Multiplast have turned around a scheduled 18-day mast repair in just 12 days and Orange’s mast will be re-stepped on Friday ready for a Saturday start to her Jules Verne attempt
Within a few hours of pulling out Orange’s rig on February 15, specialists at Multiplast – the yard in Vannes where the 110ft maxicatamaran was built – had found that the top metre (3ft) had sheared off the mast completely and the remaining section had a 20mm (1″) split running down to the hounds four metres (13ft) below.
The damage was quickly pronounced repairable. The masthead section would be trimmed and reused and the four-metre section between the masthead and the hounds would be rebuilt using the original half-shell moulds.
At Multiplast, pre-preg carbon fibre cloth was removed from cold storage and laid up in the moulds, sandwiching the honeycomb core. After curing, these shells were laminated together inside and out, grafted onto the mast above the hounds and then baked to 120°C. The masthead section was then grafted on to complete the repair and the new section ultrasonically tested for integrity.
Restepping is scheduled for this Friday 1 March. Sea trials are looking unlikely as Peyron has spotted a weather window between 0600 and 1200 the following morning. Orange will leave the Multiplast yard as soon as her mast is stepped and rigged and make for the startline off Ushant.