Mast step / Tabernackle question...

Thread starter #1
Is the mast step supposed to be bolted or screwed to the tabernacle? (I am in the middle of repairing the tabernacle on my Capri, due to rotten wood.) Once I have it repaired, should I screw the mast step on, or bolt it back on, as it is now? (The holes were stripped out, and I am repairing them with Marine-Tex.)

I am also looking for comments on my repair plan. I have done similar repair work on rotten wood before, but never on the Capri. (The rotten area of wood extends approx. 2" x 3".)

My initial plan is to repair and protect the good wood by drilling holes every 2" or so into the area around the mast step and injecting Guvit. Next, I plan to cut open a small access port into the area over the rotten wood, remove the rotten area (by scrapping until I reach good wood), drill holes into the good wood (for the Martine-Tex to fill and “join with the wood�), and then inject Marine-Tex putty to fill the void. Finally, I will recover the "access port" with new fiberglass.

Ed Jones

Secretary/Vice Commodore
Tabernacle repair

Your repair plan sounds OK, but I'm no expert on fixing rotten wood.

As for fastening the tabernacle, Catalina uses bolts, but ones with very small heads so they can easily rip out if a shroud breaks and the mast comes down, thus avoiding major damage to the deck. I'd suggest you do the same.
Thread starter #3
Thanks Ed. The bolts in there now were back below the deck up by a 3" x 4" aluminum plate. I assume I should fix those holes and discard the plate.
I'd discard the plate and use sheet metal screws to fasten . That way if the mast comes down the Screws rip out pretty clean. I also fill the srew holes with silicon sealer before I thread them into the boat to try to keep the water out of the wood.

good luck


New Member
I thought the wood screws holding my mast step in place were insufficient & replaced them with machine screws, washers and bolts. WRONG! DO NOT make this mount super secure! It is designed to 'fail' for a reason.

When my shroud busted (lesson #2; replace your shrouds periodically) the mast step held in place but it SHREADED the end of the mast beyond repair! A replacement mast is about $550 from Catalina.

I suggest long wood screws into a piece of plywood under the deck. Easy enough if you have a Mod I or Mod III design. A little more work if you have a Mod II and have to remove the cuddy first.

In summary, you are NOT trying to anchor the Eifel Tower in place!

Lesson Learned,
At the nats when i droped my mast it bent the plate and the bolt, the bolt is at a 90 degree angle, how do i fix it? And how do i straighten the mast step if i cant get that bolt off.



New Member
I took a peak at your bolt. I think you'll have to cut it off with a hack saw. Rebending/reshaping the mast step itself should not be too difficult to do with Richard's vise or even a couple pair of pliars.
Randy Tiffany
Thread starter #11
Teak or no teak?

I recently finished repairing the tabernacle of my boat. (…as well as every surface crack on the boat, but that's a subject for another post.) It required more work than I had anticipated, but a combination of MarineTex, West Epoxy (with the right fillers), plywood, Gluvit, and a lot of manual labor got it done. Now I just hope that I did it right and that the repairs will hold. If everything goes as planned, I should have my boat on the water this weekend to test the repairs.

Anyway, in the process of making the repairs, I had to remove all of the teak. Most of the original holes for the screws were stripped, so I cleaned them up and repaired them with MarineTex. After I sanded them smooth, they blended perfectly with the surrounding fiberglass. Since the stripped holes under the old teak splashguard probably aided in letting water seep into the hull and rot out the wood in the tabernacle, I was wondering if I should bother putting the teak back on the boat. I have the teak sanded and ready to be resealed, and I like how it looked on the boat. Nevertheless, as of right now, I cannot bring myself to reattach it to the boat. I am interested in hearing opinions on the subject. (Does the teak splashguard serve a useful purpose? Is reinstalling it worth the hassle? Would the boat be better or look better if I left it off or put it back on? Would I suffer the wrath of Neptune if I left it off?) ;)


Can you glue the teak back on, without creating holes in the hull? You get the look without the risk. You can purchase teak plugs to put where the holes are, sand and finish, no one but you, me and the visitors of this thread would know!

Let us know what you end up doing.

Thread starter #13
I have thought about it a little more, and I am leaving the teak off for now. After all the heartache that I went through to fix up my boat, I can bring myself to reattach the teak just yet; at least until I am sure the current repairs will work.

Bigsky, I thought about your suggestion to glue the teak back on, and I have some 3m 5200 that would probably do the job, but if it some was knocked off while I was on the water I would incur more costs to replace it.

The boat will be worth more if kept in its original condition. I'd re-attach it as it was designed . If I didn't , I'd just end up misplacing the teak, not being able to find it when I need it. Just a thought....