Loose mast step

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by Movingmen1, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. Movingmen1

    Movingmen1 New Member

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    I was doing some maintenance on the boat and noticed the mast step was loose. This may sound like a silly question but how tight should the nuts be? To me it would stand to reason that you would not want any play/movement at all. Can you over-tighten and crack the fiberglass?
     
  2. Russ and Jennifer

    Russ and Jennifer Member

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    There's a ~1" wood block glassed in under the deck where the bolts go through, so I doubt you could tighten it enough to crush anything. that being said, it doesn't need to be very tight at all. under normal circumstances there is no pressure on the bolts. just tighten them a bit more than snug and you'll be fine.
    Many manufactures don't use bolts and nuts at all, preferring wood screws. the reason being, if you ever broke a shroud or forestay line, and the mast came crashing down, the screws would pull out of the deck without further damage. when bolts and nuts are used, a large chunk of your fiberglass deck is likely to still be attached to the bottom of the mast step when the mast is laying over the side of the boat in the water. this is what's commonly known as a bad day. :( . just food for thought if you were wondering if your standing rigging needs replacing. ;)

    Russ
     
  3. Movingmen1

    Movingmen1 New Member

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    Thank you for that. Just replaced anything that looked rusty or frayed.
     
  4. Bill Flynn

    Bill Flynn New Member

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    Just a quick mast foot question. My capri 14.2 wooden block seems to be decayed some what. What is a good repair for that problem?
     
  5. Shaun Sanders

    Shaun Sanders New Member

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    On my 14.2, which I recently bought and restored, I drilled out the old holes, filled them with epoxy, and let it set. Then I simply drilled new screw holes and screwed down the mast step using the same sized screws as the old ones. Why do something so simple? As far as I know, the original design allowed for the mast step/base to pull out from the deck in case of a de-masting; the original screws were set into a type of releasable epoxy, which would be way better than having the fiberglass ripped out, yes? It's working fine, as I had her out in high winds this weekend; a great ride:). If you have wood rot, replace the block of wood.
     
  6. dbk0630

    dbk0630 New Member

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    So I ignored the crack in the fiberglass around the mast step bracket (that was there since I bought the boat)... for about a half a year... until last summer, when learned the hard way that it shouldn't be ignored. While racing on a beautiful day... we heard a loud crack... and found that, while the mast was still up, the maststep bracket had sunk down a good 1/4 inch and expanded the crack in the fiberglass around the bracket... so we quickly lowered sails and headed back to our harbor. I was fortunate that I didn't actually dismast... and that I had a good crew with me.

    I ended up cutting out the loose/cracked fiberglass, cutting out the glassed-in (rotted) wood, and replacing with a piece of red oak. If your fiberglass is intact, I'd strongly recommend just replacing the wood... and if you can do it, flip the boat over so you can glass the wood back in with the boat upside down. I didn't do that and found it to be a PITA to glass the wood back in with the boat right side up. It took about four applications of epoxy to get the area flush again... and I ended up spray-painting over the repair... and it came out fine... but had I fixed it before it broke... the repair would have been largely invisible. Pics of my repair are attached...

    I also suggest checking out the posting below... which gives a good sense of how the mast step area is constructed...
    A view from inside - Cuddy removed! | SailingForums.com
    IMG_3678.jpg IMG_3721.JPG IMG_3726.jpg IMG_3744.JPG IMG_3778.JPG IMG_3793.JPG IMG_3809.JPG
     
  7. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    Yep... if the wood is rotted its not going to be happy news.

    You can check that boat's wood support for the mast with a knife from underneath and probably can replace it before the fiberglass cracks.

    Others the wood isn't as accessible.
     

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