Repair Mast step problem

Cascadian505

Active Member
Hello,
My mast step seems to have had a plate fall off the bottom of it. The tube goes down, then there is a curved flange to hold the bottom of the mast, and then a hole into the bottom of the boat.

I have an inspection port near and from there, outside of the tube, it is glassed around and intact.

Seems like an easy repair would be to 4200 a metal plate into the bottom of the tube.

Does anyone have experience with this?
 

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An easier fix is to simply level the boat, make sure the mast hole is completely dry, mix up about 1/2+ cup of thickened epoxy resin then "paint" the whole interior of the mast step interior (as shown in your photo) with a thick coat of the mixture and pour the rest of the epoxy batch into the bottom of the hole until the ridge at the bottom is just covered. Let cure then do a leak test by filling the tube right level and see if any water drains out. No metal plate is needed. Tape a disposable paint brush to a s piece of scrap wood to get the desired long handle brush needed.

I am told that the ridge and hole at the bottom of the tube was to reduce friction as the mast rotated in the hole and to let beach sand and other debris fall into the hole (sump) rather than acting as an abrasive agent as the mast rotated.

You can use any good epoxy + their brand of thickener or Total Boat Thixo (sp?) out of a tube.

Good luck.

Alan Glos
 
An easier fix is to simply level the boat, make sure the mast hole is completely dry, mix up about 1/2+ cup of thickened epoxy resin then "paint" the whole interior of the mast step interior (as shown in your photo) with a thick coat of the mixture and pour the rest of the epoxy batch into the bottom of the hole until the ridge at the bottom is just covered. Let cure then do a leak test by filling the tube right level and see if any water drains out. No metal plate is needed. Tape a disposable paint brush to a s piece of scrap wood to get the desired long handle brush needed.

I am told that the ridge and hole at the bottom of the tube was to reduce friction as the mast rotated in the hole and to let beach sand and other debris fall into the hole (sump) rather than acting as an abrasive agent as the mast rotated.

You can use any good epoxy + their brand of thickener or Total Boat Thixo (sp?) out of a tube.

Good luck.

Alan Glos
So the hole is there by design?
 
Yes, that hole (more properly a sump) was intentional, but in retrospect, it was not a design as the ridge tended to get ground down and leak compared to the flat bottom design w/o the sump.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
What Alan said, not the best design feature. But as long as your mast has the proper cap on the bottom, you can go sailing.

We would address the chipped resin on the inside vertical surface of the mast tube with bit of thickened epoxy, TotalBoat THIXO is our choice or your brand of choice.

More picks of your boat please. :)
 
I have that same sump in the bottom of my Windflite mast hole. My boat is pretty clean, doesn't look like it's had much use. After I refinished the wood trim and waxed and buffed the hull, she's blinding.
 

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I've always liked the streamlined + wood look of the windflite, nice looking boat you got there! Also, my brand new sunfish has the little sump/hole in the bottom of the mast step
 
My 2006 Sunfish has that kind of mast step; I have never had a problem with it. But you should test if the tube/step leaks. Easiest of all tests.
 
If the newer boats have it, maybe I’ll just leave it as is. I guess I just never noticed. I’m used to Lasers which don’t have that.
I will post some pics of the boat as I upgrade it. I need to check what year it is. I got it for $300. It had been sitting in Lake Washington (Seattle) for about 5 years and was the World’s Heaviest Sunfish when I bought it, but I’ve since dried it out. I sailed it quite a bit last year. I have a 505 which is very complicated. When I get sick of working on that I work on (and sail) the Sunny because I appreciate the simplicity of it.
 

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