Mainsheet Track Failure

First we found that the bolts are thru-bolted through the caprail and the HTD joint. Then when I finally really looked at the obvious I noted that the track was a flat track and not a T-track. Next I noted that the car was not the “right” size to fit the depth of the track itself. It is one of those that at one time had a plastic insert and that had been removed. The space is too large and the pin would not securely hold the car in the desired place. So, major movement occurred when it was not expected. There was no nut on the end bolt. There was also no nut on a couple other bolts too. The fasteners are 10mm and not quarter inch. There were no fender washers on the bolts. They appeared to have been threaded through the caprail and HTD and sealed with something like 5200 with some of that over the nuts that were there.

So, now it is out to the metal worker who is going to try to straighten and flatten the track. (There were some indications that this was not the first time a large weight had provided some “lift” to the track but then near the middle.) When it comes back it will go back with quarter inch bolts with washers and maybe some epoxy or FRP to keep the washers and nuts in place so that they can be serviced when needed without worrying about where the nuts/washers went and knowing that there something there to tighten to.

In the March/April 2008 issue of “Good Old Boat” there is an article about “Taming the boom” on a Mason 43. It is a combination preventer and vang setup. Essentially this is what was installed on the boat when we bought her in 2006. I think (without checking for sure) we have a 4:1 purchase on either side instead of the 8:1 as is indicated in the article. Ours were both hung from the same 1″ wide webbing. That webbing gave way too. I had not noticed any wear or sun damage and it was covered during the heat of the Mazatlan summer. I’m going to replace that with wider webbing and, I think right now, split the sides apart so that a webbing is in place for each side. Also, I’m going to see if I can find a better way to keep it in place on the boom.

FWIW, I’d suggest that everyone might want to take a few minutes and check to see that theirs are all well secured too. It kinda gets your attention when it lifts and bends.

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