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Do you secure masts

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I saw a post earlier suggesting that you don't glue your masts, you leave them loose in case you eventually have to re-rig them.  I'm curious what others think.


If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea  

Antoine de Saint Exupery


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Member of the Nautical Research Guild


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I started off gluing mine in but thrn changed to allowing the rigging to hold it in place correctly. I actually found it easier to position the mast this way and fine adjustments were also easy just by tensioning or slackening the relevant shrouds.


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I have done both options, and can not say one is better than the other.


There aren't but two options: do it FAST, or do it RIGHT.


Current Project Build Log: HMS Surprise 1790. Artesania Latina 1/48

Future projects already in my stash: Panart: San Felipe 1/75; OcCre: Santísima Trinidad 1/90;

Wish List: Le Soleil Royal, 1/64 Amati Victory


So much to build, so little time!



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I have only left mine floating (not glued) for the reasons mentioned by others above.  However, I did ensure the mast entry hole on the deck was a close fit so they did not move around too much :)





If at first you do not suceed, try, and then try again!
Current build: HMCSS Victoria (Scratch)

Next build: HMAS Vampire (3D printed resin, scratch 1:350)

Built:          Battle Station (Scratch) and HM Bark Endeavour 1768 (kit 1:64)

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I do not use glue when I install the masts or spars.  There really is no reason to.  Yes, if you broke one, it would be one less problem to get around.  Except for the lower yards, everything was able to be taken down at sea.  You really don't need to glue anything as the rigging will hold everything together.  Regarding the lower masts; I install wedges to keep them relatively tight at the deck.  In full scale, there are also wedges where the mast passes through the deck.  This allows me to adjust mast rake as I rip.





Tom Ruggiero


Director Nautical Research Guild

Member Ship Model Society of New Jersey (Past President)

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While I understand the reasons given for leaving masts unglued, my personal preference is to glue them in place. I would rather have the stability of a permanently mounted mast. Proper tensioning of rigging is difficult enough without having to worry about the mast moving about.



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I am in the thick of rigging my Pride 2 model, and I like not having the mast glued in. I have already had to "de-rig" the foremast one time, and it's comforting to know that I can do that if I realize I forgot to do something to the mast that is easier off the boat.



Current build: Schooner Mary Day (scratch)


Previous builds:  Model Shipways Pride of Baltimore 2, Amati HMS Endeavour, Midwest Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack, Bluejacket America, Midwest Sharpie Schooner



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My masts are not glued. They are inserted into a previously installed brass tube where the i.d. is slightly larger than the o.d. of the mast. All as per the C. Nepean Longridge method. 

The brass tube is held into place by the correct diameter hole in the deck and a gentle tap into the keel.

For the amount of times a mast is placed into a model during construction, its perfectly placed every time, and it absolutely positively does not move.





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Good Day Martin,


That is a great Idea.  I have Longridge's book, but it has been so long ago that I didn't remember that detail.  Thanks for sharing that.  I've placed and removed the masts several times, and I'm sure that I will be doing it several times before I rig shrouds etc.  The method that you use prevents enlarging the wood.


Best regards,



Tom Ruggiero


Director Nautical Research Guild

Member Ship Model Society of New Jersey (Past President)

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I remember a long ago suggestion:

Cut off the tip of a nail and secure the butt end

into the center of the mast step- with just the tapered

tip of the nail showing.  It holds the heal of the mast

but allows adjustment if needed.

The wedges and shrouds should suffice for the correct



NRG member 45 years



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Yes, another god suggestion.  When I put in the lower masts for the last time before doing the shrouds, I'm going to insert a very small pointed pin in the bottom to hold the heel of the mast.

Tom Ruggiero


Director Nautical Research Guild

Member Ship Model Society of New Jersey (Past President)

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