Seal's Spars and Rigging 1327 Sherman St. Alameda, CA 94501 (510)
It seems that nearly everyone in the Santana 22 class took my advice on how
to avoid mast losses. I know because over the last few years I have hardly built
any Santana rigs. I have a fair bit of experience with Santana 22's. Since
1974, I have built over eighty Santana 22 masts! I have specialized in them for
20 years now, and have built more masts and booms and have more Santana parts
available than the factory or anyone else.
The advice I gave in 1974 on what to do to avoid losing a Santana mast is
still valid today. Here's a summary:
Chainplates: The standard aluminum chainplates should be replaced with
Stainless Steel Chainplates.
Standing Rigging: All Santana standing rigging is made out of 5/32" wire.
This wire is adequate on the headstay, backstay and upper stays. It is not
adequate on the lower stay. The single lower stay is quite
heavily loaded because the chainplates are so close to the mast on the
cabin top, so the lead angle is quite narrow. Also, the lower stay supports
the spreader. Because of these two factors the lower stay is considerably more
loaded than any of the other stays on the boat, and needs to be upgraded to
Turnbuckles: All turnbuckles on Santanas should be upgraded from 1/4"
threaded shanks to 5/16" threaded shanks or turnbuckles strong enough for
3/16" wire (even on the 5/32" wire).
Standing Rigging Replacement: As Santanas age it is very important, even
with the rigging upgrades mentioned, to replace the standing rigging on a
regular basis. I strongly reccomend that the stays be replaced after six or
seven racing seasons or not older than eight to ten years, to avoid stay
failure (and mast failure).
Insurance: Boat insurance is about the only bargain left in insurance
these days. To fully insure a Santana for $5000 costs about $170 a year. It is
very important to have insurance because a mast replacement or minor
fiberglass damage due to a collision can run $3000 or more!