What's new

Laser mast step possible leak

Nemeziss

New Member
I am looking at buying a second hand laser. I went to see one today. It was built in 1980s, and is overall in amazing condition. But... one thing worries me. It didn't past the test of holding the water in the mast hole. After around 10-15min the water dropped by about 1.5cm. The person selling the boat was surprised but didn't even know about such a test. I decided not to buy the boat in the end but can't help feeling I am letting go of a great boat. What's your thoughts? Am I silly letting go of it?
 

Attachments

LaLi

Well-Known Member
That's a late 1979 or early '80. Looks totally great for its age. If I were you I'd buy it, sail it, and at some point re-test the mast step. This time wait longer to see where the water level stops, to find the spot to fix. If it's closer to the bottom, then it's maybe best to install an inspection port on the deck and apply some fibreglass to the step from the inside of the hull. Plenty of guides for that on this forum.

But 15 mm in 15 min means that it would take more than four hours of sailing in at least medium-size waves to get one litre = 1 kg of water into the hull that route. I'd say it's a problem you want to solve in the long run, but not a hugely pressing one.

_
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
After chatting to few fellow members of my sailing club I was advised against buying it
Did those members have any grounds other than that the mast step leaks a little? Is the price too high for a boat of that age, for example?

_
 

Nemeziss

New Member
The boat is £500. Comes with XD rigging, launching trolley, all three size sails and newish cover. 4.7 sails hasn't been used, the radial sail is few years old but haven't had much use, standard sail is quite creased
 

ProATC

Active Member
Roughly $615 USD for a boat that looks that good!!! That is quite the deal to pass up, imo. I would think that you could resell it after a year or two of sailing for the same price, and without fixing the step, and you would have had fun sailing in the meantime. If the water in the hull does become a pain to deal with, shouldn't be that hard to fix, as LaLi mentioned. But I get it, if you are not wanting to mess around with repair, then buy a boat without the leaking. You should have another look at the step though to see where the leak is coming from. If near the top (assuming you filled the entire step with water to the top) and if only dropped 1.5 cm, and no further after 30 minutes , then the problem would be near the top and should be easy to patch or repair without an inspection port. Luckily, there are about 260K+ boats out there, and chances are you might find another deal like this and in better condition, good luck.;)
 

lounger

New Member
At that price, it's a good buy. Looks like a nice older boat with updated rigging and boom. If the leak is really bad, puttiing in an access port and fiberglassing the inside of the mast tube, or maybe where the tube meets the deck is no big deal. Wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
 

Nemeziss

New Member
I'm going to have a second look at the boat tomorrow. Someone more knowledgeable then me is coming with me to help me decide.
 

PMADONNA

New Member
The parts are worth more than than what you are paying, so installing a port and a little fiberglass repair even if you pay an additional $200 for the repair seems worth it.
 

Nemeziss

New Member
So after having a second look today. I left the water in the mast hole for 1h and it went down 6cm. The person who came with me to have a look said there is no crack. That the gel coat has wore off and the water seeps into the fibreglass. He explained the green colour I can see at the bottom is the exposed fibreglass. To repair it he said to use a gel coat. Apply it with the end of the mast wrapped in cling film to create a flat surface. Then use fine sand paper to smooth it. Is that the right approach?
 

Attachments

LaLi

Well-Known Member
60 mm/h is exactly the same rate as in the earlier test, so the problem area is somewhere deeper down. Of course you and your assistant had a better "live" view, but just looking at the pictures I think there is a horizontal crack close to the bottom at the 3 to 5 o'clock position roughly. That would plausibly explain the drain rate; however, for plain exposed fibreglass that feels too fast. Did any of the 240 ml (or so) of water come out of the transom drain, or did it just disappear somewhere inside?

The described method surely gets gelcoat to the bottom of the step, but I have a feeling that it won't solve the problem. As always, I could be dead wrong though :confused:

_
 
After looking at the pictures, it appears that Lali is right, there is a crack in the step.

There are ways to repair this I am sure, but it does demonstrate the the mast step is not strong enough to be 100% bulletproof for sailing in all conditions. You could probably cut a hole in the deck, repair it from the inside by wrapping the step in woven glass tape where the crack is. I would absolutely not repair this crack with just gelcoat because the step is such a high load area, you want to be 1000% sure it is structurally sound.

If it were me, I would buy this boat, and attempt to repair the step. The worst case scenario is you end up with way more than £500 worth of mast, XD rigging and sails and a boat with a mast step that needs help.
 
Top