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do you empty the mast step of water after every use? if so, what do you use when solo?

tkjazzer

Member
Hello,
I've never quite thought of this before because I'm usually with someone and we can flip the boat if there is water in the mast step after sailing...

but what do you do if you are alone?
sponge on a stick?
hand-pump bilge pump?

do you even remove the water in the mast step after every use? (in the summer?)

I've never been good at dolly rolls (solo or with a partner) and prefer to only do them in urgent situations.

PS. I tried to search but mast step and water were too common of words with all the broken mast step tests of adding water
 

jeffers

Active Member
I use a 'jug mop' which can be purchased from most household stores for less than £1 (I am UK based).

It is basically a small mop head on a stick which will go down the stube and soak up the water.

I would say a good DIY solution would be to use an old batten and a small sponge just make sure you secure it properly otherwise you might leave it down there!
 
I don't empty mine. I don't know about freezing, I always assumed it would just push itself up instead of breaking the step. Should I be emptying it?
 

GeoffS

Member
I only empty mine when I put the boat away in the (late) fall.
I always check the water in the mast-step before sailing. If there isn't any I would consider a checking for leakage.
 

49208

Tentmaker
I don't empty mine. I don't know about freezing, I always assumed it would just push itself up instead of breaking the step. Should I be emptying it?
Freezing conditions - yes, empty it, and keep it from getting water back in. It freezes on the top first, prevents it from moving up and can/will do some damage to the walls of the tube
 
My cover does a pretty good job keeping water from getting in I think. So I guess in freezing conditions I need to dry it after a sail. So I guess I need to know how to empty it myself, just like the OP.
 

torrid

Just sailing
If I've been sailing in fresh water and don't rinse the boat after, I generally don't worry about water in the mast step. There is only so much water than can get in with the mast in place, and it should evaporate on its own.

Now if I rinse the boat throughtly after sailing in salt water or give it a proper bath, I will make an effort to get the water out of the mast step.
 

jeffers

Active Member
There is only so much water than can get in with the mast in place, and it should evaporate on its own.
You would be surpised, there are a couple of time I have forgotten to empty it and gone back to the boat 2 or 3 weeks later, looked down the tube before I stick the mast in to find a reasonable amount of water still in there (this was during a period of warm sunny weather). I would say always empty it!
 

laserxd

Member
-to soak up water I use an "absorber" cloth which is available in the US at most autoparts stores

-I use a plastic cup that is close to the diameter of the step to keep rain water out year round, its simple and effective, you can also make something out of a plastic water/sports drink bottle that will work well
 

laserxd

Member
-to easily flip the boat over on your dolly you need to have one person at the bow and one at the stern, lifts up slightly at the bow while lifting up one side of the hull from the stern (the boat should slide to the center of the dolly and end up on its side), next tip the hull towards the direction you wish to flip and lift the boat, it will start to finish the flip as soon as you start to lift, the key is using the dolly strap to take most of the weight, the person in the stern controls the flip

takes about 20 seconds with 2 people, remember to lift with your legs and not your back
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Using the bottom section is also fairly effective in getting the water out of the mast step.
 

tkjazzer

Member
so I'm talking about the inch or less of water that can build up if you death roll while sailing. I don't see how the bottom section would help... you must be referring to someone who let their mast step fill up completely? then displace the water with the bottom section?
 

StJulian

Member
Most water ends up in the mast step while washing down. In summer I do not bother to take it out.
I dry it in winter using a sponge on a stick but because my cover has a cutout at the fairlead rain water runs in again.
One time I uncovered the boat to find the mast step completely solid with a column of ice sticking two inches out of the hole.
Using boiling water to clear it quickly in time to rig for a race I was relieved to discover no damage done. I really must sew a patch over the obvious design fault before next winter.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
so I'm talking about the inch or less of water that can build up if you death roll while sailing. I don't see how the bottom section would help... you must be referring to someone who let their mast step fill up completely? then displace the water with the bottom section?
I always wash out my mast step as I sail in salt water. Using the bottom section to plunge out the water afterwards will leave about and egg cup full of water remaining as water will also enter the bottom section through the hole in the plug.
 

Lazzzerrr

Member
I always forget to dump it out when putting it from my trailer to my dolly so I end up using paper towels and a stick to soak up the water... I sail in salt water so I always make sure I get it bone dry... Cold or warm weather...
 
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