View Full Version : Mast and boom repair

04-16-2007, 11:17 AM
Hello all , i have just bought Flare a project Kestrel22 . The mast and boom are comming apart a bit like the rest of the boat and i was looking for some tips on the repairs .
For the boom
I was thinking of taking it apart and cleaning up the glue areas and then treating the inside of the mast with linseed oil before glueing it back together with cascamite/extramite .
The mast
I'm not sure where to start on it to be honest .
And finally , does anyone have an idea of what this is for ?
Thanks for any help ,
Jason .

S.V. Airlie
04-16-2007, 11:24 AM
I really hate to say this and I am only going to go by the picts.. the tires by the way are a bit worn.. but I would forget repairing the mast... A new one...
Now I am just speaking my mind. Airlie has an inch of rot on the boom.. one of them. That is repairable... a splice..
But.. umm.. you have more work here than if ya went out and had a new mast made.
Just my 2 cents.

by the way.. I'm not an expert but I do come up for air..LOL...

04-16-2007, 11:31 AM
I would really like to keep the origional mast and boom as i am trying to restore Flare not just do her up . If there is no way it can be done then yes i will go for new but i would rather take it apart and reglue it if possible . There does'nt seem to be any rot , the glue has failed as far as i can see .

S.V. Airlie
04-16-2007, 11:40 AM
okay.. let's start from the beginning.. I'm gonna make a suggestion:
Go through the entire boat.
List and categorize what has to be done first second and third.
The mast, yes, needs some work but if there is nothing to attach it to that floats, a mast ain't gonna do any good. I would put my first efforts on the hull, the planks, the structural things. okay rant one..now

I understand completely trying to keep a boat in its original condition. I'm afraid it is a dream and if followed, very expensive in the long run. Many of us here have old boats and we would like to keep them as original as possible.
However, new technonolgy has to be considered.. The expense of not taking advantage of new products etc. has to be considered.
So make a list.

04-16-2007, 11:51 AM
The boat is 130 miles away and i am waiting for it to be transported . I brought the boom home so i could at least make a start on something .
If you are saying old timber is not structually sound enough for a mast and boom then i can understand that , i don't know what kind of stress loads a mast and boom takes . If the old ones are ok to use then i have the new technology in my workshop to make the repairs very easy .

S.V. Airlie
04-16-2007, 11:54 AM
No.. I am not saying that. I am saying set priorities. If the hull is in good shape great... but...
To me.. the mast is secondary at best. Based on the pictures.
Have you had a surveyor at least look at her?

04-16-2007, 12:17 PM
:D Yeah right , i don't need to pay some suit to tell me shes a wreck .
The whole point of me buying Flare was because i enjoy woodwork and she is a challange . I make my living from woodwork www.jfcarpentry.co.uk (http://www.jfcarpentry.co.uk) so repairing the whole boat is what i want to do . I have Cuchilo if i want to bob up and down on the water .

S.V. Airlie
04-16-2007, 12:44 PM
okay.. ya failed lesson 1.... Get a Surveyor...
Can't help ya as you don't listen and you obviously are better than a surveyor and most of us here who have been through this.... I wish ya good luck...
I think you might need more than that..
From one who has been there twice....

04-16-2007, 12:58 PM
Cuchilo -

SVArlie has just recently been through the mill on this issue, which is why he's trying to help you avoid the expense and heartbreak of trying to fix the unfixable...he's not hassling you.

I'm certainly no expert on mast and boom repair, but I'd be tempted to try epoxy as a glue, and spanish windlass-type rope clamps to hold it closed while the glue cures. No glue is gonna like an oily surface, so if you soak the interior with linseed oil try to keep it off the gluing surfaces.

