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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Barrie Woodhall posted this 16 October 2018

Hi Mike, I do not know how your mast foot arrangement is - have you got a fixing screw right in front of the mast foot? If so you you could cut a piece out of the bottom of the mast foot equal to the screw diameter to allow the front of the bottom of the mast to go over the screw. Its not much, 5mm or so, but it still has an effect on rake.

Mike Dray posted this 13 October 2018

I have a D+ with a cut out on a Winder 1. Struggle to really get the rake that newer boats get even with the mast cut out as the bulkhead is further toward the transom than newer boats... Sadly for me it means being out pointed a lot of the time, and have to make up with it by going for speed on a lower course. Think how much less distance I’d be sailing if I could go up wind efficiently.

Alastair Fraser posted this 19 July 2018

Hi Iain. Many thanks for your latest posts, and for the heads up regarding the photos, I will have to find those. Yesterday (Wednesday 18/7) I did put some tape on the kicker, but I put four strips at about 2" apart, to use as a guide, then what happened the wind died almost completely, so I didn't get to try the system out, but it looked ok on land.

Iain Carpenter posted this 18 July 2018

Alastair I've posted a couple of photos of my kicker on the Midland Area Facebook page. The white tape should be about 5cm lower but I've got used to it now! I find it a very useful guide as I seem to play the kicker more with the Zeta mast.

Iain Carpenter posted this 18 July 2018

Hi Barrie My new boat has a Zeta mast so no cut out. My old wooden Boon went really well when I got a D+ and cut out the track. Without the cut out I couldn't anything like the recommended rake as the bulkhead was further back. The Winder 1A has the bulkhead much further forward in line with all modern boats allowing more rake by moving the mast foot forward.

Iain Carpenter posted this 14 July 2018

Hi Alaistair My new boat has a Zeta mast so no need to cut out on my previous wooden Boom I had a D+ and could only get anywhere near the recommended settings after I cut out the back which seemed to help a lot with the balance. I am around 74Kg so find the Zeta pretty good for what I do and seem to get enough power even in the lighter winds. With an older boat without the cut out I expect you will struggle to get near the recommended rake? I will try to attach some photos of my kicker I took this week. The white tape is for fine tuning but looks like it needs to be 4-5 cm lower. One photo with slack taken off, one with kicker full on. Iain

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.

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.

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 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.

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 :-)

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??

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)

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 :-)

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

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.

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!!

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.

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 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

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