Mast step "cushion"

SteveMaz

New Member
My AMFlite 14 came with this 2" round cork insert in the mast step. The cork is 5/8" thick. From other threads on this forum I understand that it is a good piece to have, as rotation of the mast during sailing will - over time - grind and potentially damage the step.
As you can see - however - my cork insert is crumbling away and I am thinking I should replace...?

Do others use something similar and can they recommend? Or - is a mast with properly installed base cap fine and there is no need for such a piece?

best regards

Steve
 

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danpal is correct. These cork discs were to jammed inside the base of the base to keep them watertight. Over time, most of them shrunk
and became non-functiomal.

A plastic base cap is essential. If the cap is missing, the mast becomes a giant "cookie cutter" and will severely damage the bottom of the mast hole as the mast rotates from tack to tack. If I am reinstalling a mast cap, I use silicon goop to make the cap watertight and then secure it with two pop rivets (taking care to cover the hollow core of the rivets with more silicon goop.)

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
I'm pretty sure that Sunfish masts had cork inside in order make them watertight. Maybe AMFlite masts had the same thing?
I had to take off the base cap to find out what was making "that slow sliding sound" inside my mast. It was a tapered cork that had shrunk over the years, in perfect condition.

I've also used silicone sealer, but Shoe-Goo stays in good condition in storage; whereas, silicone doesn't age well in the cartridge.

To keep the mast dry inside--and to retain a positive flotation--I've added Pond & Stone (a foaming agent) before sealing the mast for good. Water is needed to cure Pond & Stone, so I stand on a dock over five feet of fresh water and spray one end first, then the other. There's plenty of foam remaining in the can, but only a couple of days should lapse before using it elsewhere.

I can't recommend this procedure for saltwater masts, for which, I'd treat the inside with an antioxidant, and use fresh water to rinse e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!
 

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