Mast Deck Plate mounting on Escape Expedition 14.5

Tramper Al

New Member
I just joined, so forgive me if this inquiry is in the wrong place. The 1997-1998 Escape Expedition 14.5 is a Laser 2 hull variation with a Hoyt SmartRig. It was sold briefly with this fiberglass Laser 2 hull before giving rise to the Escape sailboats with plastic hulls. The sail rig survives today in the Catalina Expo boats.

My question is in regard to the deck hardware, which in this case includes the large mast plate that holds the mast and boom at deck level. On my new to me boat, I had removed all the (what turned out to be) bolts from that mast plate and upon later opening the deck for one of several inspection ports I plan to install, I was surprised to find that those bolts had simply been sitting in plywood blocks that have over time turned to rotten mush. That is, no nuts or washers or anything. The blocks did have a thin (like single layer) undercoating of fiberglass that was also coming apart. My plan is to put in new marine plywood blocks with washers/nuts on each. I could recover with a fiberglass layer, though I wonder if any wood dampness might dry out better without it.

The mast step on this boat is a steel plate also bolted from above, into exactly what kind of support (2-3" off the hull) I can't yet very well see. But those bolts seemed to cinch down nicely after being cleaned up and 3M 4200 applied.

I haven't opened up my Laser or Laser 2 decks, but just wondered if this kind of bolt-to-wood-block construction is typical of the Laser type boats too.

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Hi, to the extent your question is still relevant: the Laser 2 hull is similar to the Tasar hull (which was also produced by e.g. Performance Sailcraft) and use of plywood blocks as backingplates (the Tasar even has it as mast support) was common. In case you still have a 1997-1998 Escape Expedition, do let me know.