Best way to waterproof keel stepped mast - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Another thread I created is slightly off topic, though certainly related. You might want to check it out. It's the main reason the leak at the partners bugs me so much.
River rot?

I'm usually not too concerned about wood rot but rather the corrosion that occurs around mast bases and steps that are constantly wet with salt water. I know that salt water is much better for wood.
Again, make sure you have clear limber holes, keep the step from sitting in a puddle of water and provide a little ventilation. It'll be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
In reviewing the Spartite instructions, they state "Do not use Silicone, it will not bond to Spartite". !
The silicone doesn't have to bond to the spartite. If you coat the surface of the cured spartite where it is going to contact the deck ring it can't go anywhere and will water proof the seal. It also will break loose when you go to pull the stick again.
I've been doing it that way for years with good success.
You should have a boot over the spartite as well. Mostly to keep the sun off.
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Old 02-25-2010
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I made a rain catcher inside at the base of the mast that effectives channels all the rain coming down inside the mast into a couple (empty) antifreeze bottles. Before then I was getting just enough water over the summer that I thought I might have a slow leak, and our bolts were getting rusty.

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  #13  
Old 02-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
The silicone doesn't have to bond to the spartite. If you coat the surface of the cured spartite where it is going to contact the deck ring it can't go anywhere and will water proof the seal. It also will break loose when you go to pull the stick again.
I've been doing it that way for years with good success.
You should have a boot over the spartite as well. Mostly to keep the sun off.
That's what I did recently, and it's still leaking. If the Silicone doesn't bond to the Spartite, can't the water slip beneath the Silicone (between the Silicone and Spartite) and into the boat? Maybe I can cover the Spartite with Silicone from ring to mast. I tried that with the Boat Life caulk, to no avail. The mast is pretty stout (Yankee 30) but must flex quite a bit because I could see cracks in the Caulk. The strange thing is that even though I cleaned the mast and didn't use release agent on it when I installed the Spartite, I'm sure water is getting in between the Spartite and the mast. I have a fabric boot to protect the Spartite from UV, but it's certainly not waterproof! BTW, I edited my post you responded to make it clearer.

Last edited by L124C; 02-25-2010 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 02-25-2010
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Removed the boot to apply more Silicone as I described in a previous post. I was surprised to find the Silicone apparently holding tenaciously to all surfaces, INCLUDING the Spartite. I can't understand where the water is getting in! I've attached a picture in case anyone has ideas.
The old caulk looks terrible, but all areas where I applied new
Silicone were clean. I had extra Spartite when I did the application, so I applied it about a half inch beyond the elevated ring.
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Best way to waterproof keel stepped mast-0225101207.jpg  
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Old 02-25-2010
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I do the same thing if I have enough material. I tape around the ring and pour the stuff above the lip so that there is no place for water to stand.

When I said that the silicone doesn't have to stick to the spartite, I was specifically talking about using it around the cured plug that is already on the mast and which will be in contact with the ring. It should be a perfect fit and most of the silicone will be squeezed out. If you did that, I bet you have water coming in somewhere else. My first guess would be the sail track. But without seeing it, who knows? It's possible that you used a little too much Vaseline when the spartite was first installed.

Have you tried having someone take a hose to it while you stay below with a flash light to see if you can see where the water is entering?
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Old 02-26-2010
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Yikes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Have you tried having someone take a hose to it while you stay below with a flash light to see if you can see where the water is entering?
Actually, I went up and poured water in on of the openings in the mast above deck. When I went below water was pouring out of the mast, onto the floor of the head! Previously, I was distracted by the water coming through the partners and assumed the mast was draining to the bilge. NOW, I've got bigger issues! I've addressed them in another thread, and would appreciate your input.
Mast drain (or lack thereof!)
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