Spartite Mast Insert Moving

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jerry
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm

Spartite Mast Insert Moving

Post by jerry »

I was out for Wednesday night racing this week, then we notice the mast moving about 2-3 cm side to side at the deck. After lifting up the boot I noticed that the Spartite Mast Insert/Wedge (see image below) had worked its way up the mast and out of the aluminum mast collar at the deck. I was able to shimmy it back into place, but a few questions:
1. Has anyone else had this problem?
2. Any idea why? I've had my boat since 2005 and have never had an issue before, The mast was re-stepped Feb '22 when the standing rigging was replaced.
3. Any idea why it would work its way out of the collar?
4. Does rig tension have anything to do with it?
5. Is it just held in place by friction, or are there suppose to be any active screws/bolts that hold it in place? I couldn't see any.
6. If it's the original, did it shrink just a bit over the past 20 years? (my J/109 was built in 2003).

My local boatyard said it "just happens sometimes". My plan is to move it back into place, replace the boot and just monitor (I can see insert from inside the cabin). If it moves again, any idea on how to prevent it in the future?

Thanks for any insight.

Jerry Woodfield
S/V Shada
J/109 #44
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J109 Mast Insert.jpg
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Vento Solare
Posts: 396
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm
Location: Newport, RI

Re: Spartite Mast Insert Moving

Post by Vento Solare »

Once you move it back in place try a bead of silicone around the mast / spartight interface and let it set before covering with the boot. My guess is the surface was cleaned when the mast was removed resulting in a low friction interface. I had similar issues when my new mast was installed.
jerry
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm

Re: Spartite Mast Insert Moving

Post by jerry »

Thanks- that may be it. When the mast was out in February '22, I took the opportunity to clean and then polish the mast. I bet that reduced the friction. I was out last Wednesday and it moved 2-3 mm again. I'll apply the silicone around it and see if it helps. I did notice when looking up from inside the cabin that there are flanges which may permit a screw to be inserted into the insert to hold it down. I'll take pictures next week to see if that is an option if the silicone doesn't hold.
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