messed up mast

While lowering mast, it twisted and fell down. The only damage was a twisted hinge pin and enlarged lower sail track where the hinge pin slips into the sail track.
I bent the hinge pin back in place and put five stainless steel hose clamps on the bottom of the mast over the enlarged sail track so the hinge pin could not slip out.
I think we can step the mast in the conventional manner if we have a person located at the mast foot, pushing the foot of the mast forward so that it will not slip out of the hinge pin.

jim marlow

I had a similar problem with the boat I recently bought. The previous owner had lost control of the mast when lowering and had bent the mast hinge and sail slot. I straightened the hinge pin with judicial use of a hammer and vise back to it's original shape. I also carefully formed the sailtrack back into shape with some C-clamps and wood blocks. Aluminum is a unique metal that will allow you to bend and straighten it ONCE! if you bend it a second time it cracks due to work hardening.

My trick to never let this happen again is to make up a nylon webbing bridle that I hoist with my spinnaker halyard and tie off to eash chainplate with a shackle. That way, when I raise or lower the mast it remains on the centerline of the boat. Easy as pie! Good Luck!

Bob Klein
Charlestown, RI

I would be interested in learning more about the bridle mentioned above. There is always a chance (especially in a wind) that the mast will swing about a bit until it is 3/4 of the way up and it's pretty hard to hold it in place at the same time you're raising it.

The bridle works GREAT! You just have to picture it as a stretchie set of temporary shrouds that are hoisted to the top of the spinnaker halyard turning block when the mast is in the horizontal (down) position. The webbing is stretchie enough to keep the mast aligned as it goes up. I'll try and post some pics soon.

Bob Klein

This must be a common problem. The bottom of my mast is damaged in the same way but has a crack up one side. I went for the Mast Sleeve and changed the hinge pin from the 2 piece design to the 1 piece design. Not a difficult repair and should add lots of strength.

While helping another sailor fix a dropped centerboard on their Interlake, my "first mate" unclipped the forestay on my FS thinking it was the jib halyard. Needless to say, they will walk the plank next time on the water.

I too have a bent hinge pin and perhaps a slightly enlarged slot at the bottom of the mast where the pin goes. I think I can fix this based on the posts here.

Part of the sail track about 1/2 up the mast was also bent in, probably preventing the main from being raised. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to open up the sail track without causing too much damage to the aluminum mast?



I believe my mast may have the same problem with the sail track which is probably why I broke off winch handles. I am guessing that trailering caused some damage with the way the mast was sitting on the supports. Gonna try some padding on the rear support.

I was going to try a CNC slot cleaner (used to lear out the T shaped slots on Milling machines) or a putty knife (scraper) with a bend in the end to persuade the track to straighten out. Just take it easy and work slowly.