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Breathe New Life into Your Vessel's Heart: Mast Restoration for Every Spar

Whether your pride and joy boasts sleek carbon fibre, sturdy aluminium, or the timeless elegance of wood, our expert mast restoration services have you covered. We understand the unique needs of each material, ensuring your vessel's vertical backbone regains its strength and beauty.

Carbon Mast Restoration

About carbon spars:

Carbon fiber spars are a newer, lighter and stronger alternative to aluminum found primarily on performance racing yachts. Carbon masts can now also be found increasingly on cruising yachts which can also benefit from the weight reduction and increased stability. Often, a carbon mast will be paired with rod or synthetic rigging.

 

The manufacturing processes for carbon spars are complex and have evolved over time, but the fundamentals remain the same. Strands of carbon fibre are bonded together by a resin matrix in the shape of the finished spar and then cured. The finished part is then coated to protect it from UV light; some are clear coated, so that you can see the carbon whilst others are opaque.

 

The coated section can then be finished with all the fittings and fixings. Unlike traditional mast sections, the strength of carbon fibre is aligned along a specific axis, so the fastenings must be carefully considered.

Step 1 - Inspection:

The first step of any restoration is to assess the current condition of the mast. Our team of experienced riggers will perform a visual inspection from deck level first, including all fittings and the condition of the running and standing rigging. They will then inspect the rest of the mast.

 

Once the inspection is completed, a detailed report will be produced, the findings of which will highlight any areas of concern.

Step 2 - Unstepping:

If required, unstepping takes place with the boat in the water, a crane is carefully positioned to support the mast. Our team then prepare the mast to be lifted, removing vulnerable fittings on the masthead, disconnecting the boom and electronics, testing as each is removed to ensure functionality. With the mast prepared, the crane will take the weight and the standing rigging will be detached, then the mast is carefully lifted off its step and safely laid flat on a series of mast trestles.

Step 3 - Second Inspection:

With the mast removed from the boat, a detailed ground inspection can take place which includes areas additionally highlighted and all the areas usually concealed. This includes the mast step, the ends of the spreaders, the electrical cables inside the mast and all the sheaves and mast exits. This allows us to find any unexpected issues early on, and you’ll be notified of anything new that we find.

Step 4 - The restoration:

The most important part of the job - the restoration will depend on what was found during the inspection and your future plans. At this stage it is a good time to consider any further upgrades to make sailing your yacht an easier and more enjoyable process.

Services available include:

•   Removal and servicing of all fittings.

•   Re-coating of the protective layer.

•   Resolution of wear and tear issues.

•   Replacement/recertification of standing rigging.

•   Replacement of worn running rigging, including splicing.

•   Replacement of worn or aged sheaves and blocks.

•   Rewiring and replacement or upgrading of electrical components.

Step 5 - Reassembly:

With the restoration complete, the mast can be reassembled. The standing rigging will be fitted and every part is thoroughly checked and returned to the mast. The mast can then re-stepped on the boat. Once stepped, the mast will be tuned, the rig tension finalised and the boom, electronics and running rigging reattached. Our experienced team will then perform a series of checks to ensure everything is working optimally.

Step 6 - Tuning and aftercare:

You’ll be provided with a detailed report on the restoration, including a full list of parts replaced and serviced and maintenance recommendations to keep your newly restored mast in its best condition.

 

The mast will be tuned to a standard setting when it is returned to you, race tuning is available on request. Please make sure to tell us if you have any specific requirements.

Aluminium Mast Restoration

About aluminium spars:

Aluminium is the most common material found in masts and booms. It is light, strong and relatively simple to construct and maintain. It is also very resistant to corrosion from the elements, UV stable and needs very little upkeep compared to other alternatives. However, aluminium is vulnerable to galvanic corrosion where it comes into contact with steel, so considerable care must be taken with fittings.

 

Most modern aluminium spars are anodised - a smooth and attractive finish created using chemical processes. Others may be painted, which is more economical but does not provide as good protection, particularly if the outer surface is damaged.

Step 1 - Inspection:

The first step of any restoration is to assess the current condition of the mast. Our team of experienced riggers will perform a visual inspection from deck level first, including all fittings and the condition of the running and standing rigging. They will then inspect the rest of the mast.

 

Once the inspection is completed, a detailed report will be produced, the findings of which will highlight any areas of concern.

Step 2 - Unstepping:

If required, unstepping takes place with the boat in the water, a crane is carefully positioned to support the mast. Our team then prepare the mast to be lifted, removing vulnerable fittings on the masthead, disconnecting the boom and electronics, testing as each is removed to ensure functionality. With the mast prepared, the crane will take the weight and the standing rigging will be detached, then the mast is carefully lifted off its step and safely laid flat on a series of mast trestles.

Step 3 - Second Inspection:

With the mast removed from the boat, a detailed ground inspection can take place which includes areas additionally highlighted and all the areas usually concealed.

 

This step is particularly important on aluminium masts as it allows for a close inspection behind fittings to check for early signs of galvanic corrosion or stress. Most cases are minor if treated early on. This inspection allows us to find any unexpected issues early on, and you’ll be notified of anything new that we find.

