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Mast step chafe kit

Rob Hair

Active Member
I bought a couple of these to use on my two old Lasers, thinking this would help prevent wear on the gel coat that lines the mast step pocket:

http://www.intensitysails.com/machkitforla.html

I'm now thinking I should stop worrying about stuff like that because I think I have made the situation worse! It's very sandy were I keep my boats and, even though I'm very careful to avoid getting sand in this area, it seems that the relatively soft plastic of this tape has picked up lots of sand particles and now acts like sandpaper! The sand is embedded into the plastic and not easily removed. On one of my Lasers it looks like I've put more wear on the gel coat in the mast step in one year than in the previous 40. Have any of you had positive or negative experience with tape of some kind on the mast?
 

torrid

Just sailing
I've had trouble with the mast tape, too. You definitely don't want the tape to overlap. You also need to stay on top of it and quickly replace it if the ends start to lift up as they will dig into the gelcoat. It also makes it harder to step and unstep the mast on a windy day as it doesn't slide as easily into the mast tube. I recently decided to stop messing with it.

I think this is a solution that creates more problems than it solves.
 

LaserBill

Member
I've had trouble with the mast tape, too. You definitely don't want the tape to overlap. You also need to stay on top of it and quickly replace it if the ends start to lift up as they will dig into the gelcoat. It also makes it harder to step and unstep the mast on a windy day as it doesn't slide as easily into the mast tube. I recently decided to stop messing with it.

I think this is a solution that creates more problems than it solves.
I agree with this. I used these strips (purchased from APS) in a 1990's boat without any issues although I was very careful to make sure the ends of the strips abutted perfectly and did not curl up. Then in 2007 I bought a new boat and applied new strips to the base of the mast only to find out that the mast would not properly fit or rotate in the mast well. It was too tight and once the mast was stepped I could hardly remove it. I got rid of the wear strips and all has been fine since then.
 

Gavin

New Member
I have a leak in the bottom of my mast step from dirt getting in with the mast. i haven't tried it yet, but you can always put a circular piece of teflon at the bottom of the mast step when you step in the mast, as an alternative to the tape.
 
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