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post #11 of Old 11-06-2011
Deck Hand
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: The middle of nowhere in Eastern Washington State
Posts: 23
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Quite a project. I'm glad it worked. My approach was no less complicated and started with the observation that the 1979 mast base casting had small divots in the vertical flange on both sides which were apparently to provide a pathway for water to exit the casting. Unfortunately, there were no corresponding divots on the bottom of the factory mast itself. While the mast was off, it was a matter of 5 minutes with a chain saw file to open up divots in the bottom edge of the mast to match up with the holes in the base. As for the wiring, I ran everything down 6" of garden hose which fit quite nicely into the existing hole in the mast base and stuck up 6". There was another smaller hole which I simply threaded and plugged with a matching threaded PVC plug. I fastened the hose in with a good dollop of 3M 5200 caulk. The mast base itself was bedded with 3M 4200 after the usual prep (drilled out epoxy through-deck holes after drying the core, etc.) while it was removed. I filled the garden hose with expanding foam around the wires which could end up too permanent if I ever have to pull the mast again but we're sick of drips. So I figure that unless we forget to check the weep holes occasionally the water will never get 6" deep in the mast. So far, so good but nothing is forever. I figure my point of failure will eventually be the 5200 caulk seal between the hose and the base but if water can't pool up in the base I'll still stay "pretty dry". Our cabin top dimple was not too bad (< 1/8") so we decided to live with it. This can only mean that the entire cabin top deflected down which is probably a bad sign and explains the creaks and cracking sounds as we lifted the mast. As "Hellosailor" pointed out, it also speaks to the stiffness and quality of the deck and cabin top core in the Islander 28. The PO had sadly neglected to maintain his deck fittings so I have had ample occasion to examine the effects of leakage into the core and its durability is absolutely remarkable with nary a soft spot (yet) responding to tapping and discreet drilling.
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