Step 4 - The restoration:

The most important part of the job - the restoration will depend on what was found during the inspection and your future plans. At this stage it is a good time to consider any further upgrades to make sailing your yacht an easier and more enjoyable process.

 

Services available include:

•   Removal and servicing of all fittings.

•   Re-coating of the protective layer - either paint or anodising.

•   Reinforcement of areas showing signs of stress.

•   Replacement/recertification of standing rigging.

•   Replacement of worn running rigging, including splicing.

•   Replacement of worn or aged sheaves and blocks.

•   Rewiring and replacement or upgrading of electrical components.

•   Re-bedding of current fittings to better protect against galvanic corrosion.

Step 5 - Reassembly:

With the restoration complete, the mast can be reassembled with all areas of corrosion corrected and coated. The standing rigging will be fitted with new barrier layers and every part is thoroughly checked as it is returned to the mast. The mast can then re-stepped on the boat. Once stepped, the mast will be tuned, the rig tension finalised and the boom, electronics and running rigging reattached. Our experienced team will then perform a series of checks to ensure everything is working optimally.

Step 6 - Tuning and aftercare:

You’ll be provided with a detailed report on the restoration, including a full list of parts replaced and serviced and maintenance recommendations to keep your newly restored mast in its best condition.

 

The mast will already have been tuned to a standard setting however race tuning is available on request.

Wooden Mast Restoration

About wooden spars:

The hallmark of a true classic yacht is a handcrafted wooden mast and its associated spars. More variety can be found in timber masts than any other as they were built with the technology of the time. Cast iron, bronze, timber and stainless steel can all be found in fittings and many are custom made for the boat. The masts themselves can be hollow, scarfed or a single solid piece and running rigging can be either inside or outside, to belay pins or winches. Wooden masts are often accompanied by bowsprits, gaffs and booms that need equal care and attention.

 

Preservation of these potentially irreplaceable spars is more consuming than modern materials; even the most rot resistant timber needs to be treated with care to prevent water ingress. Normal wear and tear on the best kept mast can cause problems over time. Often, a high quality restoration and frequent maintenance can catch these problems early.

 

Every mast is as unique as the tree it came from; they vary hugely in both age, use and construction. Coatings, materials and methods have improved greatly over the years and every restoration is a balance of keeping true to the traditional heritage of the boat and ensuring it remains strong for years to come.

Step 1 - Inspection:

The first step of any restoration is to assess the current condition of the mast. Our team of experienced riggers will perform a visual inspection from deck level first, including all fittings and the condition of the running and standing rigging. They will then inspect the rest of the mast for signs of rot, water damage and stress.

 

Once the inspection is completed, a detailed report will be produced, the findings of which will highlight any areas of concern.

Step 2 - Unstepping:

If required, unstepping takes place with the boat in the water, a crane is carefully positioned to support the mast. Our team then prepare the mast to be lifted, removing vulnerable fittings on the masthead, disconnecting the boom and gaff, if fitted, and electronics, testing as each is removed to ensure functionality. With the mast prepared, the crane will take the weight and the standing rigging will be detached, then the mast is carefully lifted off it’s step and safely laid flat on a series of mast trestles.

Step 3 - Second Inspection:

With the mast removed from the boat, a detailed ground inspection can take place which includes areas additionally highlighted and all the areas usually concealed. This includes particular attention to the areas beneath any bands or caps, drilled holes, the heartwood of solid sections and the centre of hollow masts. This allows us to find any unexpected issues early on, and you’ll be notified of anything new that we find.

Step 4 - The restoration:

The most important part of the job - the restoration will depend on what was found during the inspection and your future plans. At this stage it is a good time to consider any further upgrades to make sailing your yacht an easier and more enjoyable process.

 

Services available include:

•   Removal and servicing of all fittings, rebedding of through-bolts where necessary.

•   Revarnishing.

•   Re-gluing of separating scarfs and joins.

•   Cut out and replacement of any areas of rot.

•   Resolution of wear and tear issues.

•   Replacement/recertification of standing rigging.

•   Replacement of worn running rigging, including splicing.

•   Repair or replacement of worn or damaged blocks and parts.

•   Rewiring and replacement or upgrading of electrical components.

Step 5 - Reassembly:

With the restoration complete, the mast can be reassembled. The standing rigging will be fitted and every part is thoroughly checked and returned to the mast. The mast can then re-stepped on the boat. If you have any traditions that you would like to be observed, such as the placement of a coin beneath the mast, please let us know before this.

 

Once stepped, the mast will be tuned, the rig tension finalised and the remaining spars, electronics and running rigging reattached. Our experienced team will then perform a series of checks to ensure everything is working optimally.

Step 6 - Tuning and aftercare:

You’ll be provided with a detailed report on the restoration, including a full list of parts replaced and serviced and maintenance recommendations to keep your newly restored mast in its best condition.

 

The mast will be tuned to a standard setting when it is returned to you, race tuning and scheduled maintenance check-ins are available on request. Please make sure to tell us if you have any specific requirements.

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