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Spreader & Mast Problems

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Richard108 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 January 2011 at 07:47
I own a Hanse 540 with a Sparcraft mast with 2 spreaders.  I have had added and use checkstays and an inner forestay includng a storm jib.
 
My 540 has sailed now more than 15,000nm including 2 times to Vanuatu and Queensland and once to New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
 
I have raced twice in the Pittwater (Sydney) to Coffs Harbour (230nm) including winning the PHS divison.
 
There are now problems with my 2nd spreaders where they join the mast.  See photos below.  If anyone has any comments or feedback that would eb welcome. 
 
PHOTO 1
 
 
PHOTO 2
 
PHOTO 3
 
PHOTO 4
 
Regards Richard



("Moksha" 540 #115 delivered Sept 2007)

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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2011 at 09:42
I would be interested to know what your "rig tension philosophy" is. My lower spreaders and the mast in that area looked somewhat similar when I had sailed my boat for a year. I am pretty sure it was due to sailing with not enough rig tension, i.e. the way the boat was delivered. I have sailed with a much harder rig tension since then and the deformations have not got bigger.

I am not saying that I suspect your rig tension is not good, but I would like to hear more about it. My guess (only a guess!) is that this is normal wear on our rigs. My rigger has told me that he wants to check my rig in a few years time to see if it will need to be reinforced in such stressed areas. Also, I think that the mast itself is not taking up great loads in that area. I think you will only find compression loads and that the wear is the result of an unavoidable mast pumping.

I am no expert on this so please take what I said with a pinch of salt.

Johan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard108 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2011 at 15:24

Correction.  These pictures from my rigger are of the lower starboard spreader.

 

The starboard lower spreader is starting to dig into the mast.  It also has a definite crack.

 

I am told “The problem is that this rig has too little spreader angle and too much prebend. Too much prebend because the forestay has stretched and we keep having to put more backstay  and caps on to reduce the forestay sag.  Not enough spreader angle means that we can’t reach adequate lower shroud tension so we get some mast pumping and also contributes to the excess prebend.

 

The solution is to reduce the prebend by replacing the forestay with one that has adjustment. This would also resolve the forestay sag that keeps making the screws that hold the headsail sections foil together fall out even after they have been replaced many times with locktite.   As I understand I have a Facnor LX290 headsail furler and foil.

 

I am told to fix the problem the following needs to be done.

1.       Pull the mast out

2.       Sleave the mast

3.       Replace the forestay and furler with an adjustable one.  It is suggested a Harken MKIV Unit 3 furler and foil is fitted to replace the Facnor headsail furler.   http://www.harken.com/press/Harken-MKIV_JibReefingandFurling.php  This will resolve the foil screws falling out and the excess prebend and reduce the forestay sag.

 

The rigger I have used here in Sydney is the rigger that has rigged all the new Hanse boats here – more than a hundred.  He certainly seems competent and is by far the most experienced rigger on Hanses in Australia.   He has regular checked and tuned my rig.  I have spoken to him about rig tension and he assured me he was tensioning the rig appropriately.

 
I note that the new Hanse 545 has a 3 spreader Selden rig that apparently will have less mast pumping.
 
I have heard that there has been similar problems with the spreaders on a number of smaller Hanses.

Regards Richard



("Moksha" 540 #115 delivered Sept 2007)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard108 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2011 at 02:15

My problems with my spreaders / mast has been described as my spreader has been banging against the casting that transfers the load through the mast because the mast is moving relative to the spreader (pumping). 

As the inner forestay and checkstays have been used and hopefully enough backstay tension has been used in rougher conditions is it possible that the lower section of the mast is pumping while upper section where the check stay and inner forestay connect are not?
Regards Richard



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2011 at 11:15
As my earlier picture shows, the deformations are around the lower spreaders while there are no deformations around the upper spreaders. This leads me to think that the lower part of the mast is pumping more than the upper part but I can't give you an exact explantion why.

I don't have any inner forstay nor checkstays but would be interested to know where on the mast yours are fitted in relation to the spreaders?

Johan

Edited by Johan Hackman - 21 January 2011 at 11:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard108 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2011 at 12:49

The inner forestay connects to the mast just above the top spreaders.  The checkstays connect to the mast just below the top spreaders.

Perhaps
a) the top of the mast is held fore and aft by the backstay and forestay.
 
b) the top spreader area of the mast is held in place by the inner forestay and check stays.
 
c) there is nothing holding the lower spreaders fore and aft therefore they pump a little.  The lower diagonals are doing this job?
 
