The mast is important for all sailboats. If the mast is damaged or not strong enough then it can affect your entire boat. Masts are very susceptible to damage because they stick up a long way into the air. Going under bridges could, for example, snap the mast, as could very severe weather conditions. Depending on the material the mast is made from, there are a number of reasons why you might need to replace it. When you start to notice that your existing mast is looking sorry for itself you need to replace it.
Step 1 - Choosing a New Mast
Measure the height of the mast and also check the diameter. You will need to check that the mast you are replacing it with is similar to the existing mast in size, material and in hardware. Do your research on the Internet to find a source of these masts. There are also various other magazines which can tell you about the different types of masts which are suitable for sailboats.
There are a number of different places which make masts to different requirements. There are a number of different materials and types of masts available. Aluminum masts are some of the most popular. Wooden masts are also popular.
Ideally you should choose the same type of mast that you are removing as this will make replacing it much easier and less of an issue. Once you have chosen your new mast, purchase it.
Step 2 - Removing the Old Mast
The old mast might of been snapped or otherwise damaged. It will need to be removed. To remove the mast access the joint between the mast and the rest of your boat. Then undo the fixing bolts, carefully remove the old mast so no further damage is caused.
Step 3 - Replacing the New Mast
When it comes to replacing the mast you must ensure that it is fitted correctly. Failing to fit a mast properly can put yourself and your boat in danger. The mast should be fitted according to the owners manual of your boat. This will be difficult without specialist equipment because the masts are so large. The new mast needs to be bolted into the frame in several places so that it is sturdy and will not move.
Step 4 - Rigging
Now all that's left to do is replace all of the rigging so that it can control the boom. Use strong ropes in order to control the sails on your boat properly. If any of the original rope is frayed or damaged then it should be replaced; never risk using damaged ropes.
The most common type of rope to use is steel wire because this is much stronger than traditional ropes. If you are unsure how to rig a boat then look in your owners manual; failing that, ask for help.