mast maintenance

Take All the Work Out of Work.

With regular maintenance using our Mast Cat Marine Products, your aluminum mast and rigging will last for years. If corrosion and fatigue establish a foothold, it’s only a matter of time before something as small as a corroded clevis pin or a cracked turnbuckle could easily cause your rig to come crashing down.

If you’re going to check your rig yourself, Cruising World recommends you consider these signs of trouble:

Be on the lookout for cracks and corrosion. Even with the rig out of the boat, many potential problems can stay hidden, so take the time to remove and examine both the fittings and the metal underneath.

If the rig is painted, watch for bubbles in the paint, a sure sign of corrosion. If it’s anodized, watch for a white, powdery residue.

Pull sailboat mast and begin at the top—this is where the Cat 1 makes the biggest difference!

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STEP 1

Start by closely examining the mast cap for corrosion, cracks, and wear.

STEP 2

Remove the backstay and forestay fittings and inspect where they attach to the cap. If the holes show excessive wear—such as a groove in the bottom of the hole—or have elongated, the cap needs to be repaired.

STEP 3

Make sure clevis pins are straight and wide enough to fit through the holes. If the pin is too thin or too long, it may bend or crack. Replace all undersized pins and all cotter pins—never replace a clevis pin with a bolt.

STEP 4

Check toggles for cracks and corrosion and for proper alignment.

STEP 5

Remove all shackles and blocks.

STEP 6

Inspect them for cracks, corrosion, and chafe.

STEP 7

Make sure that the antennas, lights, and wind instruments are functioning and that all wires are sufficiently protected against chafe—stray current can (when combined with water and salt) speed up rig corrosion dramatically.

STEP 8

Make sure halyard sleeves run free and check the axle pin for cracks and wear.

STEP 9

Shroud tangs and T-ball sockets, which deserve special attention.

STEP 10

Inspect the tangs and T-ball sockets for corrosion and cracking where they connect to the sailboat mast.

STEP 11

Keep an eye out for corroded or distorted fasteners.

STEP 12

Make sure that all stainless-steel fittings are sufficiently isolated from an aluminum mast.

STEP 13

Check to see if tangs and T-ball sockets are well reinforced and accept the shroud at the proper angle—a misaligned tang or weak T-ball socket can cause a shroud to fail.

STEP 14

Be on the lookout for corrosion, chafed areas, cracks, and dents in the mast extrusion. If your mast is two extrusions spliced together, make sure that the splice is tight, straight, and free of loose or corroded fasteners.

STEP 15

Check to see that the spreader forms a 90-degree angle with the shroud, both above and below.

STEP 16

Repair or replace a cracked, bent, or overly worn spreader.

STEP 17

Check for cracks, wear, and corrosion in the spreader bases and excessive play in the spreader. Remove the bases to verify the condition of the interior of the mast wall and of the compression tube running through the mast.

STEP 18

Inspect the spreader tips by removing the chafe guards—they can trap water and corrode the stainless steel.

STEP 19

Check a keel-stepped mast for corrosion—it can indicate improper drainage or loose current from a frayed wire. Check for cracks and wear under the mast boot.

STEP 20

Inspect deck-stepped masts for cracks, corrosion, and proper drainage and to make sure that the deck isn’t deformed.

STEP 21

Look for cracked swages—check that each swaged fitting is straight and free of cracks and corrosion.

STEP 22

Be on high alert for corrosion near the top of the fitting. It could be an indication that the interior of the fitting has started to corrode and may be untrustworthy. Mechanical or swageless compression fittings are generally more durable than swaged ones, but these still should be checked periodically.

STEP 23

Check the turnbuckles—make sure each is straight and free of corrosion and cracks. All turnbuckles should be clean, lubricated and secured with brand-new split rings or cotter pins.

STEP 24

Inspect the wire for corrosion and broken strands. Just one broken strand can make the wire untrustworthy.

STEP 25

Fix a cracked turnbuckle or bent fitting right away.
Examine rod rigging for potentially fatal cracks on each rod head and fitting closely.

STEP 26

Make sure chainplate seals are intact and free of seeping water.

LAST STEPNEXT STEP

Doing all of these will be a lot easier with the Cat 1 and its bosun’s chair with oversized pockets.

 top of the mast

Easy

and

Fast

Hate hassling with halyards and lines?

Cat 1 keeps halyards neatly captive in its 3-inch
slip-proof cable drums!

Worried about your personal safety?

Cat 1 has a 300-pound lift ability with a revolutionary braking system that won’t allow it to fall!

Tired of the physical pain and exertion?

Cat 1 lifts your bosun chair with a powerful motor for effortless ascension—plus the chair has adjustable lumbar support and ample pockets for your repair equipment!

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