mast support on 382

Discussion in 'Main Morgan 38 Sailboat Forum' started by terry_thatcher, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    Has anyone ever cut the bottom out of the mast bucket on a 382 and put the mast down directly on the lead, like on the 383 and 384? Thanks.
     
  2. Keefer Douglas

    Keefer Douglas Member

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    When we pulled the mast on our 382 last year, the step came up with it and pulled a few shards of the bottom of the mast bucket along for the ride. Probably should have just cut out the rest at that point, but instead the rigger did some reinforcements to the bucket and installed a new step.

    Which is a long-winded way of saying, sorry, no!
     
  3. Travis

    Travis New Member

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    I can definitely see where you are coming from. Here are the best photos I can get of the...”situation” under our mast bucket.
    2908781F-A334-4B2F-AEC3-15391E478853.jpeg 38E8EA4B-3E4E-474F-92EB-3172FE30DC4B.jpeg BAB940B5-AB52-4AAF-8CC5-8D843E2911BD.jpeg
    Photos are looking forward from the bilge, under the fuel tank. I’m not sure what all that is. Original installation? Or something from the recall/retrofit maybe?
     
  4. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    Remarkable photos. my bucket does not have the vertical supports that yours appears to have. My bucket has sunk slightly over the years, but there has been no glass breaks or failed glass bonds. What boat number do you own? I have 163.
     
  5. Travis

    Travis New Member

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    It is hull #232.

    That is very interesting that yours is clear underneath there. I am going to try to get some closer shots and figure out what is going on. The vertical pieces do not feel particularly structural. They are thin and sharp to the touch. Almost like someone wadded up wet fiberglass and crammed it in there.

    As far as the bucket itself goes, I wonder if there is a particular reason that Morgan chose to support the mast this way? It strikes me as a decision that may have been driven by other circumstances. We plan to re-rig next year and I am going to either considerably reinforce it or have a new bucket built. Mine is in pretty good shape, with no failures, but it too shows its age. I would be curious to find some photos of a boat with it removed. Perhaps Pilgrim's owner went that deep during that big refit.

    At this point, I have read everything that the search function yields regarding mast buckets, but I think there might be more to be learned yet...
     
  6. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    I think the bucket was conceived as a way to spread the mast downward loads. It is part of the internal glass unit that provides the base for the cabin sole, onto which the glass fuel tank is attached, and which forms the cavities into which the port and starboard water tanks sit. It is bonded to the hull (and maybe some of the bulkheads) with what one member has said is very solid glass connections. If that all worked, then the mast loads would be spread and there would not just be one point load on the top of the keel, trying to put a hole in the bottom of the boat. In my case, I think some work was done in the recall to better tie the bucket to the hull and put some "goop" under the bucket itself. (My head aft head bulkhead is well attached to to the hull, the lack of which, I think, drove the recall.) But, after 40 years, although there is no bonding failure, my bucket has sunk a measurable amount. I think Jim Cleary told me Vixen had shown a similar decline. I am just living with it and worrying a bit. My only advice, rather contrary perhaps to my first post, is not to eliminate the bucket and step directly on the top the keel without having a very competent naval architect, versed in mast and shroud dynamics, consider the issue.
     
  7. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    I'm heading out to the boat for our last weekend cruise of the season. I'm going to try to replicate Travis's amazing photo on Dana. I know my bucket (hull # 53) has dropped almost 1/2" in 42 years, taking the cabin sole around it with it. I don't know it the dropping is because the mish mash of glass under the bucket has deteriorated or that the hull has changed shape or the lead in the keel has settled. Be back on monday!

    Jim
     
  8. Travis

    Travis New Member

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    This is a very convincing explanation. It satisfies Occam's razor. Reinforcing or rebuilding the bucket is the way to go. Stepping down any lower just adds too many variables, and like everyone says during these conversations - this method of mast support has worked for 40-odd years and we don't hear any stories about step or bucket failures...

    It is basically impossible to get a steady shot without setting the phone down. I thought about sticking an old tripod down in the bilge but I ended up just setting my phone on the shelf aft of the bilge below the fuel tank to steady it. I want to do it again with a flashlight set up closer to the bucket for better illumination under there.
     
  9. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    probably could use one of those cameras on a snake. Like Jim, my bucket and cabin sole near the bucket has sunk about 1/2 inch in 40 years. I have just lived with it and, after thinking about it some more, I probably will continue doing nothing. I have no bonding failures and my rig stays tuned. If I start cutting into things, I might just make things worse.
     
