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Thread: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

  1. #1
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    Default Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Hi everyone, I am a newcomer to the forum. I recently purchased a Herreshoff Coquina.

    My sailing buddy and I were sailing it today, and I lost control of the mainsail while on a broad reach. The boom for the mainsail came forward of the mast, and it ripped the gooseneck attachment plate from the mast. Pictures are attached.

    The holes are not straight in and out any more, due to the mechanism of damage. The screws were pulled to the left as they were pulled out of the mast. The screws appear to be #8 size, as they are about 5/32" diameter. They are 1-1/4" long. Two are irretrievably bent. They are bronze, as is the attachment plate.

    How do I go about repairing this in a way that will hopefully make it stronger than it was before? The mast at this level is 3" diameter, and it is a hollow sitka spruce mast. What comes to mind is filling the holes with thickened epoxy as completely as possible, then drilling out new holes through the hardened epoxy. But I am open to suggestions. Thanks!

    JD
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    I would drill out the holes and epoxy some bungs in. Then redrill and refasten.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    It does not seem to be central on the mast, looking at the colours of the wood....??

    'Stronger than before' will involve ditching screws all together, and using bolts. How you do that is up to you, but that was a weak spot to begin with. It may pay to spread the load over a wider footprint on the mast, with a wider seated gooseneck, with twice as many screws, if you cannot find a way to mechanically clamp it on.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    You might also shorten the mainsheet so the boom canít swing far enough to cause damage.

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    It does not seem to be central on the mast, looking at the colours of the wood....??

    I see what you are looking at; the color variation is because the mast was constructed with bird's mouth technique, and the gooseneck plate is not centered on that darker strip. But it is centrally located on the aft surface of the mast.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    I'd drill the holes out with a 1/2" Forstner almost all the way thru the side wall leaving just enough material to hold the uncured epoxy in place then fill them with same. Next day I would drill the epoxy plugs out with a 5/16 bit, once again just short of all the way thru, then fill the holes with thickened then clamp the gooseneck in place and press and clamp 1/4 inch flathead bolts into the goop.

    Also, and jpartly because it failed once already, I'd bed the entire gooseneck in 5200. Not only would this improve the fastening it would exclude moisture from the joint, something that was clearly already becoming a liability.

    If you do this and eventually have to remove it just heat it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Also, it appears that with the clevis pin out of the way you can drill and add a fore and aft bolt all the way thru as a fifth faster. I think you'd want to build the mast out flat under the nut and washer, maybe with a vertical piece of 5/8 or 3/4 by 1 1/2 hardwood 8 inches long and tapered thinner at the ends and bedded in epoxy.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Also, it appears that with the clevis pin out of the way you can drill and add a fore and aft bolt all the way thru as a fifth faster. I think you'd want to build the mast out flat under the nut and washer, maybe with a vertical piece of 5/8 or 3/4 by 1 1/2 hardwood 8 inches long and tapered thinner at the ends and bedded in epoxy.
    Just asking, 'cause I don't know, but would you want to through bolt a hollow mast without some kind of compression blocking there?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    JDB, the area of attachment with this goose
    neck fitting is pretty small, you would like it to spread the loads over somewhat more of the mast...however, it has been working OK for some considerable time, the repair is to epoxy and plug the oversized holes, let that cure, then shape back to mast profile, then refasten and re-bed the gooseneck fitting, likely # 8 are just too small, based on the photo's, perhaps enlarge the counter sinks and go w/#10? ( Throughbolts are not gonna make the mast any stronger...IMHOpinion...)Then, obviously, you need to see to your stopper knot in the main sheet, religiously, this is a pretty preventable situation, if we understand and manage the potential forces...Cheers, Steve

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    lam up some baby jaws

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    lam up some baby jaws
    The best advice so far.

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    The best advice so far.
    Agreed.

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Jaws are great. If you want to go that way, maybe start a new thread for focused discussion.

    You're missing a piece on the gooseneck, It would be roughly D shaped in profile with a hole running down the straight line large enough to accept your replacement for that fastpin and a hole in the body to accept a pin connecting the jaws on the boom end of the gooseneck. Your replacement for the fastpin should be a ringbolt so you attach the sail's tack to a shackle there.

    You can make this thing by hand (drill press might be nice) if you can find a scrap of bronze as thick as about 2x the diameter of that fastpin.

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    The boom is already prepped for jaws. The flats that have been machined for the gooseneck fitting will make perfect beds for the jaws and the holes are already drilled.

    You need not even laminate them. Some locust, oak, osage or hackmatack with some squirrely grain will work. Hardwood dowels with wedged tenons on the ends will secure them nicely. Titebond III would be my glue of choice. Clamp the bejeezus out of them and then drive the dowels. Orient the wedges perpendicular to the grain of the jaws and the boom.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    The idea of rigging jaws is intriguing to me. But I would need some sort of downrigging for the jaws, like a Cunningham, correct?
    J.D.

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    A cunningham goes on the sail.
    A simple line that holds the jaws still may be fine.Jaws to deck/thwart/partner.
    It may want some tiny blocks for tensioners. but hopefully you can do that with the halyard so the jaws stay in one spot..relatively.
    You could knock up a plywood set with a few clamps to see if you might like them, then, there is no limit to how fancy ...but the advantage is simplicity, an often underrated ting.
    A coquina is a fine,( by fine I mean delicate)boat..jaws are often clunky, but a nice set is possible. The boom can gybe like a drunken sailor, fold UP in a goosewing gybe, swing too far forward without regret, rig and de rig faster and not lost or missing tiny bits.
    Here is the smallest I have made...for a 3 ish inch mast,unfinished,(along with the gaff),simple...and can be made more elegant.

