Laser Mast Step at Hull

Thread starter #1
The bottom of the mast step tube on my 1986 Laser appears to be unglued from the hull. I believe the pocket that mast step tube rests in is intact. Everything else seems OK. With just the factory inspection port at the daggerboard trunk, my ability to inspect it will be limited. I would like to repair this now, rather than wait for the tube to tear out of the deck.

Having experienced a total adhesive failure on another, older Laser (https://photos.app.goo.gl/jGz4X6aTqG1TF2bY7), I am concerned about the condition of the remaining adhesive around mast step in this boat.

My plan is to:
1) drill (1/4”) a centered hole through the bottom of the mast step tube, the adhesive and the hull.
2) drill a pattern of holes around the central hole from the hull side.
3) “bent nail” scrape/remove adhesive from between the hull and mast step tube.
4) epoxy (West System 105) a cloth disk at the bottom of the mast step tube.
5) with the boat upside-down, pour thickened (406 colloidal silica) epoxy into the holes from the hull side, filling the void.

Comments?
 
#2
I repaired both ends of my Laser mast step at one point or another in time, and both times I used pre-cut fiberglass matt & cloth strips running from step tube to hull or underside of deck, the strips radiating outward in all directions, then I placed pre-cut "donuts" of matt and/or cloth over all strip ends on hull or underside of deck, with additional longer strips wrapped around all strip ends on the step tube. I know what you're thinking: "HUH?!?" But believe me, once these repairs were made and the step tube bolstered the way I did it, that tube never gave me any more trouble, and I frequently sailed in rough seas and heller breeze AFTER the repairs were made. Just a thought, since it sounds as if you're merely gonna use adhesive and the other things you mentioned in your post, which may simply lead to another step failure in the future. :confused:

In my estimation, the mast step is the greatest pinpoint stress location aboard the boat, since all drive created by the rig above is transmitted through the step to the hull, aye? Why NOT strengthen it beyond the builders' original specs? I took my original mast step and made it BETTER than it was... and when the upper end of the mast step gave me grief, I not only repaired the step but strengthened the deck itself by running aluminum straps athwartships, fore & aft of the mast step itself. This reduced undesirable flexing in heavy seas, and the boat sailed like a champ in rough chop ever after... boat could take a pounding and keep on sailing, no worries. Of course, these steps were taken because I often sailed to the islands off the northern end of Baja, and I didn't want the step cracking or breaking on one of these voyages, which would've led to my drifting aimlessly & running outta beer as hungry 2-ton Great Whites circled the boat, LOL. :eek:

"DAMN... I HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS!!!" ;)
 
Last edited:

Rob Hair

Active Member
#3
The bottom of the mast step tube on my 1986 Laser appears to be unglued from the hull. I believe the pocket that mast step tube rests in is intact. Everything else seems OK. With just the factory inspection port at the daggerboard trunk, my ability to inspect it will be limited. I would like to repair this now, rather than wait for the tube to tear out of the deck.

Having experienced a total adhesive failure on another, older Laser (https://photos.app.goo.gl/jGz4X6aTqG1TF2bY7), I am concerned about the condition of the remaining adhesive around mast step in this boat.

My plan is to:
1) drill (1/4”) a centered hole through the bottom of the mast step tube, the adhesive and the hull.
2) drill a pattern of holes around the central hole from the hull side.
3) “bent nail” scrape/remove adhesive from between the hull and mast step tube.
4) epoxy (West System 105) a cloth disk at the bottom of the mast step tube.
5) with the boat upside-down, pour thickened (406 colloidal silica) epoxy into the holes from the hull side, filling the void.

Comments?
This is the first I've heard of repairing the mast tube this way. I recommend (because its what I did) that you add another inspection port off to the side of the mast hole and make the repair as others have done. And if the tube is really loose I would DEFINITELY NOT SAIL THE BOAT UNTIL ITS REPAIRED.
 
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