Regards Richard



("Moksha" 540 #115 delivered Sept 2007)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote panos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2011 at 09:15
Hi,

IMHO the spreader should not touch the mast. All forces from spreader to mast should only pass thru the spreader bolt.

 Why this happened?
According to my opinion the mast moved either permanently or temporary (while sailing) forward so the rear end of the spreaders "closed" and start to touch the mast.
Now why did the mast (at the spreader height) move forward?
1) Because of the use of a babystay during downwind sailing when there is no mainsail tension to compensate the  pull to forward.
2) Because the mast was allowed to pump during waves (no running or checkstays were in use)
3)Because the mainsail was either not use or heavily reefed during waves so the mast was allowed to move forward by babystay tension.

Please note that the only force pulling the mast back is the mainsail and the stays (checkstays or running backstays). The backstay and the boomwang pull the mast FORWARD.

AND MOST IMPORTANT : THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH GAP BETWEEN THE SPREADER AND THE MAST.





Edited by panos - 22 January 2011 at 09:48
Panos

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2011 at 10:14
Originally posted by panos panos wrote:

All forces from spreader to mast should only pass thru the spreader bolt.


You just pointed out something I didn't realise before - my spreader fitting looks different in that the thru-bar (as I have heard it being called) is visible. I am surprised that it doesn't look the same on Richard's mast.

Johan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard108 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2011 at 01:08
Thanks for your comments Panos.
 
We do not ever use the Inner forestay without using the check stays.  the inner forestay and Check stays were used for the majority of the time and always in a rough sea where there was any likely hood of any mast pumping.  I assume this rules out what you are suggesting Panos was the problems?
 
The in 2010 Moksha did 6,500nm + from Sydney via New Zealand, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and back down the east coast of Australia.  Some rough conditions were experienced as well as quite a lot of light wind periods in Papua New Guinea.   At times in rough conditions a 2nd or a 3rd reef was used and if to windward at all, always with inner forestay and check stays.  Also the storm jib was used on the inner forestay in some rough conditions combined with a third reef and check stays.
 
In the lighter winds quite a lot of motoring occurred at times in a rough sea .  Check stays and inner forestay were always used if there was any likely hood the must would pump.  the rig was tuned by a experienced professional rigger before the boat left.  The rig was not tuned while the boat was away.
 
Is it possible that the mast could have moved a enough to cause this sort of damage at the height of the lower spreaders and for the mast at the top spreaders to be held firmly in place with the inner forestay and check stays?
 
I have seen a number of north sails rigging guides for Hanse but the largest they have on there website is for a 400.  http://www.nz.northsails.com/nz/SailProducts/ProductionBoats/TuningGuides/HanseYachts/Hanse400/tabid/8345/Default.aspx
 
Does anyone have rigging guide for a 540 that includes things like rake measurement in centimetres and tensions recommended for D1, D2 etc.  On the North Sails site they have information for the Hanse 540 but no rigging guide. 
 
North Sail Hanse guides are located at
 
I am also aware of the Selden tuning guide.  I note the latest version has a version date of 2010-12-21 and is 88 pages.  I have seen a number of earlier versions with either 43 or 84 pages.  the most up to date version can be found at http://www.seldenmast.com/_download.cfm?id=5564&download=6479462&filename=595-540-E.pdf
 
 
 
Regards Richard



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote panos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2011 at 11:05
Hi,

Unfortunately the Hanse 540/630 standard rig is relatively week and tall and mast pumping is the major problem. They should sell these boats with carbon masts (both MMBW Nicole and one 540 Modus Vivendi used in Greece as cruiser racers have carbon masts).

Tuning the 540 mast should take mast pumping into consideration. It should be tuned harder than normal to reduce mast movement! Also the sails should be designed flatter to be compatible with the harder mast. This would sacrifice low wind speed performance but allow to carry more sail area in windy conditions. The main sail keeps the  mast from pumping.

Motoring in windless conditions in waves is of course putting a high load to the mast.

From the pictures provided I do not think that any permanent damage has been done yet. In your place I would retune the rig to reduce mast bend (increasing the tension of D1 and D2 and moving the mast foot).
If you shorten the forestay to decrease the mast rake you might sacrifice upwind performance. Alternatively you can trim the inside of the spreaders  to create a small gap. The damage to the mast does not look a lot and just a rust protection could be enough.


Edited by panos - 23 January 2011 at 11:15
Panos

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