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Mast step donut question - 1978 Laser

eeguy

New Member
Hello all,
I'm a former Laser owner and have decided to get back into it by purchasing a relatively lightly used 1978 vintage Laser. Interestingly, it's about the same age as the boat that I used to sail some years ago.

I have been reading a lot of posts about the mast step, and I'm preparing to do some reinforcement work. The mast step has no visible external damage and does hold water. There is an inspection port. Here is a picture of the "donut" area. As you can see, there is a piece missing (which I have located), and there is also a loose piece to the right of the missing one. Other than being a bit dirty, everything else in this area seems to be quite solid.

I'd like some advice on dealing with the existing "donut". Would it make sense to replace the missing piece and glue it back together with 5200 or epoxy? Or, is it best to remove (chip out) the entire donut and fill the space with epoxy?

Once I deal with the donut, I am planning on adding glass and epoxy down the mast cylinder and onto the hull as I have seen in other posts.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!

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Not saying this is the best way, but what I did was chip out the old donut, clean the crevice between the tube and pocket, and inject thickened epoxy in there after roughing and recleaning the surface. After the epoxy cured, I roughed up the tube and wrapped fiberglass tape impregnated with epoxy (non-thickened) around both about 3-4 times.
 

eeguy

New Member
Not saying this is the best way, but what I did was chip out the old donut, clean the crevice between the tube and pocket, and inject thickened epoxy in there after roughing and recleaning the surface. After the epoxy cured, I roughed up the tube and wrapped fiberglass tape impregnated with epoxy (non-thickened) around both about 3-4 times.
Thanks. Your approach is likely the safest path forward.
 

Bungo Pete

Member
Welcome aboard. I have done several mast tubes, including my own 1980 vintage boat. I would generally echo bclarks comments, although if the tube is holding water, I would use unthickened epoxy so that it will flow into every crevice, nook and cranny. Then, I would roughen up the inside of the hull and run strips of mat from the hull up the side of the tube. I'll look around and see if I have a layup schedule that I can post.
 

eeguy

New Member
Thank you Bungo Pete! I have obtained west system epoxy, thickener and glass mat (4" wide that I may cut to 2" wide).
Are you suggesting that I leave the "donut" material in place and pour/inject epoxy all around it, or remove the "donut" first?

I'm in Canada, so there is no big rush, but I would like to get to this on a warmer winter or spring day in the new year.

Thanks!
 

Bungo Pete

Member
You'll want to dig out as much as you can without damaging the tube. The goal is to have a gap between the tube and the mounting block that can be filled level with epoxy. Then after surface preparation, wetted strips of mat can be laid from the hull, up over the block and up the tube; thus bonding everything together. I usually then wrap a strip around the tube itself. West System is what I use as well. HTH.
 

eeguy

New Member
You'll want to dig out as much as you can without damaging the tube. The goal is to have a gap between the tube and the mounting block that can be filled level with epoxy. Then after surface preparation, wetted strips of mat can be laid from the hull, up over the block and up the tube; thus bonding everything together. I usually then wrap a strip around the tube itself. West System is what I use as well. HTH.
Thank you! Much appreciated.
 

SusanGBryant

New Member
How to make sure that the bottom of the tube isn't misaligned due to being lodged on some old bit of donut or crusty bit of wood? My last sail was when the tube started failing so I limped in with a leaning mast, leaning tube and bad sounds. Just now I used a mallet on the base of the tube to counteract those forces which restored the deck (to apparently flush,) but does anyone have a trick to allow me to be sure the base of my tube (which does not hold water) gets in the right place? Hang a necklace down there as a plumb? Bring it back outside, insert mast, and set up stays and shrouds? How do I get to this forum's threads on mast step reinforcement? Someone mentioned a sig file, what is that? Mine is missing probably half of the donut and the terrible sounds were the 2 Portside corners of the wooden mounting block tearing off. PFS13189-0274 from the 1970's. Thanks.
 

ProATC

Active Member
I would think that if you took all of the donut out from the square buttress it sits in, there should be an impression or discoloration from where the tube was sitting. I would also imagine that the tube would fit nicely back to its original position, just like when anything else would break or snap in half. It would be hard to know the plumb if the boat is not sitting correctly, say on a trailer or easels. Luckily there is not a lot of room to move the tube within the square buttress, so you are going to be pretty close from what I gathered about the deck now looking flush. I would be more concerned about the corners of the wooden mounting block tearing off from the bottom of the boat. Some people have removed that altogether and starting from scratch. I think that would be a lot of work myself. Refilling the donut with epoxy, epoxy-ing over the whole buttress, donut and around the tube, adding reinforced fiberglass up the tube walls should solidify it all together, but pictures would be nice to see what you are up against.
 
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