Caring for your mast

Maintenance is the foundation of any well-managed yacht and the rig is no exception.

The concept behind our mast maintenance programmes is straight-forward – have your mast and rig serviced on a regular basis, keep an accurate record of the service history and receive timely reminders for future services.

Service work is performed by fully-trained technicians in the field, who have Southern Spars’ technical expertise, along with the latest developments on spars and components. For Southern Spars-built rigs, the technicians also have design support, including sea trial data, which enables a totally integrated approach to managing your rig’s maintenance programme.

More information about our mast maintenance programmes is available contacting – [email protected]

Mast Maintenance Programme Benefits

  • •Maximising the safety and enjoyment of your yacht
  • •Protecting the resale value of a mast
  • •Ensuring your rig performs to the standards it was designed for
  • •Gaining access to Southern Spars extensive knowledge on mast dynamics
  • •Providing a global service for customers
  • •Being kept up to date with latest rig developments

Service and Maintenance Options

Rig Health Check

When you buy a second hand boat or mast, it is important to do a thorough rig examination to check the condition of the mast, boom and rigging. Our Rig Health Checks re-life older masts, bringing them up to modern standards with new fittings, electrics and rigging.

Options with a Rig Health Check include:

  • Replace all metal fittings: sheaves and pins etc.
  • Re-do electronics: cables and components including lights
  • Performance upgrade: new spreaders and update rigging to ECsix

Rig Inspection

Each rig inspection is conducted by an experienced technician and comprises the following steps with the mast in and still fully rigged.

  • A full mast and rig inspection from top to bottom, reviewing key areas such as the sheaves, pins, spreader roots and tips, backstay, forestay and runner tangs.
  • Update rig log-book
  • Issue report of recommended maintenance to yacht’s representative(s)

This is the type of inspection performed on an America’s Cup boat after every race and should be performed on all craft after any major passage, or at least once a year regardless of age or usage.

Intermediate Service

The intermediate service is conducted by an experienced technician and comprises the following steps with the mast in and still fully rigged.

  • A full mast check, from top to bottom, as per the rig inspection.
  • ‘Jacking’ the rig down
  • Lubricate all fittings that can be accessed while the mast is still in the yacht, such as the cold heads
  • ‘Jacking’ the mast up and ensuring all rig tensions are correct with the spar correctly centred
  • Re-tune mast and rigging
  • Update rig log-book
  • Issue maintenance report to yacht’s representative(s)

Full Service

Full service

A full service comprises the following steps and is an excellent option to be completed on an annual basis for racing yachts and heavily-used cruising yachts.

  • Check the entire rig thoroughly pre-service
  • Unstep the mast, then dismantle it
  • Rigging rods are tested using non-destructive techniques such as dye or ultrasound testing
  • Thorough inspection of all other mast components including any composite rigging which is tested according to safe working load parameters
  • Evaluate test results and observations before discussing any required repairs with yacht representataive(s)
  • Make all necessary repairs, reassemble and re-step mast
  • Mast and rigging re-tuned
  • Conduct sea trial, adjust mast tuning if needed
  • Update rig logbook

For those thinking of buying a yacht, a rig survey of this type is a wise investment and an excellent start to a comprehensive maintenance programme.