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Prodigal's 'Masting Incident', Yankee 204, Oneida Lake, New York  
June 24, 2021 Scot Ioset sent in this report on his mast setting problem on Prodigal, Yankee #204

Hi Ron,

I want to share a masting accident that is a lesson in what not to do. We were placing the mast onto Prodigal (#204) using our mast lift at our marina. I attached the forestay, then the backstay, and then the two main sidestays. Lift was still attached. So far so good.My turnbuckle on the starboard was defective and should have been replaced earlier. I SHOULD have attached all the lower side stays when I noted the defect. Went below to grab a new turnbuckle and … crash, the turnbuckle gave way and the mast went to port and caught in the lift. The tabernacle pulled away as designed, as it is held in place by 1 1/2” stainless steel screws and it did allow us to right the mast, stabilize it manually and then release the stays to take it down.

A fellow sailor heard the crash, came running over and his help was invaluable. Aren’t sailors the best?!?!!

I covered the deck with a tarp and sealed the “hump” with double-sided tape and plastic bag. It did get exposed to some rain, so dryness will be a goal going forward. Last evening I unscrewed the tabernacle base plate easily enough and used a oscillating Multi-Max Dremel saw to uncover the wood and remove the damaged 1/4” of fiberglass. See photos below.

I then used a heat gun to heat the wood several cycles to drive out moisture, then sealed it up for the night. No wood rot, thankfully! My plan going forward is to drill the four screw holes out to a 1 1/2” depth with a 5/8” hole saw, continue drying, and then epoxy white oak doweling (5/8”) into my created holes. My son nearly has his PhD in nautical archeology and advised me to only use white oak, as it resists capillary movement of water due to its cellular structure, unlike other hardwoods.I plan to then reglass the area and finish with a primer and Brightsides. Then, finally re-drill and attach the plate.

The technical area of the Dolphin site had little reference as to what lays beneath the mast plate. Lots of conjecture. Well, maybe my mishap will shed light on how Yankee Yachts designed this and with what materials. I have photographed along the way and will forward those to you or create a third party site for documentation of my “project”!

Fair breezes,

Scot Ioset

Click on the photos for larger images


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