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      We have recently noticed that the bulk head and the mast post has shifted. We had just paid a rigger to set the stay tensions correctly – they were a bit slack. When we went below we found the door to the front cabin wouldn’t close. We had to slacken off the mast stays to get the door to close. Any one else had this problem? What’s the next step? Any suggestions?


        We have a Bavaria 34 which we have sailed in some heavy weather and we have never had a problem with the cabin door.
        Thers are two possibilities.
        The rigger has overtightened the rig or the structure of the boat is not strong enough to take the correct rig tensions.
        If the B34 was not strong enough i would have expected to see more reports of this problem, but there is the possibility that your boat has a fault. The loads from the rig are taken down through the bottle screws to the large knees which are bonded to the hull sides behind the backrests in the main saloon. the partition within the under berth storage opposite the knees are made of several thicknesses of plywood again bonded to the hull and these stiffen the hull locally and transmit the loads down to the floor. This consists of the hull and the inner moulding, coloured brown which i have assumed in a composite member transmitting the load back to the keel area of the floor. I would check the bonding from the knees down and look for any cracks or signs of de-bonding. If all is well then i would suspect the rigger has overtightened the rig.
        The bulkhead on our boat does not appear to be fixed to the mast support post and is only bonded in across the bottom and the sides so it does not form any major part of the structure, even though it is bound to give some local stiffness it cannot do more as there is very little left above and below the door.
        There is a very good article on setting up your rig on the Selden Masts site and all you need is a 2 metre tape measure to do the whole task to the highest standard.
        We did this and then checked the rig with a rig tension meter and the result was exactly the same.
        Best of luck.


          Don’t know if anyone is still interested re our mast post shifting problem. We actually had to take the mast down to renew the shrouds this spring so we took the opportunity to have a bash at our shifting mast post. You can see the way the mast post has shifted forward on http://www.pbase.com/davehamilton/alcina Password is – alcina You can see how the mast was before the tension was taken off and after – didn’t move. You can see how the bulkhead has bent towards the bow and the strip has come off the bottom of the bulkhead in the front cabin. The door also had problems shutting. The mast was forced back with large bits of wood and a car jack almost to the front of the plinth. When the tension was then taken off it just popped back to its shifted position. After the roof was jacked up we found some crumbling epoxy underneath the mast post. Much to our surprise its simply epoxy and the floating bulkhead which keeps the mast post in place! We re expoxied underneath the mast post and it doesn’t seem to have moved again so far but there again we haven’t gone any distance as yet.

          In the mean time I’m looking for two brackets to be made – ideally I suppose in Stainless Steel – that start an inch or two up the mast post at either side from the base. then go down and hug the contours of the plinth and along the keel floor either side. I don’t think I will be quite happy until it’s all bolted down never to move again!


          Ken Kirby


            Hi Ken,

            I was astonished to read your post. I had not considered that the timber mast support post would be simply sat on a bed of epoxy mortar, with possibly the same treatment at the top where it meets the aluminium backing plate to the mast deck fitting. When you consider that the bulkhead is not fixed to the mast support, any shrinkage of the timber, failure of the epoxy mortar or simply flexing of the hull and deck could allow the mast prop to move out of position. It looks as if you have found another Bavaria design problem and a pretty serious one at that. I agree with you that the base needs to be fixed in some way to prevent it from moving in any direction. I also think that the top may need to be given similar treatment, as there is no certainty that it has been fixed to the aluminium backing plate.

            I will try to find out if there is any fixity that is not visible by getting in touch with Clipper Marine, (you never know your luck) and i will contact my brother Alf to let him look at the best design solution to sort this out. Saloma is in Brittany at present so we will have a logistics, but this looks serious enough for us to want to carry out a modification SAP.

            With your post being limited to the B34 section on the Forum it is likely that most Bavaria owners will not have followed this topic. It is probable that the timber mast supports on all Bavarias are fitted in the same way. It may be that you would want to post an article to warn other owners by using The general section or the Hints and tips.

            Let me know what you want to do, as i have strong feelings about letting all Bavaria owners know about any serious faults which could result in safety issues.



              Hi Alan and Sheila,

              Thanks for you reply. Sorry for not getting back sooner. Interested to read that you are both appalled and motivated by our mast post shifting issue and keen to help/follow it up. I have got a quote from a local marine engineering firm would went to look at it. They aid they could make two SS brackets to attach it for £200. For your interest the wonderful Marine Surveyor at Hythe, Geoff Waddington, also went and had a look at it. He suggested that when the brackets were made bolts should be put through the mast foot from one side to the other rather than screws. He believed that there is a metal centre to the post so any fixing should go through that rather than attach to the outer wooden fixing. The top of the mast post does attach to a aluminium plate as you suggest and there are also signs of epoxy oozing from the joint. Ours doesn’t seem to have moved at that point.

              From my experience I think the mast post is attached to the bulkhead at the back. In the front cabin you can see two sections of bulkhead slotting directly into a vertical wooden batten behind the mast post. This doesn’t appear to be a cosmetic beading of wood but a solid part of the mast post – it sounds quite dense when you tap it. Hope that’s of help.

              Look forward to hearing from you.

              Best Ken

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