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S&S Swan Maintenance - Mast corrosion on 47/069
03 May 2015 - 10:34
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Mast corrosion on 47/069
Dear Friends,

I want to share with you a very serious corrosion problem (now fixed) I found on Vanessa's mast.

When the boat arrived in Italy after her Alps crossing we (me and my very good friend and hardware specialist in La Spezia Elio Borio) started to look carefully at the mast before getting it back onboard, as we all know the old Nautor mast may have serious corrosion problems under the stainless fittings.

Unfortunately we found out under the vang stainless plate a very very deep corrosion.

After a sleepless night we consulted with Velscaf owner, Franco Manzoli, in my opinion the best Italian mast maker (and a S&S Swan owner too), who unfortunately did not have time to run to the boat and do the repair himself , but gave us all his friendly help and instruction on how to do the job, so, here you are, this is what we did under his supervision:

The corrosion has been carefully cut away, we built an aluminum counter plate, same shape of the mast, 80 cm long, 6 mm thick) and inserted it inside the mast, then welded and screwed, every 100 mm., it to the mast, and on top of it we welded a "patch", now the mast is ready to get back the (enlarged) stainless steel vang plate.

Attached some pics.

Check your Masts...!

Fair winds

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

From top left: 1 - corrosion, 2 - corrosion cut away, 3/4 - two views of the inside aluminum back plate

From top left: 1 - back plate inserted, 2 - back plate welded, 3-

As it is now, welded and screwed, looks perfect and perfectly tough!!

03 May 2015 - 14:37
Join Date: 01 July 2010
Posts: 48

...welcome to the club, Matteo!

Look what we found on 47013 in 2001, after we bought her (pic 1)! Pic 2 shows the boomvang fitting after a very similar repair like yours. We made a 2m inner tube from an old Nautor mast section and welded it in place. It reaches above the gooseneck, which was also affected, albeit not as bad...

The repair was and still is good after many miles.

Kind regards, Michael / SY VERA 47/013

15 December 2018 - 11:00
Join Date: 01 April 2007
Posts: 106

dear all,

after several posts on the forum about galvanic corossion, I removed my boom fitting on the mast. see picture.

next thing is to remove the spreader fitting.

will keep you informed......



yulunga 38/110 

15 December 2018 - 16:28
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Dear Jan,

it’s bad of course, but could be fixed. In case you need more and detailed pics about the reparation I did on Vanessa’s mast, please let me know.

Fai winds

Matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

16 December 2018 - 22:33
Join Date: 01 April 2007
Posts: 106

Dear Matteo,

Thank you for your encouraging words !

I would very much appreciate your information/photo's of your mast repair !

kind regards,



17 December 2018 - 08:32
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Dear Jan,

no problem, I am traveling today but back home later tonight and I will send you more and detailed photos.

Anyway when I found out the corrosion on Vanessa’s mast (March 2015), as you can imagine, I was very disappointed, and scared to death, so I consulted Franco Manzoli, who is not just a good friend of mine but even (in my opinion) the best mast maker in Italy, and by the way he owns a share on a Sparkman&Stephens Swan 41! So, he knows his job and S&S Swan!!!

He perfectly advised me, and I exactly followed  his suggestions (pls see above description of the job). As you can see the mast (which I did now want to change, I am absolutely convinced nobody’s build today masts as perfect as the Nautor built ones -with the unmatchable help of Rod Stephens-‘ ) is now back on its place and as strong as new!

So, don’t worry, you will fix it!

Fair winds

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

18 December 2018 - 22:42
Join Date: 07 October 2014
Posts: 74

whow, that looks serious.

tank you all to share what you found under your stainles steel fittings.

doing next days my whole rigging and thought sailing will not to be so far - now i am scared to look under my ones.

hope all is fine!

fair winds, stefan

19 December 2018 - 16:44
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Dear all S&S Swan fans,

I would like to add a few comments on the above.

To my opion it would be quite essential to try to isolate as much as possible the stailess steel of various pieces from the aluminium of the mast, especially since the anodisation has been destroyed by welding in what you describe.

What I did on our Soeur Anne spreader fixings was to paint the surface with epoxy (2 coats at least) and adding silicone mastic before putting the stainless steel piece back in place. (Probably a polyurethane mastic would have been better.)

Anyway, all this so as to avoid as much as possible salt water coming in between auminium and stainless steel.

There is a link in the forum in which the professor gives this recommendation.

All the best, 

Philippe 41/022

19 December 2018 - 20:04
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Dear Friends,

of course Philippe is correct, alluminum and stainles steel MUST be isolated, there are a few very good products, one is Tefgel (the one I used) and another one is Duralac.

By the way I am attaching two more pics, the two last ones, which show final result. The job was a bit complicated of course, but dear Stefan, please don't worry, I am sure your mast could be repaired and will be as strong as it was when built.

I think all of us S&S Swan Owners should check our masts under the stainles fittings...!

Fair winds

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

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