If it is a deck-stepped mast, then the leak can't be coming through the deck via the mast... you may have a leak at one of the bolts that holds the mast step to the compression post... if that is the case, you may have some water entering the core of the deck as well. Does the deck at the mast step have any crazing or spidering? Does it look like it is depressed at all? If so, the compression post may be failing. The wiring may also be a problem.
The other thing is that many leaks on the interior are nowhere near where the water is actually entering the boat...so you need to be sure that the actual leak is at the mast step. If it takes some time to show up, it may be because the water is migrating across the cabintop liner and appearing at the mast step, where there are holes for it to leak through. On one friend's boat... the leak near the starboard forward bulkhead actually started at the chainplates, and went about six feet forward to the bulkhead, before it became visible on the interior of the boat. It drove her crazy, since she had taken the bulkhead and that area apart and rebuilt it earlier, and was pretty sure it couldn't be the source of the leak. Took a while for us to trace it back to the chainplate... baby powder is your friend when trying to trace leaks like that...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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