    This is a catboat with no shrouds, so the ability to purposely let the boom go out too far is cool. Does the Coquina have shrouds? It is my understanding the bronze gooseneck ripped out because of the limited travel it allows, not because the boom clobbered the shroud?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    The Bray/Hylan plans for the Coquina specify boom jaws instead of a gooseneck. That avoids drilling holes in the mast right where it's under the greatest bending stress. I would do a good job of repairing the screw holes and add a set of jaws to the boom, as several have suggested already.
    You will need a downhaul for the boom, but that's an easy job.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Thanks for all the guidance, everyone. Wizbang, yes the Coquina has no shrouds. So the gooseneck pulled out because the mainsail moved forward of the mast unrestrained, causing massive lever forces on the screws holding the gooseneck hardware to the mast.

    Rob, I am in the process of ordering the full Coquina plans from Doug Hylan. I was headed there next to see what their arrangement for this part of the boat was, and you answered my question. I am also going to show Maynard Bray what happened and see what he says.

    Another thought I am having is to install wood cleats on the mainmast above and below where the boom and jaws would normally rest, which could serve as a built-in downhaul (or more of an uphaul-preventer).
    J.D.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Well folks, I am sold. Hylan and Bray do indeed show a boom jaw arrangement on their plans, with a simple downhaul line rigged from the boom and jaws to a padeye on the mast. No need for wood cleats on the mast, no need to worry about weak joints between bronze hardware and the mast. I guess I have my winter project...
    J.D.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Herreshoff himself both L.Francis and his father Nathanial used cast bronze bands around several of their mast designs as well as a fitting on a bronze plate. The reasoning here is that you have weakened the mast at the point of attachment of the Goosneck. Plugs will not add much strength now but using a plate or brands that will circumscribe the existing damage and will spread the load over a greater area and will be a good idea. Otherwise a long scarf insert will provide new wood to carry the load.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    The boom is Sitka spruce. I will not have access to Sitka spruce for the construction of boom jaws. I do have a supply of mahogany, cherry, and (really fancy) pearwood. I imagine I have to consider how well the chosen wood takes up epoxy. Any thoughts?
    J.D.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Quote Originally Posted by jdbondy View Post
    The boom is Sitka spruce. I will not have access to Sitka spruce for the construction of boom jaws. I do have a supply of mahogany, cherry, and (really fancy) pearwood. I imagine I have to consider how well the chosen wood takes up epoxy. Any thoughts?
    Boom jaws are built out of oak or ash. Monogamy or cherry would work or pearwood if from a pear tree. Find a thickish bough with some bend in the grain.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Monogamy or cherry would work ....
    If I had to commit to a single design for the rest of my life, I'd consider the Coquina.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Thanks, the Coquina is indeed beautiful.

    My son and I just succeeded in separating the gooseneck hardware from the boom, after drilling through the peened ends of the bronze rods holding it in place. On my way to a definitive repair!
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    J.D.

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    I have the same fitting on the mizzen boom of our H28. What does stand to reason is to use a bronze plate under it that will elongate the attachment point to he mast with bronze machine screws to attach the fitting to the plate and four flat head screws for the plate to attach to he mast. The plate will cover the old attachment holes. tapered pegs set in glue will not appreciably weaken the old screw holes and the plate will cover the pegs. Just make sure to make the plate long enough to avoid the old area of attachment and fasten into clean wood.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 10-07-2020 at 11:45 AM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I have the same fitting on the mizzen boom of our H28. What does stand to reason is to use a bronze plate under it that will elongate the attachment point to he mast with bronze machine screws to attach the fitting to the plate and four flat head screws for the plate to attach to he mast. The plate will cover the old attachment holes. tapered pegs set in glue will not appreciably weaken the old screw holes and the plate will cover the pegs. Just make sure to make the plate long enough to avoid the old area of attachment and fasten into clean wood.
    Jay

    And try for 6 or 8 screws into the mast. 4 were obviously not enough.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Nick is right! I had to use larger screws on my own boat as I had no plate to attach to.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Coquina boom jaws.JPG

    Boom jaws have been fashioned out of cherry, attached with epoxy, and reinforced with threaded rod temporarily until I get bronze rod to replace the threaded rod. The arrangement has been tested on the water and appears to be a success! Thanks for all of the advice.
    J.D.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    That set will make a decent mold for a lammed pair.
    The grain is straight...they'll beak right on the grain at that second set of holes.
    The inside corners want rounding, jaws twist a bit, these may jam on the inside corner against the mast, which tends to break them.
    Bolting/riveting tends to make them break at the bolt hole.
    Seizeing the two ends tightly together will make em stronger and keep lines out from getting under the jaws and jamming.
    of course, It is my sworn duty to pick chit apart here until my eyes bleed...your jaws may work perfectly.
    bruce

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    I don't see those jaws lasting very long either. The grain orientation pretty much guarantees breakage as soon as there is any significant strain on them.
    I'd use wedged dowels in the holes slathered with epoxy rather than bolts or rods.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    here's another pic, sort of what i'm prattling on about..the lams can go in either dimension. This mess is new here, not broken in yet.

    no bolts,no fastenings..just seizings.very shock resistant

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Wait a sec, help me with something here. Your gaff jaws have no fastenings, but I can see in the picture that your boom jaws do appear to have fastenings (or dowels; I can't tell). And my jaws are for the boom. Can you clarify?
    J.D.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Yes a bit confusing..there ARE screws in the boom lams.
    This is a bit bigger boat that HAS shrouds, so I do not see the boom ever going all the way forward .
    mostly I wanted to show the grain.
    bruce

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    Default Re: Gooseneck repair on wooden mast

    Got it, thanks.

    Well, if/when the jaws break, this community will be the second to know!
    J.D.

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