Friday, November 17, 2023

Mast friendly reminder

Hello follow sailors... Just a friendly reminder. If you are going to leave your mast up
(vertical) this winter be sure no water can get into the mast. If water does get into the mast it will of course travel down to the bottom/base of the mast and accumulate. If the water can leak slowly out it can still accumulate as the water slowly freezes. When the water freezes it will expand and crack the mast like the soda can even if there is space above to expand upward.

If you must leave your mast outside in the freezing weather and are not sure if water is getting into the mast then lower the mast and store it perfectly level. If stored perfectly level then the water will spread out over the full length of the mast and when it the water freezes the expansion will push upward because their is room to do so over a large area (of course if the mast is not totally full of water).

If you want to leave your mast up then one needs to make sure the water can not get in. You do this best by removing the mast head and base, applying marine sealant as you put the masthead and base back in place. Sealing other fittings like rivets, bolts, etc. is important.

There are mast that have the ability to drain at the bottom, which is usually on boats that can not capsize or have very light weight masts that drain easily. On small capsizable boats if it capsizes and the mast is not sealed it can fill up with water resulting in a vey heavy mast that will eliminate that ability to right the boat.

I hope this reminder is helpful. 

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