Depends on the boat. But many have a mast step that is essentially a plate that the mast sits on. For instance, this is the mast step on my boat.
It is basically a three-sided box that the mast slides into. It has plates attached so I can use blocks to lead lines aft, and has two holes for safety pins that prevent the mast base from moving forwards.
On a lot of boats, you could mount that plate where the mast sits on the cabintop by loosening the shrouds and stays a couple turns...since it is only 1/16" thick or so.
SD, I have never seen an unstepped macs, so forgiv this dumb question, but does the mast somehow sit on that plate? The impression I had is that the mast step is like a shoe that sticks up, and the mast site on top of it, and the step comes up into the mast a bit to prevent it from sliding around on the deck. But I could be wrong, as I have never seen how it works.
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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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