Re: Southern Cross 31 Compression Post/Mast Step
I'd ask someone more familiar with those boats how the mast step is constructed. The weight is going to be spread out over the bulkheads somehow and it's not necessarily going to be obvious to the naked eye.
On some boats I've seen, there is a metal plate fiberglassed between the deck that spreads the load over the bulkheads, so on deck it seems like the only support is the deck itself, but in reality there is a support glassed in that spreads the load out. I would defer to someone with more wisdom on these specific boats, though.
The droop could be because the support has rotted (wood), rusted (metal), or the rig was left too tight.