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Weaknesses in the Bristol 29 Mast



The Bristol 29 masthead is open to the elements and because it has no top surface can allow the halyards to jump their sheaves. It allows rain to run down the inside of the mast, which typically eventually works it way thru the wiring plug and can form black streaks down the woodwork around the head door. Obviously, you do not want water anywhere near the area of your mast step or the mast support structure. To correct the problem I commissioned MetalMast Marine to build a new masthead. the new masthead seals the top of the mast completely, and its top prevents halyards from ever straying from their appointed sheaves. Furthermore, the masthead sports a spinnaker crane.  For more photos of the new masthead, look here.

I also blocked off the butt of the mast sealing it from water and creating an airtight chamber and significant buoyancy should the boat ever be capsized. Here you see the mast plugged with Styrofoam which i glassed over for strength.

Originally, the reason I started researching the spars at Bristol was because of a chapter in Jud Henderson's wonderful book on rigging. He notes the dangers of using cast aluminum under pressure--the perfect example being spreader sockets, which can literally explode without warning . And guess what: Bristol used these cheesy, weathered, cast aluminum spreader sockets. Metalmast made me new stainless steel sockets and tapered aluminum spreaders, It's your rig. The new spreaders and sockets were around $300. Think about it.

Copyright 2005 - 2014 by David Browne, all rights reserved, hosted in USA