We recently acquired a 1961 35' Chapelle-designed gaff rigged ketch. She is structurally sound, but has some deferred maintenance issues which we are happily working on. This weekend I was at the top of the mizzen mast to sand and prepare for painting, etc., and I noticed some soft areas just above and below where the top mast was attached. Closer inspection revealed a couple of rotten areas - the largest 3 " wide by x 5 " long and approximately 1/3 of the depth of that area, about 2 - 3 ft. from the very top of the mast. You can also see the area has been "repaired" before with epoxy.
A new top mast is to go back up, and I'm concerned about the strength of this section of the mizzen. The rest of the mast seems solid. Is there anything short of replacing the entire spar that would still be structrually sound and trustworthy under stress of sail?