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mizzen make-over

When we purchased SV Marauder in May 2019, we knew that the boat had a couple large structural issues that needed attention. One issue was the bowsprit, which we completely replaced while on the hard. The other main issue was the mizzen mast, which had serious rot throughout the mast...but the majority of the rot remained at the foot.

We were already overwhelmed at the thought of having to build a new bowsprit that would remain in budget and also be completed in time for us to take off before the hurricane season. Luckily, an incredibly knowledgable local shipwright confirmed Martin's suspicion that the mast could in-fact be repaired rather than replaced. We stepped the mast and got into the rot as soon as we learned it could be fixed!

Martin took his time chiseling out rot to ensure all solid wood remained untouched. It was a delicate process that took time, focus, and sharp tools.

Once we hauled out, Martin had to juggle the bowsprit build and the mast repairs, so I would help as best I could whenever possible by sanding or applying penetrating-epoxy where he needed it.

After all the rot had been removed and the areas were properly prepped, new pieces of wood were cut to size and dry fitted to ensure the best fit.

As with the bowsprit, West Systems was the chosen lamination product when the new wood was scarfed into place. And as always, the epoxy was left to fully and properly cure.

Once fully cured, excess wood was removed and the mast was re-shaped with orbital sanders to match its original shape.

We also decided to paint the mast with Awlgrip for longevity purposes. As with any piece of wood on board, we try to cover it with some type of product to help protect it from the weather and insects.

Getting the mizzen mast back up was one of the most exciting days we had on the hard, and it was a few days after we had re-installed the bowsprit so we were just starting to come down from that high. Solid as ever, our repaired mizzen mast has kept it's shape, strength, and rigidity almost 10,000 nautical miles and two years later. Now all we need to do is paint the main mast to match!

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