how to fill the mast with foam

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by ivanhoe, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe New Member

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    I purchased my 14.2 earlier this summer and have been enjoying sailing it. I would like to learn more specific details on how to go about getting the mast filled with foam so that it will float if or should I say when, I capsize.
    Ivanhoe
     
  2. catomega

    catomega New Member

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    foam for the mast

    I used a small can of insulating foam from from Home Depot. I removed the fitting on the top of the mast for the halyards on my Omega. I filled the mast using the tube that came with the can. I also considered adapting a Hobie mast float.
     
  3. CalSaling

    CalSaling New Member

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    Mast Float

    Did you get a hobie mast float? Which one, if you did? And if you installed it, have you tested to see if it helps prevent turtling?
     
  4. catomega

    catomega New Member

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    hobie mast floats

    I looked at the Hobie Bob mast floats at the Sailboat store in Austin. The bracket will have to modified to fit the mast on my Omega. I think the smallest "Bob" made will be sufficient. Cost is about $100.00. BTW They all look like they could be a pain in the XXX.

    I have never had my boat capsize so we will have to see what happens.
     
  5. drm901

    drm901 New Member

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    So, does the foam in the mast significantly delay a turtle or not?

    I have sailed for about 20 years now, but just had my first turtle. Started sailing on Dolphin Sr., went to a Venture 21, then Pearson Ariel 26, and now a Capri 14.2 (Mod 1). Last weekend I took out the Capri for the first time. Winds gusted, I hiked out and the boat went over anyway. Turtled in about 15 seconds!

    I know prevention (keep the main sheet in your hand), and I also now know my weight is not enought to counterbalance a gust (in my Dolphin it was).

    I was planning on foaming the mast this weekend, but will it make a significant difference???? Has anyone tested it afterward to see if it has a significant impact?

    I guess for $5 it won't hurt, and it might help, but I'm just wondering if I need to be looking for more float.
     
  6. JGM

    JGM Member

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    Looks like I beat you by three weeks - when I had my first turtle. I wrote it up and you can find it here.

    My mast is plugged at the top with foam. I still went over as fast as you did. Since there is no quick way for the mast to fill up with water, I've surmised that mast buoyancy isn't really a factor. If the winds are stong enough - you will turtle anyway.

    I bought a Baby Bob from the local Hobie dealer. It's affixed to the mast but haven't had a chance to break it in yet. I'm expecting fair winds on Sunday.

    Jim
     
  7. CalSaling

    CalSaling New Member

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    Float

    Can't wait for your results on the Baby Bob!
     
  8. Moves Like Silk

    Moves Like Silk New Member

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    Foam in the mast

    On my 2nd sail I nearly turtled my 1980 boat!!! (This could turn into one of THOSE stories for posterity, but I won't post the whole thing here.) The water wasn't deep enough to go completely bottom up, but the mast did drag in some lovely muck! Suffice it to say that I'm very interested in finding out if the foam in the mast works.

    I put foam in my mast today and I'm praying that I don't have to find out again if it works or not. But I do want to know if there's any added security in doing it.

    I'm new to the boat, new to the class and am truly enjoying reading the posts.

    Silk
    ~~~~~_)~~~~~
     
  9. drm901

    drm901 New Member

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    mast buoyancy testing - any takers?

    Just a suggestion, but I think some of this issue could be solved with a simple experiment.

    1. take a mast that hasn't had the foam added inside and throw it in the lake. Does it float? (according to my 1988 mod 1 manual the mast had a foam plug installed in the factory.) if so, about how much buoyancy does it have? To determine that just put some additional weight (aka person) on it.

    2. do the same step now with a mast that has the foam. I just added the foam last weekend, so I can do #2, but not #1.

    My mast had about 2' of foam inside, but there was water inside the mast anyway. I took a cleat off and was able to easily shoot foam into the bottom through the screw hole. Only wish I had taken the other stuff off so I could have probably filled the whole mast with foam.

    Any takers for step #1???
     
  10. Roger Lohrey

    Roger Lohrey New Member

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    Just do the math. An object will float if its weight is less than the weight of water it displaces. Assume that the mast is a 20' long tube 2" in diameter. The volume of this tube is .436 cubic feet. Water weighs about 62 lbs/cubic foot so this tube would give 27 pounds of boyancy force if it was sealed. If the weight of the mast filled with foam, rigging, and wet sails is less than 27 pounds it will float. My gut feel is that the mast and rigging will not float even filled with foam. The best bet is some sort of extra boyancy on the top of the mast ie Baby Bob. Just how much extra boyancy that is needed is unknown.

    Roger
     
  11. Roger Lohrey

    Roger Lohrey New Member

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    As Richard has mentioned I just looked at a portion of the whole system. There are many forces involved in causing and keeping the boat from turtling. If there is foam in the mast it will keep the mast from filling with water and helping the boat to go all the way over but it looks like it will not keep the boat form going over. With 32 pounds of boyancy force Baby Bob will keep the Capri from going all the way over. My feeling is that it is way overkill for the Capri. I think 15-20 pounds of boyancy force should keep the boat from going over.
    As for the comment for becoming a better sailor and not getting into a position of having the boat turtle, I am a 3 year novice and I still do things that scare me. All that it would take is one dumb move or a line getting cought and the boat is going over. If I had the day from H@%% sailing, have the boat turtle and not be able to get the boat back uprite I would have a tough sell to get my wife and son back out sailing. In my opinion some type of mast float is just good insurance.
     