Uncle Duke
04-16-2007, 01:06 PM
Let me talk out of both sides of my mouth here for just a moment, if you don't mind.
First (left side of mouth) - Airlie is quite correct to suggest a surveyor. Note that he wasn't suggesting that you burn the boat, just that you should get some experienced overview for what's most important, what's next important, etc. Everybody has limited resources and you certainly want to expend your talents and energy on the most important things first. Note that he has quite significant experience in restoring (and then using) wooden boats - he knows whereof he speaks.
Second (right side of mouth) - if you want to fix up the spars first, because they're right in front of you, then just go ahead and do that. Worst case? That someday you'll get the boat back on the water, they will fail, and you'll have to make new ones (this assumes that you're not being driven down onto rocks when that happens, of course). If you like to keep your hands busy, then just go ahead - it's not a huge problem.
Third (middle side of mouth) - recognize the risk - that if you make the spars a project which prevents you from doing the more important structural stuff, then you risk 'cheaping out' on that more important stuff to the detriment of your long-term enjoyment of the project and the boat.
So my recommendation would be that if you can play with the spars and be done before the boat reaches you then you might as well. Start with one and see how long it takes, etc. In the meantime prepare a place for the boat to live while you do everything else and for dog's sake get a real expert out to look it over with care and help you prepare a plan of attack. If you like doing woodwork, etc., then you will certainly understand the value of a plan.

04-16-2007, 01:08 PM
I just don't trust serveyors , they always miss stuff i can see as clear as day and skirt around real issues .

S.V. Airlie
04-16-2007, 01:11 PM
Naw.. I said a SURVEYOR to give you an idea as to what you have.. what you don't have, what you need to do, what is important to do.. etc.
I made no mention of a boat designer, an architect etc.
A surveyor may save you some money.. 300.00 pounds may save you 10,000...

pss. I used a surveyor.. not a good one but he at least gave me an idea as to what I might be facing financially. I did not go to an architec... I did not go to a boat designer.. I was given the information.. I used it... Airlie is coming along..and no input from anyone but the yard crew and the surveyor.. and even he was off a bit.. then again, I was warned and took that into account.

Damn.. I was only trying to help here.. I should not have to justify my attempts for doing so. Do what you want....

Ian McColgin
04-16-2007, 01:13 PM
Following up, one either does or does not proceed rationally. And some great things have been accomplished people so lost in dewey eyed dreaming that they did not recognize how nuts the project was, only how wonderful when done.

So, on to the spars.

Carefully splitting out along the glue lines and regluing is right. Once it's opened up, probe for rot with nose and small mallet. If you find any, cutt it out and scarf in new. I don't think much of linseed oil for the inside of the mast. I'd go with CPES maybe.

Use a good brand of epoxy and have fun.


Uncle Duke
04-16-2007, 01:14 PM
So i get a serveyor who charges 300 to tell me what i can already see...
My last comment here - mostly because it's not my boat or my project:
You get a surveyor to tell you what you can't/don't already see. That is what they are for. They charge money because (1) they can do that (point out what you don't see) and (2) because they are good enough at it that they may have some liability if they miss something.
But it's your money and your boat.

Eric D
04-16-2007, 01:22 PM
Cuchilo -

I'm certainly no expert on mast and boom repair, but I'd be tempted to try epoxy as a glue, and spanish windlass-type rope clamps to hold it closed while the glue cures. No glue is gonna like an oily surface, so if you soak the interior with linseed oil try to keep it off the gluing surfaces.

No expert either, yet in my wood butchering experience, when a glue joint separates like that one did, it is often hard to get the wood fibers to "correct" themselves into the desired shape. Epoxy and the rope clamps Thorne speaks of would offer the best remedy to **TRY** Note the word try, since I don't think this will be up to your satisfaction once done.

Just a question for you, since according to your link you do woodworking for a living, would you consider making NEW ones if this repair does not work? What is plan B while waiting for the boat to arrive?

Also, if you stay a while, read as much as your eyes allow, you will find most people who have been here a while will give you really sound advice. As always, you can take it or leave it. It was free, but MOST people MOST of the time have been there, done that, and are now trying to save you the heartache, headaches and the financial loss of going down this road or that....in all cases, politeness and NOT being arguementative with their responses is generally seen as more gratitious....In addition, once others notice that reponse, often MORE info comes out of the "woodwork"....but if you are brash/rude to some of the "locals" then most will not waste the time to type.

Just my thoughts,

any pics of the boat itself? What type of wood is the mast?

S.V. Airlie
04-16-2007, 01:23 PM
my surveyor told me the planks were fine.. Umm.. then the paint came off and four or five were butted in line.I replaced those... but in a way, I was warned.. see photos...And no, he did not see the Butts... No, a surveyor can't tell ya everything but...he did mention some stuff that needed to be done on the transom.. found one found and then the other.
So what you..as in YOU see, ain't gonna nec. mean shyte.

