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 Post subject: Aluminum Luff Track
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:34 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Posts: 2
While lowering my mast, the mast hinge broke allowing the aluminum luff track at the top of the mast to strike the ground. Luckily no one was hurt, just my pride. The only damage that I can see is the aluminum luff track bent to the point that the sail won't go past the dent. Is there an easy way to replace the luff track without removing the masthead? If not, what is the proper way to remove the masthead?
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 Post subject: Re: Aluminum Luff Track
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:10 pm 
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Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 3555
Location: Jersey Shore
Can you just bend the track back?

Otherwise, to remove you need to drill out the six rivets which are used to attach the halyard hook. These rivets also hold in the head cap. Then carefully remove the head cap and slide out the luff track. Be very careful not to crack the comptip when driving out the rivets or taking out the head cap. Install in the reverse order and use silicone or similar sealant on the head cap and rivets.

Note that Hobie does claim that the aluinum luff track sections can just be popped on and off of the comptip but I have never found that to be the case and have always resorted to removing the head cap.

On a related note, when raising and lowering the mast, always be sure to keep it aligned with the centerline of the boat. A broken mast hinge is almost always the result of the mast drifting off to the side which allows the hinge to crack.

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 Post subject: Re: Aluminum Luff Track
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:23 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Posts: 2
SMR, you are absolutely correct about the reason the mast hinge broke.
How does one "carefully remove the head cap"? I've been beating on the pulley housing with a rubber mallet & it has not budged.
All 6 of the rivets have been removed.
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 Post subject: Re: Aluminum Luff Track
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:27 am 
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Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 3555
Location: Jersey Shore
Did you drill off the heads of the rivets and then drive the remaining part all the way into the mast? Is it possible that part of the rivet is still hanging up on the mast and not allowing the cap to be removed?

Otherwise, try to use a large flat screw driver with your mallet and carefully tap all around the edge of the lip of the cap to drive it out evenly (if you just hit the pulley, the cap will get cocked at an angle and not want to come out).

You may also need to secure the mast to something solid so it doesn't move when you tap the head cap.

If I recall, the last time I removed one, it was tight and I ended up cracking the comptip taking it out (fixed fairly easily by wrapping the tip of the mast with carbon fiber).

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