IMPORTANT! Calling all Tiki 38 Builders & Owners
Over the last week it has come to notice that there is a potential weakness with the foremast case on the Tiki 38.
I was first made aware via an e-mail forwarded to me from Daniel Ganz on ‘Marabu’. In April he left the West Indies enroute to the Azores and was some 500 miles out when he noticed a crack in the aft end of the mast case. See the photos below.
Fearful that complete failure might result in loss of the foremast and deck he lashed everything together, turned the boat around and thankfully made it back to a safe harbour without further mishap.
What is particularly concerning about this failure is that ‘Marabu’ was only launched in 2008/2009 and so the plywood was sound without any signs of rot.
Daniel e-mailed Hanneke at JWD to tell her of the problem and to seek her advice. She replied with some recommendations which I’ll get to shortly however her e-mail also revealed that a few months previously there had been a similar failure on another Tiki 38 called “Jumpa Lagi”.
“Jumpa Lagi” is now owned by Olivier Faucon and is considerably older having been built in Brunei in 2004. In this case the failure was attributed to rot in the mast case and the photos below show what Daniel thankfully avoided.
“The mast case is under considerable strain in steep seas sailing to windward”.
Her recommendations to Daniel were as follows;
“I think you will need to dismantle the cracked wood parts and replace them with new good quality plywood as per the original drawings. I would then suggest that the whole mastcase is strengthened with two hardwood longitudinals along the outside upper edges of the mast case, i.e. hardwood timbers of 80mm x 25mm placed vertical. These should be full length, so they sit on top of the crossbeams at front and back. In both cases the maststep has worked well for many years before failing, so the break is due to a fatigue problem. Many Tiki 38s have sailed many ocean miles without showing a problem so far. I think this strengthening is sufficient to avoid any further problems’.
Today I received an e-mail from Hanneke telling me about these failures. She is making modifications to the plans and will be sending them out to all of the Tiki 38 builders and owners that they know about.
She asked if I would assist in publicising this information as there may be some owners and builders out there who are not on the JWD database but that might read my blog.
I know that Daniel has posted about his problem on the Wharram Builders and Friends site so hopefully this important information will get out there quickly.
Needless to say I’ll be making my mast case super strong!