Bucking the system one sunset at a time!

All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Refitting an old boat is the perfect enterprise for practicing the art of anger suppression. It is also a VERY good activity for refining your usage of swear words. I can arrange expletives so deftly that you’d think I was delivering an X-rated commencement address to a graduating class of one-legged pole-dancers. Seriously, I’ve stabbed myself in the hand with a rusty screwdriver with nary a complaint. I’ve spilled the contents of a 30-year old manual toilet pump all over myself and giggled like a schoolgirl. Why, I’ve smacked myself in the face with a hammer so hard my eye turned purple; I still sat through meetings the following day like there was nothing unusual about my face.

All of this in preparation for the following.

I went to the boat over the weekend to test-fit some new gear and to take measurements for our new Tides Marine Sail Track (thanks to our awesome sponsor, Tides Marine). While I did perform a cursory inspection of the mast shortly after I pulled it several weeks ago, I haven’t had the time to really “dig in” to a full inspection. Unfortunately, as I was pulling the tape measure along the mast, something unusual caught my eye. Something not good. Something not good at all.

My mast is cracked. Yup. That giant stick I so carefully plucked out of the boat a few weeks ago? It’s cracked. What does this mean? It means that there is a crack. In the frickin’ mast! For my non-sailing readers… masts aren’t supposed to have cracks in them. Heck, masts aren’t even supposed to have hairline cracks. Sho ’nuff. Right where the lower shrouds attach to the mast. Cracked. What a bummer! I believe that it’s repairable. More correctly, I want to believe that it’s repairable, because buying a new mast is definitely not in the budget!

Here is the thing. I didn’t get mad. I didn’t even swear. In fact, if I reacted at all, it was more along the lines of, “Of course there is a crack in the mast.” I just finished taking my measurements and drove home… even stayed within the speed limit. I then updated my “expense” spreadsheet with a few numbers… followed by a few zeroes. Finally, I tore up my resignation letter because me thinks it needs some serious editing.

Luckily, winter is almost here. I love winter.


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  1. November 17, 2014    

    Hmm… Maybe a used mast? They’re pretty available around here (Mid-Maine).

    • November 17, 2014    

      Keith – Do you know a few sources?

  2. November 17, 2014    

    Oooh no! Hang in there!

    • November 17, 2014    

      Thanks! We plan to… it’s the only thing we can do!

  3. November 17, 2014    

    Can you sleeve the mast?

  4. November 17, 2014    

    Pierre – That is certainly an option. I’m calling around to the local spar repair shops to get some opinions. Thanks!

  5. November 18, 2014    

    How much is a new mast?

  6. November 18, 2014    

    Danny – Rough estimate from one shop was for about $18k.

  7. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    November 20, 2014    

    I weld mine in amuch worse condition, and then sleeve it with 300 euro. Total cost with antifuling 1,000. Good luck!

    Yorgos Doumas

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