Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

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svwhitehawk
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Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby svwhitehawk » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:13 pm

Has anyone out there besides me had to rebuild their mast step? Our 1986 GS46 had the mast stepped on a shoe on the cabin sole and supported underneath with wood and epoxy filler down to the hull stringers over the keel. The wood rotted so we built a stainless support box structure between the shoe and the hull stingers ( a heavy plate spans two stringers to spread the load.) I think our mistake was we left the edges of the shoe on top of the wood block on top of the cabin sole and we still have some deformation of the cabin sole sinking down around the mast step shoe. Is anyone familiar with this problem? Can you share any insights or proven solutions?

Thanks!

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Herminia
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Re: Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby Herminia » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:24 pm

Hi "svwhitehawk" and welcome to the forum :-)

I am replacing the mast support base on my GS52 right now. It is done by a shipyard in Ravenna, Italy, called Pier 12 and they are a certified service station for Grand Soleils. They were well familiar with the mast base problem on the GS52 and maybe also on your GS46. I will forward your question to them.
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Rune
Grand Soleil 52 "Herminia"
Cruising Spain

svwhitehawk
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:52 pm

Re: Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby svwhitehawk » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:14 pm

Hi Herminia,

Thanks for the welcome and thanks for the help. I looked for a forum like this in years past but could not find anything and having just found this forum today I am very excited to have this opportunity to seek and share information about our wonderful boats. We have done quite a lot of self-performed improvement and repair projects on our 1986 Grand Soleil 46 in the roughly 17 years we have owned her, so hopefully we can give back as much helpful information as we get. In the past few years we completed a teak deck removal and deck repair project (now non-skid), backstay chain plate repair, and refrigeration insulation replacement (now vacuum panels), among many other projects. We cruised the Pacific from 2001 to 2005 and we are currently preparing to go again soon.

S/V White Hawk
Currently in San Diego, California

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Herminia
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Re: Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby Herminia » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:12 am

Hi again S/V White Hawk

It would be much appreciated if you could share with us your projects and experiences. Maybe you also have pictures of your improvements? This forum is new and we also hope you will spread the word to other Grand Soleil owners you may know about or meet along your route.

Also looking forward to seeing some pictures of your beautyful GS 46 cruising the Pacific :-)
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Rune
Grand Soleil 52 "Herminia"
Cruising Spain

choel
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Re: Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby choel » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:08 pm

Hi "svwhitehawk", and welcome :D
Do you have a picture of the "stainless support box structure "? I'm interested because maybe maybe I have the same problem on my GS45 -91, just bought her, but I'll have a look when I get pack to the boat in April. But I really hope it's ok since I'm on a deadline :|
And if I have to fix it it's nice to have an idea on how to do it, and maybe I can help you from my experience with boats.
Joel
Grand Soleil 45 "Serenity"
Currently in Lavrio, Greece

svwhitehawk
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Re: Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby svwhitehawk » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:43 am

Sorry. I just spent 1/2 hour attaching a photo and writing a dissertation on my mast step project and when I tried to preview it I got kicked out with "web page expired" and lost it all. I'm too tired to start over. I'll try again another day.

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Herminia
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Re: Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby Herminia » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:41 pm

I have an extremely poor internet line (satellite) and this happens to me sometimes too. I have started to write the text in Word and then when I make the post, I attach the photo first and copy/paste the text in afterwords.
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Rune
Grand Soleil 52 "Herminia"
Cruising Spain

svwhitehawk
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:52 pm

Re: Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby svwhitehawk » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:57 pm

Excellent advice.

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Herminia
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Re: Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby Herminia » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:57 pm

Hi again S/V White Hawk,

I have received a reply from Pier12 shipyard to your mast base problem:
Look here for contact details www.pier12.net.

"we have repaired many mastbase in many Grand Soleil
in case of grand soleil 46 or also 46.3 we do like this:

remove the old mast base (is a little plate in iron or other metal)
remove with electric tools the base in wood and cut all the way around the floor plates near the base, we have to do a space between the plates
give sand paper with tool and clean with acetone
put again a new wood base painted with epoxi (oak ith the best)
close the hole between the the base and the plates and the longitudinal with epoxi filler
shave perfectly with filler and reconstruct the plates and coverall with fiberglass,at the end the level must be the same of the other plates or longitudinal
put a new mastbase in inox as like in your Grand Soleil 52"
---
Rune
Grand Soleil 52 "Herminia"
Cruising Spain

svwhitehawk
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:52 pm

Re: Calling all Grand Soleil 46 owners - Mast step rebuild?

Postby svwhitehawk » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:03 pm

GS46 mast base.jpg


Hi Herminia,

Thanks for sharing the mast step information from the yard. The part I’m still unclear on is whether at the end of the project the mast step should be tied into the cabin sole or if it is OK to cut around the cabin sole and let the mast step have some freedom of movement up and down through the cabin sole.

In the attached photo you can see the stainless “shoe” that the mast base rests on. The edges of the shoe rest on the wood block that is on top of the cabin sole, but I cut out the center of the wood block under the shoe and built a stainless steel box structure underneath that the shoe is directly bolted down to. The bottom of the stainless box structure is bolted down to a very thick stainless plate that spans two stringers over the keel. Sorry I don’t have pictures of the box but it consists of about ½” 316L stainless plate with top and bottom horizontal plates and a bunch of vertical plate sections welded in between on edge to form a robust honey-comb box that is sized to fully support the mast circumference. This project started when we had the mast out anyway to replace the standing rigging in New Zealand and do some repair work on the mast. The factory had used several pieces of wood and some type of resin-based filler in the build-up of the mast step between the keel stringer and the cabin sole and the filler was crumbling and the wood was rotten so the structure was compressed and the cabin sole was depressed around the mast base. My mistake in this project was I made all the measurements to build the new step structure while the mast was out without calculating for the compression forces of a properly tensioned rig. After installing the new step the cabin sole was flat and level and everything looked great. Then we put the mast back in and tensioned the rig. It was not long before we again had a depression in the sole around the mast base. The stainless can’t compress so it must be the stringers compressing and the hull changing shape by ½” when the rig is tensioned. I’m not sure how important it is to have the cabin sole tied into the structure. I could try adding another ½” plate into the height of the step or I could cut the wood block under the shoe so that the shoe can move up and down independent of the cabin sole. I think this is really just a cosmetic issue so I’m not in any hurry to fix it, but I want a plan in mind for the next time we pull the mast for any other reason.

Thanks,
White Hawk


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