Tom Robb
04-16-2007, 01:33 PM
There are decent serveyors out there. Ask around. Find out who the blow-hard jerks are; who is thorough, honest, and reliable. Other wood boat owners ought to be a good resource. It'll be the best cash you spend. Unless, of course, you're an expert. In which case why are you here asking questions? Boats are not houses. Boats are not furniture.

I just looked at your web-site. You do nice work. Boats are still a different animal. Houses aren't required to float. Furniture doesn't have to deal with gales. You'll do just fine with workmanship, I expect. Take the above advice. You'll be happier.

Michael s/v Sannyasin
04-16-2007, 01:34 PM
I think the old saying about people who want to be their own attorney fits those that want to be their own surveyor (unless you really, really, really know your boats).

"Anyone who acts as their own attorney has an idiot for a client."

If you're worried about the quality of the survey, then do your homework and find the most highly recommended surveyor of wooden boats within reasonable distance from the boat.

I think that old saying "you don't have time to do it right the first time, but you will have time to do it all over again" doesn't really apply to boats... if you don't do it right the first time, you'll most likely be SOL.

But, as others have said, it's your headache!

04-16-2007, 01:44 PM
Ian , i know i have bought a basket case and my eyes are wide open to that fact .Maybe a suveyor over there tells you what you need to do to fix a problem . My experience over here is they tell you what is wrong and then leave .
Airlie , i do listen and thankyou for your input . Flare at the moment is in a real state , I'm not a dreamer but also a total rebuild doesnt bother me .
I have a bit of help as a few friends are boat builders and i also know a fair bit about timber myself . I have said before though , i am not a boat builder and dont know what stresses and sheers are put on a hull , mast and boom .
Please dont take me the wrong way , i'm quite a nice chap so my mum tells me :D

04-16-2007, 01:47 PM
Personally I would go for a new mast and boom - it will be quicker in the long run to make; believe me, I have restored my original mast and it would have been quicker to make a new one.

As for the boom, same again, except personally I would get rid of the roller reefing at the same time. If your partial to roller reefing then I would make a new boom with a taper outwards at the end of the boom as it will make your sail-setting a hundred times better.

Once done coat both spars in Coelan and you will never need to worry about them again...

As for a surveyor - invite somebody round that has actually restored a wooden boat for a few beers and you will learn MILES more than a surveyor will be able to tell you.

Lastly - is the mast on a tabernacle? Could that extra bit of wood be some contraption to help raise and lower the mast?

S.V. Airlie
04-16-2007, 01:49 PM
A surveyor.. on both sides of the pond, is not there to tell ya how to fix something..That is not his role...His role is just to tell ya that something needs to be fixed. How you go about that is up to you.
Forwarned is forarmed.

Well, I'm going back to my own problems and issues now... Said my piece...
Airlie's launch is in less than 2 months...

04-16-2007, 01:50 PM
So when you comming round for a beer then ? :D

04-16-2007, 01:57 PM
Airlie , that's my point . Flare is a mess and i can see everything needs to be done . Maybe when i have sorted the hull and structure to my standards i will get a survey so i know where to go with her . But to get one now will be a waste of money in my opinion .

Tom Robb
04-16-2007, 01:58 PM
Of course the serveyor tells you what's wrong and then leaves!
What did you expect them to do?
Knowing what to do next is the builder's job.

S.V. Airlie
04-16-2007, 02:02 PM
When I bought Airlie.. a surveyor looked at her and gave me a list of what needeed to be done.. Okay, he was wrong in some cases.. I can accept that.. but funny thing while I was walking to the market.. I had a list of priorities...deck.. interior.. etc..
I did not go in with my eyes closed and thinking I knew more than a surveyor.
Yes, I have things to do.. but I had a starting point.. that is the difference.
I'm outta here.... again, I have things to do.. some of you have seen the posts...:eek:

S.V. Airlie
04-16-2007, 02:06 PM
ppss.. sorry to be so hard on ya.. call it tough love...:rolleyes:

04-16-2007, 02:16 PM
Tom , doing houses i am the builder , well carpenter , nine times out of ten i have to redo what has been said . Ok i know it's not boats but i tar them all with the same brush i'm afraid .
Tough love is good :D Someone needs to tell me off for buying Flare .

