Mast Cut out topic

Alastair Fraser posted this 24 June 2018

Hi. Looking for advice as I have just brought a second hand solo and am trying to get the mast set up in the right position. I now have the distance from the front of the mast to the transom right, but can't get the mast rake. The only option I have is to cut away the back of the mast to be able to do this. Can anyone please advise how much I should cut away, and also the best way of doing it. Many thanks Al

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Ian McDonald posted this 27 June 2018

my understanding is that this is only an option with the Selden d+

I would go to the next open and have a look at some of the newer boats

worth checking your tacking boom clearance with your current setup

Alastair Fraser posted this 28 June 2018

Hi Ian. Many thanks for your comment, the mast is a Selden D+ and I had seen the cut away on the video of Pete Mitchell rigging his Solo at an event at Grafham. However it only shows it above deck level, and I was wondering whether there is an optimum amount to cut away so as not to put too much stress on the mast or weaken it.

Ian McDonald posted this 28 June 2018

We both know what a friendly fleet the Solo is and the depth of knowledge and experience amongst the sailors.

Its just strange that even with our new website, very few want to come forward and help!

I would contact my sail maker or their jockey for advice!

Alastair Fraser posted this 28 June 2018

Hi Ian.

Maybe we should make a suggestion to the Class Association to see if they could get a panel of experts taken from sail makers, boat builders, spar makers and equipment manufactures, who could review the site say once a week and provide answers to questions put forward.

It should be kept as an open forum so as to allow other people to pass on their experiences and knowledge, which is always useful and informative, as they have encountered these issues whilst sailing. However if you had an 'expert' respond, you would have an informed response from the people who work with the products on a daily basis, and have the technical expertise to warn of any dangers or problems you could encounter.

Many thanks for your input it is much appreciated.

Barrie Woodhall posted this 28 June 2018

just be aware of Seldens guarantee disclaimer if you do. 2 new boats at our club with D+ masts neither with cut out - both quick up and down wind! I have tried to achieve P & B rake settings (with their foot position but without cutout) and cannot get anywhere near their figures. However on a small pool with a lot of tacking I would not want my boom any lower! I have also tried differing foot positions but always come back to the old faithful 3065, which seems to be in line with most of the tuning guides.

Alastair Fraser posted this 28 June 2018

Hi Barry

Many thanks for your response, it is much appreciated, however as the mast is about 9 years old, I'm not to worried about the disclaimer.

As for your comment about the boom, I can fully appreciate it as I have got stuck a couple of times, and ended up swimming, but I thought that was just me as I have only just taken up sailing again for the first time since 1986, and I am not as flexible and agile as I once was, or would like to think I am.

Barrie Woodhall posted this 29 June 2018

Hi Alastair

more room under the boom and no swimming is generally faster!! learnt from experience!!
For me the problem is being over 70 yrs old physically slower and not so bendy.

Last Edited 29 June 2018

Alastair Fraser posted this 29 June 2018

Hi Barrie,

Many thanks for those words of wisdom, do you know if Yoga or Pilates help? I am just over 60 with a doggy back muscle which I have had for about 40 years, so any guidance on this would be gratefully received. Glad you are able to still enjoy the sport and wish you many more years of happy sailing.

p.s apologies for misspelling your name on my original post.

Barrie Woodhall posted this 29 June 2018

Hi Alistair,

           Never done Yoga or similar - walking my 2 border collies and playing badminton weekly seems to do the trick for me! As well as 4 solo races over the weekend of course.

ps I,ve been called worse.

Iain Carpenter posted this 03 July 2018

Hi Alastair For the last 4 years I've being doing some Pilates and can really recommend it for general flexibility and back problems in particular. I think it has helped me to enjoy my new boat now I'm in the GM section. Having an instructor with a sense of humour helps but be prepared to be the only male in the class!!

Alastair Fraser posted this 04 July 2018

Hi Iain.

Many thanks for the post, and it is good to know that Pilates has helped you, I will have to look to see where the local classes are. I definitely need something to get more flexibility back and to stop me getting stuck under the boom quite so often.

Guy Mayger posted this 10 July 2018

Hi all, I put a cut-out into my brand new mast on my current boat 5691 on the day I took delivery :-) My wife thought I was completely mad as I got the hacksaw out, but it really wasn't a big deal. On my previous boat the cut-out was quite long, maybe 6 inches or so. That meant the top and bottom cuts were 2 inches either side of mast slot. I've seen some where the cut-out goes all the way down to the foot of the mast, not sure about the theory of that. Anyway, doing it myself I have a cut-out which is just 5-10mm either side of the mast slot. I think keeping it to a minimum is probably best. I also only cut back about 10mm into the track so that I was left with at least 3mm of track before reaching the web (back of mast track). I drilled a number of holes just below the sail feeder and then joined them up with a junior hacksaw before tidying up with a file. Being a sado, I also made sure the edges of the cut-out were nicely rounded to prevent any corners where the alloy can start cracking from. On a Winder mk2 this gives me enough room to get my rake to 5885mm with the mastfoot at 5070mm. This is a pretty raked setting and I have to ease plenty of kicker on the tacks! If you're going to give this a go I'd suggest taking off the minimum as it's then easy to take a little more if needed. As Barrie has mentioned, this does invalidate any warranty, but I haven't seen a mast break in this area... and the D+ has an internal sleeve to maintain strength. Hope that helps :-) Cheers, G

