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Spreader & Mast Problems

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Alistair View Drop Down
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Joined: 04 August 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 4
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alistair Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2011 at 17:35
I have just completed a 340 mile passage from Pilos in Greece to Siracusa in Sicily, in our Hanse 411, and experienced the most horrific mast pumping imaginable. We had the wire cutters ready in the cockpit. Last year we found the lower port side spreader was cracked at the jointing pins. Both Hanse and Sparcraft assured me that we were sailing with slack rigging. I had various riggers look at the rig, and they told me that the rig was tensioned ok, but that the sparcraft rig on the Hanse 411 was really not up to the job.
I have now had another rig inspection in Malta by a very experienced rigger, who is also a professional racing skipper, and what a wealth of information. My rig was in fact slightly over tensioned, which I admit I am responsable for as  the information I received from Hanse UK was that I could ot possably overtighten the rig- not true.
There are many cases of Hanse / sparcraft rig failures world wide, and a common thread is the mast pumping, causing excessive compression at the front/ leading edge, which will lead to spreader failure.
On the advice of the Maltese rigger, we have had a baby stay and running backstays fitted, + the whole rig inspected and retuned.
The help and advice from Hanse, Hanse UK and Sparcraft has been worse than useless, varying from no reply to wrong advice.
Other related problems are the boom vang cast alloy ends can spread out and crack- the halyard mast exit points have no anti chaffe fittings, and the whole boom traveller arrangement is not strong enough and required to be upgraded.
The good news is- I made a new battery box under the( port side ) aft cabbin, and have more or less corrected the manufactured list to starboard .
We hope and pray that the improvements to the rig will be sufficient to allow us to do the Atlantic circuit this winter.
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