Ian Shepherd SM2K Crusader (2003) Larnaca Cyprus
sorry to be late with this reply but I would like to add my input.
Twelve weeks after taking delivery of my new SM2K I was at anchor
off Cartright Labrador after a voyage from Ireland to Greenland.
Whilst doing my daily walk around the boat I did notice a fleck of
white paint on the deck. There did not seem to be any obvious source
of the paint and being single handed, an up mast inspection was not
possible at that time. I concluded that the fleck of paint may have
been blown from the shore and continued my voyage to Newfoundland. A
week later whilst on a broad reach with the port tangon poling out
the genoa, I suffered a dis-masting after the port lower main mast
spreader failed at the weld to the mast bracket.
Forensic analysis showed that the weld had not been properly
prepared, too little heat had been used and too little argon used as
well. It turned out that Amel had changed fabricators and the new
company clearly had failed to do the job properly. The boat built
prior to mine (413) also discovered cracks in a spreader just prior
to starting a crossing to the Caribbean. By chance they had to go up
the mast to re-rig a flag halyard and noticed the failure.
In my view, one of the least satisfactory design features of the
Amel is the way in which they construct their spreaders. Unlike
almost every other manufacturer they rely on butt welding the
spreader extrusion to the mast bracket. Unlike almost every other
manufacturer there is no insert into the extrusion with pins or
bolts so if that weld fails, as mine did, it is not fail safe. The
broken spreader will come off the bracket and the side support is
gone. I did suggest to M. Lemonnier that an improvement would be to
drill a hole in each end of the spreader and fix a tie rod between
the end plates to at least keep the spreader in place should the
weld fail, but he dismissed the idea outright.
To be fair to Amel they did change the spreaders on 30 boats that
had been built with spreaders from the new fabricator. However, you
should be aware that the welds are not normally subjected to NDT
testing and so I would suggest that you keep a very close eye on
your paint cracking. You may be heading for a spreader failure
further down the log.
Ian Shepherd SM2K 414 Crusader (2003) Cyprus
The port-side is much less visible and to my amateur
eye really does seem only to be in the surface paint.
Yes, the shrouds are the right way round (I have to
confess I did just go up on deck to check!). The rigger
who did it has worked with Amels before and we tried to
replicate the same tight set up with me checking that
there is no looseness in the leeward shrouds when on the
wind.....HOWEVER during this season I had noticed a very
slight new vibration in the upper section of the mast
with certain wind angles over the rig when we are tied
up to the dock (but not when sailing or at anchor).
When we replaced the rigging we set the mast up to be
pretty straight with no bend aft-wards but I think I can
now detect a very slight inversion (forward bend) at the
top of the mast. The reason I had a rigger on the boat
when we arrived in Brisbane was not only to check the
whole rig but also to consult him about adjusting this,
albeit only marginally. We certainly didn't seem to have
any extra movement or pumping when sailing but I am now
wondering if this may be part of the issue or at least
an indication of it.
If the cracking does turn out to only be superficial
(in the paint) do you think we should still take further
action on the spreaders or just make sure the set up is
absolutely correct and keep a close eye on it?
Bamboozle SM #388