Capri 14.2 mast foot repair

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by Bill Flynn, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. Bill Flynn

    Bill Flynn New Member

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    I just bought a 1986 capri 14.2 and am excited! I noticed that the screws that hold the stainless steel mast foot are loose and the wood is a little decayed. What is the best way to repair this area? I want to be ready for the spring/ summer sailing season.! This is my first sailboat in 30 years ( had a hobie cat back in the early 80s) Thanks!
     
  2. Capri627

    Capri627 New Member

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    Hi Bill. I just joined the forum and I purchased a 1985 Capri 14.2 a couple of months ago. As a new owner myself I am certainly no expert... But, I would suggest new (maybe even larger) screws to attach the mast foot. You mentioned the wood is decayed. Do you have wood on your mast step? It appears that my mast foot bracket is only attached to the fiberglass. I have thought about reinforcing it with a piece of wood under the mast step inside the cabin area. I know that any loose fittings or loose rigging can cause some pretty significant damage with crazing to the gel coat and fiberglass. My stainless steel plate appears to be bent slightly and it creates a gap between the mast and the foot. I hope to get it straightened so that the mast has a tighter fit.
     
  3. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    Check out this post - cracks at mast bracket | SailingForums.com
     
  4. Bill Flynn

    Bill Flynn New Member

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    Thanks,Cap
    Capri627, Thanks for the info. I got my mast repaired with new screws and reinforced with a piece of treated deck board under the deck area.
     
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  5. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    The Capri 14.2 Mast Step has been a subject of much discussion in the past and the question often asked is; How secure should it be attached?

    The factory method as we all know, is simply four screws, just long enough to penetrate through the FG deck and into the wood support below without breaking through the FG layer underneath and this works great. Problem is; over the years of exposure to moisture which as we well know, will mysteriously work it's way under the SS bracket and into the wood. This moisture of course, gets trapped in the wood between the upper and lower layers of FG, resulting in wood rot and, eventually the screws loose their grip in the rotting wood, come loose and simply fall out in most cases since it becomes impossible to re-tighten them. For this reason, some have opted to go with "through bolting", with nuts and washers and even a metal plate, below deck.

    SO we ask the question again: How secure should it be attached?

    Why ask such a question? .... Well as we all know, "s....t happens"!, like for instance .... The Mast collapses due to a failed Standing Rigging - Fore-stay or Shroud (many reasons for this type of failure and not uncommon)....

    SO, in this case;
    - Is it better for the mast-step to pull out easily with the falling mast, with minimal or no damage to the Deck?
    .... or alternatively
    - Taking out a chunk of the Deck with it, as it falls over causing extensive and expensive damage, because it was so nicely and firmly secured to the Deck with "through bolting".
     
  6. boat

    boat Member

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    I am not an expert on this or anything for that matter but I do have a couple of thoughts on this subject.

    It is obvious how the attachment point was intended to work – some great engineers came up with this simple and effective method of not only assist in stepping the mast but also holding the base of the mast in place. However, their design does not take into account the fact that a shroud can break and create havoc with the deck. This leads me to believe that while the design is a good start it seems to fall a bit short of a “perfected engineering design”. For that reason I feel further improvement of the basic design is in order.

    For me, I would prefer the mast to fall cleanly when a shroud brakes rather than ripping out the deck. I worry about mast mounts with through bolts terminated with washers and nuts especially with a metal/aluminum plate on the bottom side. I would think that if a shroud were to brake massive damage would result especially if a 3/8 to ½” stainless steel mast bolt is installed. It doesn’t matter how solid the mast is mounted to the boat; if a shroud brakes fiberglass is going to take the brunt of the incident.

    If I were to have a boat with a reinforced mast mount I would immediately replace the stainless bolt with one made of nylon. By doing this I would have more than enough strength in the bolt yet it would be the week length in the chain and would probably brake as the mast goes down.

    I am sure there are those who would question if the nylon is strong enough to do the job. To that I would turn to what the bolt is used for. First, it is used to hold the base of the mast in place while stepping the mast. Second, it holds the mast in place while sailing. If you have questions as to how much it takes to hold the base of the mast in place, just try to move the base while under sail. Yes there is some fore and aft pressure on the bolt but the bulk of the pressure is compression – the mast being driven into the mast bracket/deck.

