The Albin Vega Mast Support Reinforcement Upgrade

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It is advisable to do the job when the boat is ashore and the deck is not under load. The work can
still be carried out whilst in the water but a little more care must be taken…. Before starting
ensure either the mast has been un-stepped or the rigging is very, very slack. Do not
attempt this job in high winds etc and above all use common sense.
Disassemble the mast support beam by removing the plywood plate (facing forward in the
forecabin) which is fixed to the mast beam/bulkhead by means of the wooden distance
blocks. Remove these from the mast beam and the deck ceiling. On some boats the wooden
blocks are replaced by a U-shaped piece of fibre glass laminate which is glued to the ceiling.
Remove the U-beam/distance blocks by using a chisel and grind off any rough edges if
necessary. Remove any through-bolts if fixed. Using a knife or a blade cut the joint where
the beam moulding is glued to the bulkhead so as to avoid and damage to the veneer.
When the forward side is free (towards the fore cabin) and the upper edge of the bulkhead
is visible it is time to support and lift the support beam by using an acrow or jack which rests
on solid pieces of wood on the floor and against the beam so as to spread the load. Knock
off the door pillars with caution. They are normally only nailed to the bulkhead. Press the
deck further upwards. A closed toilet door provides a good guidance: The gap between the
top of the door and the mast beam must be even. Another measure is the bottom end of the
two door pillars which should be 15 mm above the floor. When the deck has reached an
acceptable height (it will possibly sag a bit), check if there are unfilled spaces between the
deck and the bulkhead. If there are, fill out with epoxy glue and strips of wood. Place the
new aluminium mast beam against the deck and check that it follows the deck shape. Minor
adjustments might be necessary. Adjust by using a file or a grinding machine. Minor
unevennesses are filled out at the final assembly!
Apply two solid stipes of Sikaflex 291 to the thin (5mm) aluminium moulding and press it
with the broad side up against the ceiling. Put stripes of glue on the aluminium beam (10mm)
and press it as hard as possible against the moulding on the ceiling by using another jack or
a wooden post stressed against the floor.
Pre-drill the countersunk holes and secure the beam by means of the stainless screws before
the glue starts hardening. Pull the wooden beam, the bulkhead and the aluminium beam
together by using the five long 6mm bolts. Pre-drill with a 7 mm drill. Replace the bolts at the
hull sides and fix washers on the wood side.
Thoroughly check all fixings before re-tightening the standard rigging and adjusting for your
sailing trim.