what to fill mast with?


New Member
Thread starter #1
hi all,

i have a c14 and do like the boat. i did tip it this year for the first time and it turtled so fast!

this also happened to a c 16.5 that is also on the lake this summer.

i have head about the floats you can put at the top from hobie(?), but was wondering if it would interfer with the rigging on a late 80's c14 mast.

could you just carefully put something into the opening at the top of the mast like that spray foam stuff people use to fill cracks around the home to stop water from entering?

any thoughts are appreciated.
Absolutely. You can use the self expanding foam at the top. Many of us have done this. I personally have not capsized since doing it so I can't vouch for how effective it is, but others have reported good results.


New Member
Thread starter #3
thanks paul,

i knew this was a good place for a quick answer.

i will let my neighbor w/ the c 16.5 know as well.
If you want the mast to float do not fill it with foam!!! The mast will not float even if it was sealed and filled with air. In my opinion if you will fill your mast with foam is make the mast heavier and make a BIG mess.:eek: I have read stories on this forum of people filling their masts with foam and the foam not drying. The foam will also absorb water that will make the problem worse. Again, in my opinion, the only way to keep the boat from turteling is to put on some sort of float on the end of the mast.
Foam Seal

After my first capsize, my C14.2 turtled fairly quickly with a strong wind blowing against the vertical bottom. Checking afterward, I found the original foam seal had degenerated some allowing leaking. Sealed with a little silicon calking and the next time it capsized it didn't turtle, though the wind may not have been so strong. Also, better on technique the second time. First thing to do is wear life vests, then if capsize first be sure your crew and you are both ok and release the jams on both the mainsheet and the jibsheet, then one swims around to centerboard (hopefully its still sticking out full), pull down on it to raise sail. Partner can be scooped in if agile during this procedure. if not, grab the boat and pull yourselves in over the stern. If you failed to release jams, the sheets get covered with tens or hundreds of pounds of water making raising the craft upright extremely difficult.
Our C-14 came with the end of the mast plugged with foam just below the main halyard sheave. It still turtled at the beginning of the summer in a matter of seconds. In our case, the wind more than doubled unexpectedly to more than 20 miles per hour. It was very difficult to right the boat afterwards.

If you really want to prevent turtling, I think there are only two reliable choices: install a float like the Hobie Baby Bob atop your mast or buy the foam sleeve from Catalina which attaches to the top of your mainsail. The Bob gives you 32 pounds of additional buoyancy and the sleeve gives you about 11. I went with the Baby Bob and have not had any problems whatsoever with rigging, etc., and for the most part I forget it's even there while sailing.

Hope this helps!