  10. Travis

    Travis New Member

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    I got a closer look under the mast bucket tonight. When I mentioned thin sharp bits, I must have been feeling the fiberglass you can see wadded up to the right of the bucket....because the gigantic resin gob I encountered is neither thin nor sharp.

    I think I see what someone was attempting to do. The gob makes a reasonable but certainly not overwhelming amount contact with the bottom of the bucket. You can tell that whoever did this wasn’t using a mirror, wasn’t terribly concerned about water flow from forward of the mast, and wasn’t ever planning to service the mast step bolts again. Criticisms aside, it feels about as solid as the day it was so carefully and conservatively smeared in there.
    CF3F39C2-1C60-4E65-959C-3F515CF8F7C0.jpeg CD63A037-BA23-4685-8849-C45FE1EDA2AC.jpeg
    6AC2E84D-4AD8-444A-92D0-F0BBB1F163C2.jpeg
    2F9B2D85-93A8-4A43-8CD5-92117C2116D2.jpeg
    008F6EE8-9251-433E-B441-12B100E80404.jpeg
    Photos are all looking forward

    As far as boat improvement projects go, I would file this under “proactive and well intentioned but ultimately unhelpful”
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  11. dave_a

    dave_a Dave Ahlers

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    Do the 382's have an aluminum plate with a raised collar to accept the inner circumference of the mast?
    (My 383 had that, it held the mast in place but could slide fore and aft to change rake).
    Anyway, why not put an aluminum plate underneath to take up some of the difference from the 1/2" its collapsed?
    I did that on my old NorthStar 38 that had (rotted) balsa core under the mast step. Got the turnbuckles midway on the shrouds again.
    Should get you through the next decade or two? Beats trying to repair collapsing support.
     
  12. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    Travis, the photos are none too reassuring, but thanks. I too have glob under the bucket.
     
  13. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    To get a reproduction of Travis's photo on board Dana, I first tried my big Canon 7D, That didn't work. Next a small point & shoot, that didn't work. I then resorted to the phone with a flashlight providing the light. Not the best result but at least it is recognizable for what the subject is. It seems the mish-mash under the bucket is at least 4 inches thick. It appears to be holding up after 42 years of never even being looked at.

    The PVC pipe is the drain that passes under the bucket from forward. The white gob in the foreground is a mystery. I'm going to bring a long wire to reach it to see what it is. There is also a mystery screw on the left side that I hope has been sitting there for 42 years. I'll retrieve that too.

    Dave, I don't think the 1/2" plate idea would work. You'd have to put the plate under the bucket, not just the mast step, to reraise the sole. The sole actually sits on the upper lip of the bucket and is effected by it's movement. Freeing up the bucket to add the plate would entail too much damage to the mish-mash and the bucket. This appears to be a case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    Jim
     
  14. Travis

    Travis New Member

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    After fussing around down there, I think I would have to agree. I was considering pulling the mast before a cruise we are planning next summer but I think this little exercise has convinced me to just re-rig with the mast in place. Even though the situation below the bucket is a little odd, the 'gob' feels very sturdy, and the rig stays tuned.

    I suppose the next best thing to do would be to monitor the area for change over time, so I'll figure out how to photograph the forward side, and maybe have a good look again before we head off next year.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  15. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Oops! I don't think the photo posted! Here it is. Sorry.

    Jim
     

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  16. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    I don't think I have pvc pipe through the blob to help the drainage. So things have dropped 1/2" even with the blob. That must have been part of the recall. Surely they could have done a better job if the bilge was open during initial construction.
     
  17. Travis

    Travis New Member

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    Jim,
    That is a great photo. They were a little more thorough with your bucket support retrofit it seems.

    To me, that bit in the foreground looks like a wad of painters tape. Good luck snagging it. I compulsively keep a few wire coat hangers in the closet that get sacrificed in order to solve those sorts of situations. I find it is a useful and memorable way to store utility wire on a boat.

    Terry,
    Ah, I misunderstood you before when you said you didn’t have the vertical supports that I had.

    As far as the 1/2” drop, our floor seems to be perfectly level as far as I can tell. However, the lower fiberglass surface - the one beneath the ‘gob’ - is noticeably lower toward the mast than it is toward the bilge, causing water to pool there as you can see in the first photos I posted above. I wonder if that has heppened over time? Or perhaps it was just made that way?
     

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