    Finally, the question of “how secure should it (the mast bracket) be? My answer would be just strong enough to allow the mast to be stepped without the screws pulling out and that is it. During normal operation the mast bracket and the mounting screws experience a tension load as the mast is stepped – raising the mast attempts to rip the screws out by pulling them straight up. When under sail the mounting screws experience a small sheer load – as the mast tries to turn (as on a broad reach) or attempts to move fore or aft/port or starboard. The base tries to sheer the screws off just like cutting them with a bolt cutter. It takes quite a force to sheer screws of any size; do the numbers…

    Perhaps the engineers in their mind numbing wisdom actually made the base too secure! It could be that the base should be attacked just tightly enough to the deck to prevent the screws from ripping out with the tension load created while stepping the mast or the breaking of a shroud. If the screws could withstand this tension load then there is little doubt they would survive the shear load with ease. With this approach little damage would be experienced if shrouds were to break - the screws would simply pull out of the deck leaving only the stripped holes to repair. The whole repair would consist of putting a few drops of epoxy into the stripped holes and remounting the mast bracket with new screws.

    I have not conducted tests (yet) but I am of the belief that ¼” nylon through bolts with nylon nuts may be a good and safe resolution to the ripped out deck issue. Installing new shrouds is also cheap insurance…

    As I have posted in the past, I have a design that I should be able to share with everyone in the near future. You will have to find the material (SS) and fabricate the device but the plans will be free of charge.

    Good luck!
     
  7. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    boat, it's good to see we're on the same page. I like your solution with the nylon hardware and as I mentioned, this problem has been addressed before and a few other good workable solutions were contributed but it would take some searching in the archives to locate them, unfortunately, a lot of these discussions start off with one subject and end up on a completely unrelated one.
     
  8. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    boat, I believe I missed this paragraph on the first read .... In fact on my 1993 Capri 14.2 the screws are in shallow and will pull out in the event of a Shroud failure ... this is the original factory installation, I am not sure about the 1980's production models though, they may very well have been through bolted.
     
  9. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    Potential "sideways" solution:

    Drill out the mounting points with a Forstner bit. Stop drilling before the second FG layer. Accessing through those holes, dig out as much rotted wood as possible. You may want to open up more area to be able to get all of the FG encapsulated (rotted) wood out...

    Pour in Seacast ( Seacast™ - www.transomrepair.net - The Home of Seacast™ ) or similar pour-able structural filler to replace the wood, placing dowel plugs at the screw locations.
    (Strong enough for mounting outboard motors....)

    The dowel plugs will come right up to the OEM fiberglass surface.

    For added strength and to prevent rotting of the wood you can soak the dowel plugs with CyanoAcrylate glue.

    The dowels will take the original screws and allow the screws to rip out if the mast rigging fails and the mast "needs" to fall. All that will rip out is the dowel material which is easily replaced. (drill out and epoxy in replacements when needed)

    And never have problems with that part rotting out again.
     
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  10. boat

    boat Member

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    George,
    Not sure what the original design was supposed to do but I see quite a number of posts on this site where people have damaged decks as a result of the mast base ripping things up. It would be interesting to know if those boats that were damaged were boats that had been "upgraded" to prevent the screws from ripping out when the mast goes. If this is the case then I guess folks have been shooting their-selves in the foot in an attempt to prevent the screws from coming out. At this point I tend to lean toward nylon bolts and nuts to hold the mast base down. The trick will be to know just how much it takes to brake the nylon and not damage the deck while providing enough strength to allow the mast to be stepped safely. I plan to do some tests just as soon as I can work it into my schedule. Being retired leaves little spare time for these important projects:(
     
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  11. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    BOAT,
    I suspect you are correct about the "upgraded" situation being the reason for catastrophic damage.

