone off for proper adherence.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Patches
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mdidomenico

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2019, 05:36:48 AM »

just to clarify, i think the product referred to as "Re-Muv", is actually

http://re-mov.com/products-Adhesive-and-Silicone-Remover.html

I don't have access to practical sailor anymore, so i'm just guessing.  Would have been nice to know this last year when i had to chip/scrap/pick gobs of silicone out of my chain plate holes, oh well...
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NewToTheRoad

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Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2019, 06:36:56 AM »

@Patches - Sounds like a good idea.  Going away this weekend so I will shoot for next weekend and let everyone know how it goes..
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Lori & Bryan
1988 C34, M25XP, Std Rig, Fin Keel - Hull # 697
Portsmouth, RI
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