Yet another MAST STEP

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by budelik, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. budelik

    budelik New Member

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    :rolleyes:

    My recently purchased used laser takes on water at the mast step. I've not yet been able to determine exactly how and where it's leaking, but it seems secure at the deck level. I would appreciate info as to the best place to cut an inspection port? And if there is an web source for orginal hull drawings?
    I don't believe I will need to use a complete repair kit- I would love to hear from those who reinforced from inside. Thanks
     
  2. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Look on the drLaser site - in the FAQ you will find advice on inspection port placement, in the maintenance section you will find a couple of articles that deal with mast step repair.

    I have repaired cracks in the top of my step, as well as repairing the "donut" and pouring a new base, based on those articles.
     
  3. budelik

    budelik New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I had already been there. Unfortunately those articles are reserved for ILCA member which I'm not, yet. Question: Is the bottom of the mast step tube fixed to the 'donut' or does the donut serve just to stop lateral movement? I ask because I'm thinking about using strips of fiberglass matt with epoxy resin filler (I've done a good bit of epoxy work on other boats) to reinforce around the outside of the tube (within the boat). Or is it a bad idea? I can see the benefit of having the possibility of some vertical flex...??? I'm thinking of putting the inspection port forward and to the right (or left or both) of the mast at about 45 degrees and 8-10" distance.....????
     
  4. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    The articles I was referring to are not password protected - look at articles named "Minor surgery for hairline cracks" and "minor surgery for serverely cracked"

    The Laser FAQ on the drLaser site will show you the location for the port, that is also not password protected.

    The mast step is a plywood base glassed to the hole, with a cutout for the mast tube. At the factory they glob on a mixture of resin/filler (the donut) to glue the tube to the plywood base. Over time the resin/filler cracks allowing the tube to move in the plywood base. In addition, if water sits in that area for a length of time, the plywood base rots.

    So you'll need to check the condition of the donut and the base before you decide how best to fix. Common fixes include chipping out all the donut and pouring a new one, glassing over the existing donut from the mast tube to the hull and/or replacing the plywood base and reglassing the tube to the new base.

    You should not have any lateral or vertical movement in the tube relative to the plywood base/hull when done.

    You can find out exactly where the tube is leaking by doing a leak test. If it turns out the bottom of the tube has worn out enough to cause the leak, you can pour a new one easily.

    There is a lot more info already here on the forum (use the search feature for "mast step" and "leaks" ) as well as the mailing list archives Laser List archives
     
  5. David

    David New Member

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    That sounds good to me. When I did mine, I used a 5 inch inspection port (perhaps you may consider a 6 inch, depending on how big your arms are), and it was very tough, I put it 6-8 inches to the forwards left of my step, and just used some matt with epoxy, and it seems to work pretty good for me.

    Good luck with the project, hope it works out.
     
  6. budelik

    budelik New Member

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    For anyone interested in this thread: How things are proceeding and plans for the work:
    I cut the opening in the deck for the inspection port (16 cm) to the side and forward of the mast tube. I found the cracking to be at the side-bottom of the tube- as if the tube bottom was pushed out down. Probably some time ago as someone had filled in with resin (from outside as there were no other openings in the deck). The "donut" is sound, but the space around the tube had been filled with a high density expanding foam that had broken away (no surprise) on the side where the crack is. I removed what was left of the foam. I plan to wrap the tube with a layer of fiberglass cloth/epoxy, then fill in between the tube and the donut with epoxy/microfiber, then reinforce the tube at the deck level with fg/epoxy (all from within naturally). Finally, I'll put a piece of hefty fiberglass cloth/epoxy in the bottom of the mast step and (maybe) coat the tube (wear surface) with epoxy-graphite). Input?
    I would also appreciate advice from anyone who has repaired gelcoat cracks in a beige colored boat! :rolleyes:
     
  7. David

    David New Member

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    Hmm sounds like your problem is about the same as mine was.

    Here's a picture of what mine was like before I repaired it:


    [​IMG]


    That's a heat gun, I was trying to dry it before i did any work :)

    And the reason you can see the crack so good is because i sprayed some white solution I made down the mast step to make it more visable



    Is yours any resemblance (SP?) to mine?


    If anybody wants more pictures of the inside of a laser hull, let me know.
     
  8. budelik

    budelik New Member

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    David- Thanks. My crack is just horizontal, but in the same location. The tube is very thin at the bottom in general which led to my decision to wrap it. I used a light bulb suspended inside to dry. How did you effect the repair? I should have taken pictures!
     

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