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Frequently Asked Questions
 
What are the mix ratios-I don’t want to pour it all at once?

The mixing ratios by weight are in the Technical Specifications section of this Web site. However, remember SPARTITE was designed so nothing could go wrong. We packaged the correct amount in each can, even allowing for that which remains in the can when it is poured into the mixing cup. Just shake the small can and pour it into the large can. Mix well and then pour the large can into the mixing cup and mix again (called double cupping). This ensures that everything is mixed properly.

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Should the mast be centered in the partner?

Depends on the relationship of the opening to the center of your boat. Remember the center of the boat is not necessarily the center of the collar. The important tuning activity is, mast in column midway between the port and starboard chain plates. A good rigging book will tell you how to do that. It may vary from boat to boat and will only take about 10 minutes to verify with a tape measure to determine the center of the boat. Frequently a boat will sail better with her mast in one spot over another. Make sure you are satisfied with the position before you pour SPARTITE, because you are making a template that will serve you well for years to come.

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Can I use Spartite next year or do I have to do it again?

That’s what’s so special about SPARTITE. Actually if you’re the kind of sailor who takes pride in whatever you do to your boat, SPARTITE should last well into the next owner as you move up to that brand new 65 footer.

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I have a hydraulic mast step –what do I need to do?

SPARTITE is a perfect fix. Just be sure you Vaseline the spar and put set screws through the collar and into the SPARTITE chock after it is cured. Now as you move your spar up or down, the SPARTITE chock stays in place and the mast slides through the SPARTITE ring.

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Can I use vegetable spray or something instead of Vaseline?

Because SPARTITE will adhere to anything and everything that has not been coated with a release barrier, i.e. Vaseline/petroleum jelly, pulling the mast is either hard or easy if you followed the directions. Make sure you put a light but complete coat of petroleum jelly on everything you don’t want Spartite to adhere to, especially the inside of the collar. Make sure before you pour, that SPARTITE won’t flow into any indentations in the collar or seams, like where the deck meets the aluminum deck collar if you have one. Use some of the modeling clay to fair out any suspicious spots. Also, if the partner wall surface is very rough you might want to sand it or use a liberal amount of petroleum jelly until you can’t detect the texture. We have heard of people using PAM or vegetable spray with good results. We think this is probably true but we stand by petroleum jelly-as we need to add no caveats. It works –always. Whatever you do don’t use a SILICONE lubricant.

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Is Spartite okay for wooden boats?

Carbon, aluminum or wood, SPARTITE is good for all boats. Wooden masts, partners and collars just need to have varnished or painted surfaces and of course a coating of petroleum jelly wherever you don’t want it to stick. The J Class Sloop Shamrock is scheduled to get a dose of SPARTITE this fall. The Schooner America and White Hawk are two very satisfied users of SPARTITE and of course their size gives tremendous testimony to its suitability for all boats. The new re-make of Ticonderoga at Legendary yachts in the Northwest also is proudly wedged by SPARTITE.

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I don’t have a metal collar like you show in your photos –what do I do?

Most mast builders also stock collars. Try Hall Spars, Offshore Spars, Omohundro to name just a few. But if you don’t have one and don’t want to buy one, just make a dam around the opening of the partner with the modeling clay that comes in the kit. Lightly coat the deck area inside this dam with Vaseline. Once you have made the rest of the mold, mix and pour enough SPARTITE to overflow the deck out to the clay dam. Once SPARTITE has cured to a firm tack free condition (about 2 hours) pull away the clay dam and trim the SPARTITE edge with a razor knife. If you have used Vaseline on the mast as well as the inside of the collar, don’t forget to put set-screws in place to prevent the SPARTITE ring from riding up.

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Where can I get a metal collar like those in your photos?

Most mast builders also stock collars. Try Hall Spars, Offshore Spars, Omohundro to name just a few. But if you don’t have one and don’t want to buy one, just make a dam around the opening of the partner with the modeling clay that comes in the kit. Lightly coat the deck area inside this dam with Vaseline. Once you have made the rest of the mold, mix and pour enough SPARTITE to overflow the deck out to the clay dam. Once SPARTITE has cured to a firm tack free condition (about 2 hours) pull away the clay dam and trim the SPARTITE edge with a razor knife. If you have used Vaseline on the mast as well as the inside of the collar, don’t forget to put set-screws in place to prevent the SPARTITE ring from riding up.

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Is there any way I can speed up the cure time?

The instructions state that SPARTITE’s curing time is dependent on temperature. The warmer it is the quicker the cure. The product may feel hard after only a few hours but it can take up to 5 days to fully gain its properties. A rule of thumb is 3 days if it's above 75° F, 5 days below 75° to 50° F. At temperatures below 50° F, you will need to add heat via heat lamp or electric heater to help cure the product. The good news is, once the temperature rises above 60° F, it will start curing again. It just takes time. If you are interested in speeding the cure time in normal temperatures, add heat but wait a few hours to minimize shrinking away from the mating surfaces. If you add heat for 16 hours you should be able to go sailing one day sooner.

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How long will the Spartite last if I don’t install it right away?

In unopened cans Spartite should have a shelf life in excess of 10 years. KEEP THE KIT STORED AT AMBIENT TEMPERATURES AND DO NOT OPEN UNTIL READY TO INSTALL.