04-16-2007, 02:26 PM
I have not restored a boat yet! Like Arlie - I have two months to go too! Then I will be qualified!

Surveyor - I have to admit that I did get one done on Roach before I put an offer in, and it helped with the price - but Roach was clearly a wreck and it was either me saving her or firewood. As you bought Flare already you dont have that advantage.

I was also relatively new to wooden boats and had no idea what I was getting into. It would seem you know a bit more than I did then. The survey did help confirm priorities such as drop the keel, replace bolts, add a few sistering frames (he even marked them up for me), service of the engine and he even made a conservative stab at the cost of a restoration (no way near accurate).

He did not pull any fastenings - and some caveat in the survey said as much. Apart from that there was a whole load of rubbish about the electrics, the safety gear, the rigging, and the lack of things like chains and anchors, lifejackets etc. All this later part of the survey was a waste of time as I was replacing the most items wholesale - but I suspect in this world of litigation he was covering himself.

You will need to get a survey done eventually for insurance purposes, but be careful what he puts in. Mine included a note in the survey saying "Suitable for River/Esturary use only" which has made more than a couple of insurance companies reluctant to give "coastal" cover. Consequently I am getting a new survey done, which I need to do anyway, to assess her new value now she is restored.

For you I would say prod the hull, remove a few fastenings under the waterline in random spots, remove any ferous fittings and prod again, get somebody that KNOWS about centre-board cases to have a careful look at that (I know they are a weak point) and slowly make a task sheet of the larger jobs working down towards the smaller ones. You will find that the smaller jobs will naturally fit-in towards the end of the restoration.

Another tip on the rigging - Dont assume you have the original rig. Many people make changes throughout the years. I stupidly got the rigger to replace the wires length for length - and guess what - they are all miles too short. I copied somebodies previous error!

Lastly, If you can get the building plans (and sail plan) it will help in working out how she is built. For example - I know from my current rotten deadwood dilemma roughly where all the drifts and can chisel accordingly.

Tom Robb
04-16-2007, 03:07 PM
Buying the boat isn't the problem.
Asking for advice, then arguing or ignoring it is.
If you don't want to, or don't need to listen, then don't ask.
There must be lots of boat mechanics/tradesmen in your area who can guide you.
Ask them.
They may not be happy to argue with you either.

04-16-2007, 04:05 PM
Tom i am not arguing , i asked about the mast and boom and a survey was sugested on the whole boat , i know the boat is a wreck . I do not need to pay someone to tell me that . I can see what needs to be done as i am a craftsman myself , when the project is further along the line then i will pay a suit to look over her if only to satisfy the other suits .

04-16-2007, 04:15 PM
Good luck with Cuchilo. Is she still in Woodbridge? We have a very knowledgeable forum member Andrew (he owns Mirelle) it could be worth looking him up. Actually any advice you get around Woodbridge is probably better than any advice you'd get here.

My advice, take this thread to building and repair, you'll get better advice. Start poking around and fixing little things, then sit back for a week and think of the overall plan.

A surveyor is clearly not cost effective for you.

Good luck, come back often and send some of that nice weather over here.


04-16-2007, 04:21 PM
Cuchilo, I'm going to stay out of this surveyer thing, and try to answer your original question. From the pictures, I'd say the mast is history, but the boom just might be savable. From the look of the mast, I dead guarantee you will find more rot than good stuff under that track piece and around the scarfs.

As for the boom, it's marginal at best. If you want to try saving it, here's what I'd recommend:

1) remove all the hardware and split it wide open along the glue lines.
2) search for rot as described above and if there is not too much ( a judgment call) cut out and replace as needed, using epoxy as glue.
3) If it's hollow, either soak the inside with CPES or coat it with thick Shellac.
4) Glue it back together with epoxy and lots of clamps and cauls
5) If it ends up straight and true after glue up, re-finish the outside as needed.

I have to say though, that I agree that it's likely easier and smarter to start from fresh.