    With regards to your "Nylon Bolt" upgrade, maybe adding a couple of snug fitting dowels set into the deck and just long enough to protrude through the step bracket, should be enough to take the shear forces away from the nylon bolts.
    And of course, as you rightly mentioned: "Installing new shrouds is also cheap insurance" ;)
    On the other hand I would have to wholeheartedly agree; "Being retired leaves little time for these important projects" :D
     
  12. boat

    boat Member

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    OK, Ill take a step out into controversy land and suggest that if I were to redesign the mast base I would take some direction from Hoby and allow the mast to pivot freely in the base. Having a ball and cup arrangement would more than handle the sheer load and would allow the position of the mast to be determined by the wind.. An arrangement of this nature would allow the mast to act as a consistent leading edge for the mainsail. With the mast being teardrop in shape it would contribute (some) to the lift of the main and encourage laminar flow i.e. more power and speed. Installing a nylon liner in the cup portion of the base would allow the mast to rotate quite easily.

    So, here is the arrangement: an aluminum die-cast base with a cup in the center and two hinged ears; one on port and one on starboard. These ears would fold up to be used for raising and lowering the mast and then simply fall down on the deck when not in use. The existing base of the mast would be be removed and replaced with a second die-cast part having a ball that fits into the cup mounted on the deck. If a shroud brakes the mast is free to fall, totally inhibited, into the water . One major concern would be to make sure the ball has enough penetration into the cup to insure that during a knockdown it can not separate from the cup because of the shroud tension. This should be easy to overcome.

    This should generate a few comments...
     
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  13. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    BOAT,
    I am having some difficulty visualizing how Shrouds and Stays would work on a rotating Mast?
     
  14. boat

    boat Member

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    Just a few degrees not a lot...

    There is enough slack in the rigging to allow the mast to rotate just a bit if the retaining bolt is not in place. I suspect that in a good breeze the shrouds would be tight rather than having the leeward side flopping around. The rotated mast would likely not make enough difference to mater; just working my old brain (and I use the term loosely) always looking for the slightest edge for racing. If you do a detailed analysis of the relationship of the mast to the main's leading edge it becomes obvious that the orientation of the mast is a detriment to good clean airflow over the first third or so of the main. Every little of parasitic drag slows the boat. The more of a beam reach you are on the bigger the drag
     
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  15. boat

    boat Member

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    Woodbark,

    [FONT=Georgia, serif]My explanation above is not really clear. I have included an oversimplified drawing that shows the basic concept. The proportions on the drawing are not precise but they do illustrate how eddies form as the wind leaves the mast and attempts to attach to the mainsail. Where the eddies exist there is very minimal lift generated therefore, the ideal air foil would allow the wind to pass over the mast and join the mainsail with no turbulence and maintain laminar flow all of the way to the leach. In the drawing below it is easy to see that the rotated mast allows the air to join the main sail much closer to the mast than the mast that is not slightly rotated. Less turbulence means more efficiency.

    As stated, the amount of rotation that could be obtained on the C14 is very limited by the shrouds but even so, just a little rotation of the mast would "slightly" improve the performance of the main. Enough to make a difference? - probably not, but it is interesting to think of ways to obtain just that small fraction of speed that will put you ahead of the pack... :D



    MAST ROTATION EFFECTS.jpg
     
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  16. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    boat, as we all know, anyone familiar with aircraft, lives by that theory and most skippers know the benefits of improving Laminar flow but, for the casual and non-handy skipper implementation of such an improvement, is not likely to make the top of the list. Fortunately there's still a few busy-bodies like ourselves that will accept the challenge :D
     
  17. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Probably not class legal...
    And if you are not racing, it makes no difference whether you go 4.0 or 4.05 mph...
     
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  18. boat

    boat Member

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    yep, great sport - something for everyone... FYI, I have and fly a Stearman and love aerobatics. Drag, laminar flow, parasitic all that stuff means little in that old plane; fact is, it is pretty much all drag. Guess that is why I work so hard to eliminate drag and such inthe C14 - just because it is possible and I can:rolleyes:
     
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  19. boat

    boat Member

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    It never occurred that it may be possible to sail without racing someone or something even if they don't know they are in a race!!! :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:p

    So, what do people do with very small sailboats if they don't race them?:)
     
  20. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    Go out and enjoy sailing just to do it.

    I've never raced.... I had the captain of a sailing team ask me to join the team though.
    I couldn't because of the training program I was in at the time. (US Naval Nuclear Power School)

    Small sailboats can be just plain fun.

    I'm picking up a Holder Vagabond 14 tonight. Almost mint condition.
     
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