J/111 Mast Track Update

Here’s a short update on our mast.

Yesterday I visited Aston Harald Composite to discuss the repair. Feels good with professional people on the job.

It was during a sail test with Henrik Ottosson from North Sails, that we found that the track had come loose, just below the second spreader. We naturally aborted, and took the mast down to figure out what had happened.

The aluminum track, glued with Plexus MA425, had come clean of with all the glue still on the mast. There are rivets holding the track every 2 meters, and those had stopped the damage from spreading.

Removing the rivets, we were able to remove about 5 meters of the track more before the glue was fine and well attached to the track. Initially, we thought that the track wasn’t properly cleaned or primed, but now we see that the glue isn’t homogenous in color. So we suspect it hasn’t been properly mixed from the start, as can happen when you change tubes mid-job.

There’s no major load point here, and we haven’t used the second reef since 2016 (Göteborg Open Sea Race). We suspect that the root cause could be a heavy air gybe or flogging the main during a broach in this years Tjörn Runt. That could produce a whiplash effect on one of the sliders.

I know that glued mast tracks can be an issue on bigger boats, but I never heard it happen on a 36′ light displacement boat?

Sure, we race hard. But not that hard?

Batt, Jens & Francois discussing alternatives.

The plan now is to reglue the part that’s loose, double up on the rivets and put some additional ones at the reefing points. Should be stronger than ever.