- Norm

John B
04-16-2007, 04:44 PM
What Norm said. Although I'd add that you could quite probably salvage good timber from the mast to make some fillets to repair the boom if needed. IE, split it , plane the surfaces flat , fillet them with new timber back to the original boom diameter.
I certainly wouldn't use an oil prior to glueing.

George Ray
04-16-2007, 07:09 PM
Splitting along the glue lines and regluing is a great idea. Hurry up and do it and post pictures of what you find.
Oiling wood is a wonderful thing but not sure why it seemed you were implying the oiling of surfaces before gluing them. Perhaps that was a typo?
Best of luck, also your website and your work shown there is very nicely done.

04-17-2007, 02:37 AM
George , i was thinking of oiling inside of the hollow boom not the glue surface . Reason , why not while it can be got at , it's more oil getting into the wood .

04-17-2007, 02:59 AM
You do some Very nice work! The advice already given regarding how to salvage the spars in hand will be a fun thing to try....and may come out alright for a seasons worth of use or may not, but do stay away from oiling anything you intend glueing up.

Another approach,since you will be embarking on a virtual rebuild of your "new" boat , if she is indeed in quite the state, would be to use the mast and boom as models for new ones you will build. At least your restored sailboat will have a brand new "engine" when re-launched :-)
Another advantage, it will be good practice for you as you may find yourself having to replace and replicate many oddly shaped bits during the re-building of the boat. Mind you, based on your portfolio, practice really isn't the correct word.Let's call it "getting into the zone" or better yet," 50 ways to avoid the moaning chair" :-D

The "old" mast and boom could be broken apart, the lumber cleaned up in a planer and perhaps re-cycled elsewhere on the boat or even made into a nifty bit of furniture for your home. Talk about a conversation starter !Ha!

Oh, and one last bit, your shop is way,way too clean :-)

Keep a good thought!


Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-17-2007, 06:44 AM
Hello, Jason,

If it were me, I would not use oil on the inside of the boom.

The internal spaces won't ever come to harm so long as the glue is intact and the varnish or other coating on the outside is OK, but if a smear of oil got onto the surface to be glued you would have a problem.

I'd be happy to drop by the boat and offer you the very limited benefit of another opinion - I live nearby.

04-17-2007, 07:24 AM
Hello Andrew ,
Your opinion would be most welcome . If you are going to look at Flare then your opinion on the keel would be very helpful aswell . I was going to post about it but seeing as the place went haywire when i asked about the mast i thought better of it :D

S.V. Airlie
04-17-2007, 07:49 AM
okay.. I apologize already.
I did give my opinion on the mast.. I think it would be cheaper to just replace it. That break is too long and even if glued, I would not feel comfortable with a repair job. Too extensive.
Secondly, I was giving my opinion on prioitizing the work... as in get advice ( thinking surveyor ) and determining what needs to be done and in what order.
I would rather approach a project with a set plan of attack so to speak.

04-17-2007, 08:08 AM
No need to apologize , your opinion has been taken on board regarding a survey . When i get the boat closer to home i can the start looking at the more important jobs . The first will be the keel and hull .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-17-2007, 09:13 AM
Hello Andrew ,
Your opinion would be most welcome . If you are going to look at Flare then your opinion on the keel would be very helpful aswell . I was going to post about it but seeing as the place went haywire when i asked about the mast i thought better of it :D

Jason, I'll try and have a look after my elder boy's Parent's Evening tonight - hope there'll be enough light.

One thing about Kestrels is that quite a few have not survived long enough to reach restoration, so to speak, so there are bits of Kestrel gear to be found in odd (sometimes very odd!) places.

(As you probably know, the Cherry Tree is rather a good pub, and quite handy...)

04-17-2007, 10:31 AM
Thankyou Andrew . I have only been to Woodbridge twice and both times i was driving so i'm afraid i did'nt get to see the pub .:mad:

04-17-2007, 10:39 AM
there are bits of Kestrel gear to be found in odd (sometimes very odd!) places.

(As you probably know, the Cherry Tree is rather a good pub, and quite handy...)

I can confirm that the Cherry Tree is indeed one of the best pubs in Woodbridge - Am I missing something though? Has an old Kestral been re-incarnated into a pub bench or something like that?