Guy Mayger posted this 10 July 2018

PS. I'm 6' 3" and reckon the end of my boom is only about 6 inches off the deck when sailing upwind in a breeze. No way can I get under the boom... maybe I need to go to Pilates as well :-)

Alastair Fraser posted this 11 July 2018

Hi Guy. Many thanks for your comments they were extremely interesting. I have already taken the plunge with the hacksaw and done a cut out, and have kept it within the area of the cuff that is around the mast at deck level, working on the principal that the cuff should also provide a bit of strength in that area. As previously mentioned I am not that worried about the warranty as the mast is about 9 years old. As for the comment about the kicker, another Solo sailor at my club also suggested easing it before I tack to see if that helps. The thing is that as I am new to Solo sailing, and have never sailed with a fully battened main, I am still trying to get to grips with how much kicker I have got on/should have on, as I have not worked out a way to calibrate it. Therefore continually having to adjust that as well, to try and replicate what I had the previous tack is at the moment very confusing, as I am still concentrating on the boat and trying to keep it flat. But hey hopefully with more practice things will come together eventually. I have only had the boat since the beginning of June, and have only just got back into sailing for the first time since 1986.

Loved the p.s I am 5'8", so I have even greater sympathy for you, but I would have thought contortionist school would be more appropriate for you !! (lol)

Barrie Woodhall posted this 11 July 2018

Hi Guy, Mastfoot at 5070!? That would be a sight to see!! I have re read P & B's tuning guide and they state a mast rake of 5960 with the foot set at 3060. You obviously achieve more rake with your foot further forward, 3070?? This would appear a lot of rake and make tacking difficult to say the least! Probably my age talking!! Do you not find any detriment to your downwind speed? Do you sail on a big pool? I'm wondering if on a smaller pool like mine i.e. Shustoke where we have to do a lot of tacking that the lack of room under the boom would de more of a hindrance and negate the advantage of more mast rake? Maybe we need a Solo Pilates club??

Guy Mayger posted this 11 July 2018

Ha! 5070 might be a tad too extreme :-) 3070mm is correct.

Yes Barrie, I sail on a big patch of salt water at Felpham, next stop France, so tend to have my boat setup for upwind and then hope to work the waves (badly normally) downhill. I expect that if I sailed more often on a small lake then I'd change my rig a little to allow for easier manoeuvring, but I do like a bit of rake. It looks cool :-)

Alastair, I have a piece of shockchord that pulled the last (double) block on my system back up towards the boom so that when I release the kicker I have some tension against which I can recleat more easily. I know some have a similar setup which they actually use to calibrate along the boom. For me, I just have a visual on the distance between the blocks and by looking at the sail. If the breeze is up and down I keep the kicker control line close to hand and switch between mainsheet leech tension and kicker leech tension as I get under or overpowered. Again, on the sea/big course this is a rather different situation compared to tacking on lots of quick shifts on a lake, and is probably something I should work on myself :-)

Alastair Fraser posted this 12 July 2018

Hi Barrie and Guy

Many thanks for your latest comments, it is very interesting to a Solo novice like myself to get the views of others especially those who have contrasting sailing venues, and to hear their experiences. I sail at Grafham Water, (a large inland pond), and I know that the Inland Championships are there at the end of September, which will give me an opportunity to stick my head in a lot of other boats to see set ups etc.

Iain Carpenter posted this 12 July 2018

Alastair Callibrating your kicker will really help. I have insulating tape in two places on the cascade and see where they align to the blocks when happy with the sail setting upwind. In light wind this really helps so you can reset the kicker and if it goes slack you know you are over sheeted before everyone else leaves you behind! I will be at the Inlands if you want to see how it looks. Sailing inland at Pitsford (medium-large pond) I have left all my mast settings where P&B put them and it seems to work OK when I don't make too many mistakes! I will drop back the forestay when it blows but don't move the foot or shrouds.

Alastair Fraser posted this 12 July 2018

Hi Iain

Many thanks for your post, and I will have to to see where the best place is for the tape. But I will certainly come and have a look at your system, as it seems to be a practical way of making a workable guide.

Barrie Woodhall posted this 12 July 2018

Hi Ian,

If you have your set up as P&B then presumably you do not have a mast cut out? I have noticed at our club 2 new winders, a MK2 & a 1A, both have D+ masts without a cut out and both seem to go up and down wind with plenty of speed.

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