April 29, 2020 at 9:47 am #225529pma_foylParticipant
Hope everyone is well and staying safe. My main mast step is corroding badly. I can actually flake off substantial pieces. So a couple questions.
1) – is this a dangerous, likely to fail issue? Or just a not-so-perfect ancient fitting?
2) has anyone got diagrams for fabrication. Or a place that has fabricated one that I might reach out to for replacement.
I am concerned as it seems like it could give way (not exactly sure how deep the corrosion runs) and it will only get worse over time. I don’t notice any movement when I sail.
Please let me know your thoughts and provide any resources you might have. Thank you.
April 29, 2020 at 10:03 am #225530typhoontyeParticipant
I’m sure some of our members have fabricated a new mast step and have good info. I too may eventually need to replace mine. But in the meantime: I cleaned/chipped off as much of the ‘rust’ that I could. Then coated with POR-15 or Rust Lok, by Petitt. Similar products. Don’t know if you’ve used them before but they are a unique product, unlike ‘rust conversion’ products. Actually sucks the moisture out of the existing rust and forms an extremely hard coating on the exterior that is incredibly impervious to anything except sunshine. Must be top coated if used outdoors. Wear gloves if you use this product. The stuff will not come of your skin until your outer epidermis actually molts.
The second thing I did was take steps to keep salt water from standing in the mast step area. Drilled two weep holes in the raised flange that surrounds that area, but that didn’t help much. Maybe needed larger holes. But I was surprised how well my next step worked: I took a strip of lamp wicking, about 1 and half or two inches wide; secured it at one end in the normally wet area where the mast step sits, and draped the other end into the downstream bilge. Didn’t expect much, but was quite surprised how well it works. When I inspect this area now, it is almost always dry.
Blue Moon, #189
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