Edit - silly me, I only just got the hint! Looks like you will buying a round Jason!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-17-2007, 11:02 AM
Kestrels are Woodbridge boats!

The Kestrels were designed by JF Jones (whose brother was George Jones the broker) and many, pehaps indeed most of them were built in the Kestrel Shed at Robertsons.

A very good design - sails well, looks nice, centreboard, etc.

There's a red GRP Kestrel on the river that has just notched up forty years with the same owner - her mooring is very handy for showing the entrance to Loder's Cut.

Loder's Cut owes it name to Mr Loder who was a Woodbridge printer in the 19th century.

He was sued for libel and found liable for 100 in damages.

The townsfolk thought so well of him that they got up a subscription and raised the 100.

Mr Loder however, insisted on paying his opponent out of his own money.

He spent the 100 raised for him by the town in the service of the town by having the Cut dug, cutting off Granary, Kyson and Troublesome reaches. I think he deserves to be remembered, as I use his Cut all the time!

Anyway, the point is that Jason has discovered that the Kestrel he has bought was No.1 of the entire class, which makes her a bit special.

04-17-2007, 12:28 PM
Interesting history there Andrew , it's a shame i can't keep Flare in Woodbridge . I actually bought Flare because she is No1 of her class . I was looking for a project boat and saw Nicky2 another Kestrel22 . I looked Kestrel up on the net and found the kestrel 22 site and read about Flares restoration . I thought she had been finished because the owner had sold her . When i went to look at Nicky2 i wandered to the end of the yard to have a look at Flare in all her glory and she looked like noone had touched her . When i called the yard on the monday morning i mentioned Flare and was told she was for sale again . A few of the forumites at SBC (small boat club) are helping out with a trailer and getting her back to my workshop so as soon as the trailer is free she will be on her way to me .
I went back to Woodbridge to make sure all the bits that had been scattered around went back on the boat so i had them as templates and noticed the rudder had gone missing . Luckly they guy that bought Nicky2 was there and let me take a template from his . I thought i could get on with sorting out the boom and making a new rudder while i'm waiting for the trailer . I know they are the last things to worry about but at least i have them here .

04-17-2007, 12:39 PM
Jason, well done for getting number one - that is special! Roach is number 2 - but I think she is the only one left now so she is a good as number one IMHO.

Sorry about the rudder. I worry about that as my Dynostart was pinched off my Stuart the day after I bought Roach! There is a unlocked gate at either end and its easy to hop over. I notice, in recent years, that Andy has installed flood lighting along his patch - so evidently this happens quite frequently. Given how pretty Woodbridge is, and it's somewhat stuffy town values, it has it's dark side! I hope I will be OK at Everson's where Roach will be based in a couple of month's time.

04-17-2007, 05:09 PM
It seems a sign of the times , Flares floor boards where used to make a walk way to a hole in a fence . While i was there a couple went out of their way to squeeze into the gap with the wife saying "are we allowed in here "

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-18-2007, 03:14 AM
Sorry, did not make it last night, as parents' evening continued until dark.

Will try tonight and report. Andy Seedhouse knows me, so should be OK.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
04-18-2007, 03:30 AM
I've used lots of cascamite, what is "Extramite"?

04-18-2007, 04:20 AM
Hi guys he didn't need to waist money on a survey for that project ...imho ofcourse !
Ive seen it!
actually it couldn't have been an expensive boat...survey fee price perhaps...
i presume he knows what rot looks like and thoroughly checked to see how much?
i got a folkboat project and also wouldn't waist money [on a survey]on what doesn't cost much..BUT i checked my hull real careful [inside and out]every inch..and fantastic there ain't no rot..:)
the mast and boom are in great shape too...
yeah you will need to add some more keel bolts!...like I'm gunna [could get parra over that one!]
all gud fun btw!...and good luck!

04-18-2007, 04:34 AM
Thanks Andrew .
Extramite is the new name for Cascamite in the UK , i have no idea why they changed it .

Jay Greer
04-18-2007, 11:04 AM
Thanks Andrew .
Extramite is the new name for Cascamite in the UK , i have no idea why they changed it .

It's the same reason they now call a jig saw a scroll saw and a saber saw a jig saw.