I have discovered the cause of the holes, and they are in fact not drilled at all. I went back by today and saw the mast in better light. The boat is stored indoors, and the foot of the mast was in the corner of the building where it was not very bright. Today, I got it in some light to snap some pictures and found the holes were not as smooth as I thought.
It seems as though this mast at one time had an unfortunate meeting with slag from a cutting torch. As the torch cut the slag and it fell/blew off, the molten metal was more than enough to melt right through the mast puncturing it in several places.
The damage was mostly constrained to the forward part of the starboard side of the mast. There was at least one hairline crack between two of the holes, several spots of surface damage, and, had I been able to see inside or run my hand inside, I would have expected to see scarring on the inside of the mast opposite the holes.
I guess the question is this: is this mast dangerous?
I know there is a heat affected zone that would be similar to welding where the hot metal went through, but, I would guess it to be quite a bit smaller. When I realized what it was, it made my stomach turn. It raised some red flags for me, and I hate that cause the rest of the boat is in pretty good shape for the price, and it has a nice trailer.
Should I stay away from the boat? If I decided to go ahead and get it, would it be very hard to find a replacement mast that measures 26' 10" like this one did?
I am open to any advice. Please advise.