wooden mast step ring

Thread starter #1
The wooden ring at the base of the mast step has rotted on my 1973 Laser. I have removed it and was wondering if I needed to replace it with another wooden ring. I was thinking that a ring of epoxy filler might be longer lasting. Any new wooden ring would need to be in two pieces because the mast tube is still attached at the bottom. I have seached the forums but couldn't find any advice specific to the wooden ring replacement. Thanks for whatever advice you can provide!
The plywood base is doing two things.
1. It's helping to spread the load of the mast over a greater area of the hull
2. It's providing a wall to hold the filler in place against the mast tube.

You don't really need wall part of the base if you glass the tube to the hull, so it would be fine to bed a single piece of plywood under the tube and then glass over the tube and base to the hull. An alternative to the plywood would be to lay down a few more layers of mat on the hull (surface area at least the size of the plywood base) under the tube, filler between the tube and hull and again glass the sides of the tube to the hull

Gouv has some pics here

and this thread is good too:

and I think there are some other pics out there, I did a search on mast step and came up with a lot of hits... donut is another search word....

Here is a pic of an '05.

The most load on the tube comes where the bottom of the mast presses against it. So, the plywood is mostly a filler, to allow the glass structure to be both above and below this point. It could be foam instead, if the new glass structure was strong enough.

So, I wouldn't just glass the tube to the bottom. I'd use plywood or something to build the glass above this high stress level. Maybe use 3 layers of 1/2 PT ply, each cut in half (to fit it in), the rotate the cuts around. Ive used mahogany, if you have any.

Note the angled sides make it easier to wrap the glass up.

Al Russell