Collapsed Mast Base

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I bought a 1981 Omega 14 in January and worked all winter to get it ready for the sailing season. On my second outing in April a friend and I were calmly sailing along when we heard a loud crunch. At first I thought I had run into a crab pot but my buddy quickly let me know that the mast step had collapsed. Luckily we were in a small creek where we could get to shore quickly. We took down the sails and mast and were able to paddle back to the launch ramp.

When I got the boat home I examined the damage. A large section of the fiberglass under the mast step had been torn out of the cockpit floor (1st foto) . Inspecting in the hole I found that the plywood supports under the step had come adrift. I was able to pull out the two 3/4" thick pieces and found that they had been weakened by water absorption over the years.

To make repairs I started with some 1" thick oak, cutting two pieces to replace the plywood. A third piece of oak essentially the same size as the hole was cut so that the two uprights cut be positioned in the hole. The interior of the hull under the step was cleaned and the two uprights were bedded in MarineTex. The positioning piece was then screwed in place (2nd foto). After the MarineTex at the keel had cured more was used to fill in the gaps between the positioning piece and the cockpit floor. The piece of fiberglass that had torn out was secured in place with more MarineTex (3rd foto). I then fiberglassed over all with three layers of cloth. After sanding and painting I reinstalled the mast step (4th foto).

I have not yet got the boat out to test all this out but it appears to be a pretty solid repair.