Skip to main content
Lightning Class Association
HomeMast Rot

How Can I Fix Mast Rot and Delamination

Hi Paul,

What advice would you give for this question?

I own a wooden Lightning #5230. At the end of last summer, as I was putting the mast in the barn for the winter, I noticed the center of the mast beginning to delaminate and separate. To a layman like me, it looks repairable. Any suggestions on steps to repair and type of adhesive to use?

Same mast, different problem. The very top of the mast has become punky from dry rot. This seems to be a more complicated repair. The problem is in the top 4 inches of the mast. Is it possible to fabricate a new
mast top and attach? Or should I be looking for another mast?

Any thoughts you have on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Schuylerville, New York

Dear Paul:

The mast is probably repairable. I say "probably" because without being able to survey the extent of the rot, it's hard to say. It's the rot that tosses a monkey wrench into the works (so to speak). The delaminated area is easy to repair with a bit of epoxy resin. The rotted area is something else.

The rotted section may be repairable, but it's probably faster, easier, and more economical to simply fabricate a new mast. That would be my option.


Paul J. Bennett
Marine Engineer, Naval Architect
Bennett Marine Enterprises
Shoestring Shipyard
Shoestring Publishing

Sponsor Number URL address
Sponsor 1
Sponsor 2
Sponsor 3
Sponsor 4
Sponsor 5
Sponsor 6
Sponsor 7
Sponsor 8
Sponsor 9
Sponsor 10

Lightning Class Supporters