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Old 01-27-2009
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There are other options, but of the ones you've cited, attaching something to the plate that forms your mast step seems best to me... Keep in mind that these fitting can end up being heavily loaded and should be chosen and installed accordingly.

There are fittings available, too, that fit into your extruded sail track on the mast if you have an appropriate mast section. The drawing below is an attempt to illustrate one version... perhaps it will help you to see what I mean.

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