Mast step-tight fit or wedges?

  • 10 Aug 2014 22:08
    Reply # 3070143 on 3057143

    A method I use and have found to work well is to sleeve the foot of the mast with a section of rubber tire inner tube, grease the base of the mast before installing the sleeve to prevent sticking, seal across the base of the mast with wide vinyl tape as used in plastic damp proof membranes and then set in an oversize hole in the step, use epoxy resin to fill the gap. This allows the mast to be removed in the future but gives a tight joint at the base with just a minor amount of cushioning and shock/noise suppression. To stop the mast rotating or lifting bolt an angle to the step each side of the mast and install a through bolt.

  • 31 Jul 2014 16:20
    Reply # 3057903 on 3057143

    I believe there has to be some taper, somewhere. You will never get a perfect fit with a parallel tube and socket - there will always be a little movement. The grating noises are very disconcerting, with an alloy tube in an alloy socket, and I needed to pour in some polyurethane, when I used this system on my mizzen mast. Then I couldn't get the mast out again, and had to cut it off. The stub is still there, under the cabin sole.

    If you don't want to use wedges, you could try a tapered wooden plug in the end of the tube. This need not have a round end, but could be square, or otherwise shaped to resist rotation.

  • 30 Jul 2014 14:35
    Message # 3057143

    My new aluminium mast is 222mm diameter at the base, parallel, and at present without an end cap. I'm deciding how to build the mast step but would like to ask how others have built theirs. I recall David Tyler mentioning that he used wedges for the heel of Tystie's main mast but PJR suggests that a parallel sided metal mast can be stepped in a greased, well fitting cup.

    I'll probably use Arne's stacked plywood sandwich method to build up the actual step in my boat's V section at the forefoot but should I make the mast hole oversized to allow for wedges, or a perfect fit? On a previous mast I moulded a removeable glass/epoxy cup over the tapered wood heel and then permanently epoxy bonded that into an oversized hole in the step, but I'm not sure if this would work as well with a parallel mast. Any thoughts?


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