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Sail & Rigging - Swan 36 Mast
04 December 2012 - 18:07
Join Date: 29 November 2012
Posts: 4

Swan 36 Mast
Hi, I am the new owner of the Musiu (swan S&S 36 1969 / # 59), I bouth this boat 3 month ago as a vessel project and I have been working on it.. I know it will be a lot of work and this web is helpping me, so thanks a lot for all the information, I can see here are enthusiasts swan 36 owner hwo has many experiences.

Right Now I am in the fhase of the rigging, I all ready down the mast to work on it, and when I extract all the steel laminates and shroud I found some weak point, especially where the spreader are suported.
I think may be this mast coul be repared, the weakest point just where the spreader are suported is like a triangle zone (10 cm x 5 cm) in both sides of the mast, but I know it is the most important point of the mast because there are all the suported power. An other weak point is where the 2 part of the mast are joined, but how I said I think it could be repair by aluminiun profesionals.

The original mast of my boat is (14, 90 mts long) and it is a keel-steped, from the deck to the masthead is( 12, 75 mts long) single in-line spreader and the boom is (3,65 mts). I found a mast in good conditions (11,50 mts long), double in-line spreader and boom (3,25 mts), but it is a deck-stepped mast.. I would have to modify the deck if I decided to use it and sacrify (1,25 mts) and I would have to cut the forestay and all the sails to. As a third option I found another mast (9,40 mts) long deck-setepped with in- line single spreader and boom (3,83 mts) with all the sails, I would have sacrify (3,30 mts) of mast but woud have a larger boom.

What do yo think about these options? 1. Repair the original mast 2. Rig the 11,50 mast. 3. Rig the 9,40 mast. Has someone a personal expercience rigging the swan 36?

There is some fotos of the weak point in the original mast.
Thanks, Randy.

05 December 2012 - 20:30
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Randy
These are good pictures of what happens if corrosion behind stainless mast fittings is ignored for decades.
Weld in new triangular pieces in the affected areas, insulate the fittings, open the joint to see what the sleeve looks like, and stay with the original mast.
Kind regards

10 December 2012 - 14:51
Join Date: 29 November 2012
Posts: 4

Thanks, for your prompt reply.. I will try to stay with the original mast, it is my prefer option but I am not sure if it is safe.  Anyway I will keep my eyes open in case to find a 15 mts mast. I could see that some 36 owners removed the original mast, so does not this affect the value of the boat considering that it is a classic ?.

Gracias y buen viento!!


10 December 2012 - 16:27
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Randy
Other places to inspect closely are the gooseneck area where the boom is attached, and the bottom end of the mast.
It is not always possible to find a good shop for repairing an old mast, and a badly repaired one is less desirable than a new one.
The original mast section is not available any more, but a replacement can be fabricated by rolling aluminium plate.
Kind regards

11 December 2012 - 22:16
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 461

Dear Randy,
before becoming discouraged I advise you to look at the thread "galvanic corrosion boom/mast fittings" (26 March 2010) in the forum "S&S Swan Maintenance". You will see that yours is a rather common problem whose solution is relatively easy.
The only prerequisite is a skilled professional who can cut, shape and weld aluminium. It should not be impossible to find one.
Besides this, I would never consider seriously installing a deck stepped mast in one of our boats.

Daniel, 411/004

20 December 2012 - 02:15
Join Date: 29 November 2012
Posts: 4

Lars and Daniel thanks for helping me.
One aluminun profersional saw the mast and said it can`t be repair because there are many corrosions points, (in my country is dificult to find good profesionals for works like this).. I will go with other profesional to get another opinion. I found a new option, a 16 mts mast that can be modified and is the similar design, but it is heavier than the original. The perimeter of the original is 53 cm, and the 16 mts mast is 65 cm, so it is 18,5% more heavy approximately. If I can`t repair the original mast, do you think it can be a possible solution or it is to heavy for this boat.

21 December 2012 - 20:32
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Randy
It is suggested that you also check the wall thickness of the bigger mast section. It is likely that it is thicker, and that increases the weight further.
Kind regards and Merry Christmas

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