Straighten Catalina 14 Omega mast?

Thread starter #1
Hell all. I'm new to these boats so I apologize for my lack of knowledge. I've sailed for 30+ years in Sunfish, Laser and on sailboards but this is my forst experience with a small day sailor and stayed mast. I recently bought this boat (actually, traded a used cyclocross bike and a little cash) know that it would need some work. The primary issue is a bend in the mast. I've straightened simple round spars before but not sure how that will work for a slotted spar section like this mast. The pictures show the issue and where the bend is. I don't see any crimping, so my assumption is the the mast could possibly be straightened. Two questions: (1) Is is feasible to try to straightened the mast (either me or possibly at an automobile body shop? (2) If not, could anyone recommend a good source for a replacement spar? I'm in semi-rural Central Texas so the closest big cities would be Austin, San Antonio and Dallas/Fort Worth. Thanks in advance for your feedback :)
Spar 1.JPG Spar 2.JPG Spar 3.JPG Spar 4.JPG Spar 5.JPG Spar 6.JPG
 
#2
Best & cheapest bet would be to bend it back as close as you can get it to its original shape, perhaps with the help of a friend or two... ideally, you would find a solid rack, fixed pipe, trailer bed, etc., insert the spar to the point where it's bent, clamp or otherwise secure the spar, and GENTLY apply pressure in the correct direction. A little heat on the bend might help just prior to applying pressure, but under NO circumstances do you use a cutting torch or welding torch, it will anneal the aluminum and weaken it to the point of being dangerous (i.e. ready to snap under sail). Maybe a simple heater under the bend for awhile, as long as it's not super hot... if you can get the spar CLOSE to its original shape, you should be able to sail the boat recreationally, if that's your goal. :cool:

Here's another option which is more complicated: you can eliminate the bent section entirely by cutting it out, then use INSERT & OUTER SLEEVE or CLAMPS to strengthen the mast to the point where it can be safely used, but of course you will lose rig height this way and you'll have to shorten the forestay and shrouds, I would certainly try to GENTLY bend the spar back into shape first with the help of a friend or two. I say "gently" because you may do more damage by treating the spar harshly and yanking the end one way or another, LOL. Unless you're on good terms with auto shop personnel, I would NOT recommend taking the spar to such a place, a good outfit of riggers or machinists would be better able to help you. Know any riggers in your neighborhood? I'd bet good money that they've straightened similar pieces of metal... :D

If you're not in a big ol' hurry, I would ask around in your circle of family & friends, maybe they know someone who can help you straighten that spar, aye? I still advise that you try to straighten it yourself first with the help of a friend or two, it might be easier than expected if leverage is applied in the right direction. Sonofab!tch might snap too, LOL, but that's why you GENTLY apply pressure... and I suggest that your assistants be spaced evenly along the spar when attempting to bend it back, all applying equal pressure so as not to bend the spar again at another point. Hopefully you will sort out my hastily typed recommendations, just know that I've straightened spars before in such a manner, the general rule of thumb being that the larger or thicker the spar (meaning wall thickness in hollow spars), the more difficult it is to bend it back into shape without the aid of machinery... :confused:

AND THAT BRINGS UP MY FINAL SUGGESTION: IF YOU KNOW A GOOD EXPERIENCED FORKLIFT OPERATOR, HE MIGHT BE ABLE TO GENTLY BEND THAT SPAR BACK INTO SHAPE, PROVIDED THE SPAR IS SECURED OR CLAMPED IN SUCH A WAY THAT FORCE IS APPLIED ONLY IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION ... ;)

"CAPISCE???" Or in ghetto hood rat slang, "KA-PEESH???" :eek:

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR ATTEMPTS, MAYBE THE FORKLIFT IS YOUR BEST BET, LOL... I'VE BENT METAL BACK INTO SHAPE WITH LIFTS BEFORE, JUST GOTTA BE CAREFUL AND SET EVERYTHING UP CORRECTLY BEFORE TRYING, AYE??? :rolleyes:

THAT'S MY SPIEL, TIME FOR A COLD BEER... CHEERS!!! :)
 
#3
I have hull 1553 which also has yellow topsides. The mast looks good,other than the bend, shows much less corrosion than on mine. Go for trying to straighten it. If it works it is a whole lot cheaper than a new mast.
 
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