Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Re: Cal 2-27 mast step question
I found your post while trying to figure out how to remove the mast step on my 1978 Cal 2-27. The good news is that it's easy; the bad news is that I don't think it would work to put a plate under it without some modifications (I explain why below.) More good news is that my boat has turning blocks mounted directly to the mast.
On my boat there were four nuts on top of the mast step. Surprisingly, they were all easy to remove (usually on my projects, the first three come off easy and the last one has to be melted off with a thermite grenade.)
The threads that the nuts are removed from are studs that will stay in place when you remove the step.
I was able to pry up the step using a large screw driver that I tapped under the step with a "hammer" (pipe wrench.) I did this in several different places around the edge until it worked loose. Not too difficult at all. If I had a stiff putty knife on hand I'd use that instead. The screw driver left some small gouges in the work surfaces. Nothing that I'm worried about at all but I think a putty knife would be a little cleaner.
The problem with adding a plate under the step is that the studs aren't long enough to reach all the way through both a plate and the step. However, as I said, my mast has turning blocks mounted directly to it. If you go this route, don't make the mistake of drilling/screwing into the the vertical fins on the mast step. If your mast is still down, take a photo of the step and/or mark the mast so you can avoid the step when you mount your turning blocks.
Congratulations on your new boat...mine has worked out very well for me.