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My kit seems to be missing components-what do I do?

Each kit comes complete with the necessary material to dam up the opening between the mast and the partner. That would be 3 tubes of foam and 2 sticks of clay. In addition it also comes with one part A can and one part B can (or 2 of each part and 3 sticks of clay if a large kit) of SPARTITE, plastic gloves, large mixing stick, small mixing stick, mixing cup and instructions that include diagrams on how to install SPARTITE. Don’t throw away the box either, because there are pictures on the front that show the 5 easy steps to install SPARTITE. Finally there is a decal to put on your mast. It looks like advertising but there is a purpose. It reminds the rigger who pulls your spar that SPARTITE is installed and to remove the set screws before they hoist the rig from the boat. It also prepares the rigger for the normal resistance felt when the mast crane begins its hoist and before the surface friction and seal release. If you don’t have everything contact the vendor who sold you the kit. Each kit is inspected twice and weighed before it is shipped.

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What happens if I don’t have enough to finish?

If you rough up the surface of the cured SPARTITE and clean off the dust, oil and Vaseline, you can mix and pour the next batch right on top. Don’t forget to make a new masking tape dam and carefully re-Vaseline the inside of the collar area. Then pour your mix up over the collar by about ¼ inch. This will create the lip needed to keep the SPARTITE ring from falling through as well as giving you extra protection against water pooling in the area between the mast and the collar.

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What do I do - mine leaks?

You probably did nothing wrong. SPARTITE shrinks a .001 of an inch over 1 inch when not adhering to a surface. Depending on how thick the Vaseline coating was, SPARTITE will move away from the surfaces you coated. This gap can be filled with LIFE SEAL (by BOATLIFE) or other polyurethane caulk. Do not use silicone it will not adhere to SPARTITE. Also remember to clean the mast and collar of all Vaseline, dirt or other oils that may have collected before you run that bead of caulk.

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My partner is larger at the bottom than at the top-what do I do?

Call (248) 616-2411 and talk to a technician for some possible solutions.

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What caulk do you recommend?

You probably did nothing wrong. SPARTITE shrinks a .001 of an inch over 1 inch when not adhering to a surface. Depending on how thick the Vaseline coating was, SPARTITE will move away from the surfaces you coated. This gap can be filled with LIFE SEAL (by BOATLIFE) or other polyurethane caulk. Do not use silicone it will not adhere to SPARTITE. Also remember to clean the mast and collar of all Vaseline, dirt or other oils that may have collected before you run that bead of caulk.

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How do you keep it from pouring through into the boat when you install it?

Each kit comes complete with the material to make a floor between the mast and the collar. Pictures on the front of the kit and instructions in the box will show you the easiest way to make that portion of the mold. The key is to follow the directions. Most problems occur when people don’t compress the foam tubes sufficiently to support the mold floor (modeling clay seal) adequately. It doesn’t take a lot of compression but, if in the act of putting in the clay floor you keep pushing the foam tubes through, then you aren’t compressing them enough. You also must make sure the molding clay that comes with each kit is tight to the mast and the collar and that there are no pin holes in the clay. This is easily accomplished by smoothing the surface of the clay floor with petroleum jelly on your finger, or whatever fits, before pouring. Don’t forget the sail track. If you have an extruded sail track that runs through the partner area, seal that as well. Take your time and read the instructions- it's really not a bad job.

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Your instructions say to call if my mast has a lot of rake to it – what’s the problem and what’ s considered a lot?

What we are mainly concerned about here are boats with a lot of rake (not bend) say 11 to 15 degrees like a Garden ketch or schooner. Our concern is to make sure that the depth of pour in the partner is not so deep that the SPARTITE ring can’t clear the partner before the mast would encounter the cabin overhead when un-stepping. This would prevent the mast from coming out any further therein causing a bit of a dilemma. If you can understand the point and make certain that you are okay then there is no need to call.

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What is Spartite-some kind of epoxy?

SPARTITE is a high tech two part polymer that has been designed to resist infrared degradation, sea water degradation, organic decay, generate minimum heat during cure (exotherm) and to cure in a very wide variety of less than perfect conditions every time. It has also been formulated to accommodate a large range of vessels without being too much for some or too little for others. It is pre-measured so that all you have to do is pour one can into another, mix and pour again into the mixing cup, called double cupping, mix again and then pour into the mold that you have built in the mast partner. It is an exothermic curing product but temperatures seldom reach as high as 105 degree F.

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What’s the difference between kit sizes?

As far as the different sizes go, it depends on the area of the opening you are going to be pouring SPARTITE into. A small kit will fill 51 cubic inches and a large kit will fill 102 cubic inches. Greater than that, you must purchase more to fill the void. Use simple math to figure the volume. Estimate the square area in inches of a horizontal cross section of the mast and subtract it from the same estimate of a cross section of the partner opening. This gives you the area of the gap. Multiply the area times the depth, which must be at least 2", and add ¼" to the depth for the lip. This is the approximate volume of your pour. Remember when figuring depth that the foam and clay will typically take up at least an inch of your available depth. If this eliminates too much depth then you can duct tape the partner opening closed from inside the cabin and figure the whole depth. Please read the complete instructions.

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