|Breaking welded extension on mast top |
plate for halyard mounting
For about a day I just ignored this problem, and didn't even mention it to Jolanda! There was just too much other stuff going on. But eventually we decided we had to address the problem. If this thing broke while we were flying the spinnaker, it would allow the sail to drop in the water, likely going under the boat and getting destroyed, and possibly causing significant problems (like bringing the boat down)! There is no way we could get a welder up to the top of the mast to fix that part -- the only way to fix that part by welding would have been take the boat to a yard, drop the mast, and do the work on the ground.... and this was way more hassle than we had time/money to deal with now. Instead, I decided to cut off that broken section, and have a new aluminum top plate fabricated to take it's place. The new plate would be just screwed into the exiting mast top plate.
I quickly took some measurements, made a SketchUp design (BTW, I love SketchUp ... I couldn't do this kind of project nearly so well without it), and called up some local machine shops to see who could make a new top plate quickly. Craig at Metal Magic in Oakland was able to get the part fabricated and powder coated in just a couple days.
|SketchUp model of new mast top plate|
|The original mast top plate, with the|
broken extension plate
|The new mast top plate, with two shiny new U-bolts|
mounted, and the original spinnaker halyard block back
A couple more picture of the view from the top of the mast.