  12. rjsailnsd

    rjsailnsd Member

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    Congrats drm901, I'm done responding to sailors on this board. Its been a good time until now trying to help other C14.2 sailors and just be part of a good community. So now you can answer the questions on how to sail the boat higher and faster.
    Why try to help if some six sigma guy is just going to get angry ? Good luck and good bye.
     
  13. catomega

    catomega New Member

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    Mast foam vs a float

    A quick scan of the Trailer Sailor forums has several threads about mast floats. The consensus is that mast floats are more effective. Here are few more comments from that forum;

    "Don't be embarrassed by capsizing! It's a normal part of dinghy sailing and we all do it occasionally. Even the "rock stars". The flotation in the mast and at the head definitely do help!

    I wouldn't suggest exposing yourself to nuclear radiation so that you can grow another arm. I can suggest some things that will make single-handing easier though.

    First of all, know your limitations. If you're not comfortable out there in a particular set of conditions, not only will it be unsafe, but you'll also have no fun.

    Secondly, keep both the main sheet and the jibsheet handy at all times. I keep one draped over each lap so that I always know where they are when I need to grab them. I tend to keep the jib cleated, the main in my forward hand and the tiller extension in the other hand. If a big gust comes and you need to reduce pressure and heel, you can do so either by heading up or easing the main. The jib can be readjusted when you're back in control. To tack, just uncleat the jib, turn the boat and re-trim the jib on the other side. It doesn't have to be a perfect racing tack, but at least the big stick will be pointing skyward!

    The trick to ensuring that the boat doesn't sail away from you when you get it right-side-up, is to release all the sheets from their cleats on all the sails so that they will luff when the boat is righted. (There is generally no need to release the halyards, though! To do so, only creates more havoc. Do this only as a last resort!) The boat can't sail away then. It may drift with the waves and wind, though. You also want to turn the boat so that the bow is directly into the wind before righting it. You may have to swim it around to this position.

    Finally, the easiest and best way to climb into the boat once it's right-side-up, is to climb over the transom. Others have suggested simple rope loops that can be fixed on one of the transom eyes to help you step in. "

    A thousand years ago I learned to sail in an International 14/1 that was a lot faster and lot less stable than my Omega. Some days, I spent more time in the water than I did sailing. I also seem to remember the water being warmer and the boat was easier to get right side up.
     
  14. Moves Like Silk

    Moves Like Silk New Member

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    Throw the mast in the lake

    I believe I was a taker to step 1!!!! Not on purpose though! I capsized my boat on my 2nd voyage. Nearly turtled her. Does that count for "take a mast and throw it in the lake?"

    Since then I've put some of the foam stuff into the top of the mast, but I have NO idea how much got into it. Should have put some into another part but wasn't thinking.

    Maybe I should take the mast off and throw it into the lake!

    Marti
     
  15. fan

    fan Member

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    Don't throw it in too deep unless you don't want it back! lol When I learned to sail back in the day, the instructors had the sailors capsize to practice righting their boats. A few turtled but with practice even those became fewer. All small none keel sailboats will turtle if given the chance but the key is to recove from a capsize quickly. It's all part of the deal and it really isn't a big problem but out here in So CA. The skies are blue and the water is warm.Even with that please wear a pfd when sailing! Safe sailing is good fun.
     
  16. fan

    fan Member

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    Don't throw it in too deep unless you don't want it back! lol When I learned to sail back in the day, the instructors had the sailors capsize to practice righting their boats. A few turtled but with practice even those became fewer. All small none keel sailboats will turtle if given the chance but the key is to recove from a capsize quickly. It's all part of the deal and it really isn't a big problem but out here in So CA the skies are blue and the water is warm but please wear a pfd when sailing!
     
  17. cabann

    cabann New Member

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    Another Option- Top of Main Float

    Having just turtled my first time over which is after having my boat several years, I inquired to Catalina. The sell a "Foam Head" part # 15629 for $180.00 plus shipping. There are other options like a small Bob or possible makeshift float (ie. clorox bottle, etc.). Just wanted you to know about this option as opposed to foaming the mast.
     
  18. GustHo

    GustHo New Member

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    Messy mast...

    After reading this thread, I foamed my mast at the forestay (drilled a small hole under plate). All went well, except for a small amount of that sticky stuff bubbled out onto the mast, fiberglass boat seat and my fingers (gloves made the job too difficult). I used acetone (nail polish remover) to get the mess off my hands and most of the seat, but let the foam set on the mast. My questions... can anyone suggest (1) the best way to scrape the firm foam off the mast and (2) remove the stain on the seat?
     
  19. kentth

    kentth Member

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    I found a little paint thinner cleaned the excess foam right up. I took one of the screws out that held on the shroud and sprayed the foam in at the point as well as at the top.

    I did this job over two weeks ago, after getting it cleaned up and waxed, I took it out to our local sailing club in the day sail area, which means I don't have to step the mast ever time I want to sail it. Took it out Sunday, went back out Monday night and found that some of the foam had ran all the way down the mast and out the step.

    I got it cleaned up, but thought it was funny that over two weeks it had still not set up.

    Kent
     
  20. fan

    fan Member

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    Sounds pretty strange that the foam did not expand and set. So I guess the big question is does the boat still want to turtle? I've yet to see a positive response on this question or negative one for that matter. Also, any idea how much weight you added to your mast?

    Bob
     

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