Mast step donut question - 1978 Laser

Thread starter #1
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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#2
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.
 
Thread starter #3
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.
 
#4
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.
 
Thread starter #5
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!
 
#6
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.
 
Thread starter #7
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.
 
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