Laser Mast Step Replacement - my experience

#2
Here's a recap of my recent mast step repair using the Diversified Fiberglass kit. I didn't find much online when I was preparing to do this, so thought I'd share. She's seen about 20kts so far and is rock solid.
Hi SaltyAK. I'm in the process of repairing my Laser mast step with the same kit you used from Diversified. (Here's a look so far: https://photos.app.goo.gl/W7oe87OV4xtLIu8g2 )

After you put the replacement step in, let it cure, and removed the screws, you mention that you used "a thickened epoxy to level out the seam for a flush finish." I haven't done fiberglass repairs before so I want to be sure I understand you - what exactly do you mean by "a thickened epoxy"? Do you mean just that you added hardener to the epoxy as usual, or do you mean you added some kind of filler?

Also, can I ask you what kind of marine paint you used at the end?

Finally, how is the repair holding up? Thank you!
 
#3
I finished my mast step repair (my Dad's 1974 Laser) using the Diversified kit, and got the boat back in the water. If anyone is interested to see the process, there are photos (many, many photos) with descriptions at: Laser Mast Step Repair

If you are experienced with fiberglass repair, you will likely get a good laugh - I started with zero experience working with fiberglass, although I've sailed on fiberglass boats since I was old enough to dog paddle (Dad made me and my siblings his crew for Sunfish racing as soon as we could reliably hold on to the mast and keep our heads down). These photos are not instructions about how to do this project, they are only how I did this! But if you've never worked with fiberglass and find yourself wondering if you should attempt to fix your own broken Laser mast step, maybe the photos and descriptions will help you. (And if I could do it, you probably can too!)

I first started sailing this Laser when I was 15 after learning on the Sunfish, so I must say it was great to have it back in service again, and available for my own kids to use. Much better than discarding the boat.
 
#5
I finished my mast step repair (my Dad's 1974 Laser) using the Diversified kit, and got the boat back in the water. If anyone is interested to see the process, there are photos (many, many photos) with descriptions at: Laser Mast Step Repair
.
Hi Phil,

What did you use for epoxy to glue the mast step to the deck & the mast step base? Just the standard fiberglass epoxy?
Also did you use Fiberglass Mat or Cloth and which weights?

Thanks, I'm doing the same repair next week!
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
#6
A well done to both of you. This is something that not a lot of people would attempt. Thanks for sharing.
Sometimes, even experienced small craft sailors get gripped or intimidated by mast step repairs, due to the compound curves & angles... but the reality is that any hull or structural element made of fiberglass can be repaired and made as strong (or stronger) than the original glass. Alternating layers of matt and cloth helps (dating myself here, I use the old spelling for matt), so does the careful elimination of all air bubbles or dry spots which can lead to weakness. Even those who pull this repair and have it fail a second time down the road, well, they'll be more familiar with the task and they can eventually make it bulletproof. Having the right tools at hand is important, as well as the correct materials... for instance, you wouldn't want stout woven roving for any kind of tight angle or compound curve, it isn't suited for the job. Choose your cloth weights wisely when dealing with angles & compound curves, the finished work will be stronger that way. Mixing the right amount of resin is an acquired skill, many novices (in glass repair) either mix too much or don't mix enough, aye? And yes, I've been there myself. If it's your first try, keep all materials at hand so you can readily mix another small pot if necessary. Don't forget the acetone, rags, and a box of disposable gloves, LOL. Might want to throw down a drop cloth as well, maybe have a small box or trash bin for the cr@p you toss. Cheers!!! :cool:
 
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