Best way to waterproof keel stepped mast - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-15-2001
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Best way to waterproof keel stepped mast

I heard spartite is the best performer. What do you folks have to say?
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Old 04-16-2001
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Best way to waterproof keel stepped mast

Spartite is not used to water proof a keel stepped mast but is used to replace wood wedges between the mast and partner at the coach top. A neoprene mast boot should be used once the spartite cast has been formed and cured to cover the area where you have installed the spartite. To minimize water entering the boat and bilge, I suggest that you fill the sail track for the sail slugs with silicon just above the mast boot and hose clamp. This does not eliminate water entering the boat as rainwater will find it''s way into the bilge by way of openings in the mast such as sheaves, halyard exit plates and holes used for antennas and wires. I have used my original cast of spartite for 6 years, each year pulling the mast for winter storage, no problems, a great product.
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Old 04-18-2001
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Best way to waterproof keel stepped mast

Thank you Denr, that is good information. I have almost decided on the spartite. I was told by locals that it was the best for water tite seal. I am glad I posted because what you say makes good sense. I was wondering though. Do you think it would be a good idea to push a rubber plug from the bottom of the mast to a point just above where the boot cover will be and then drill a small hole to allow rain water to drain?
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Old 04-25-2001
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Best way to waterproof keel stepped mast

Brioooon:
The rubber plug is probably not necessary, the amount of water is most likely insignificant. When installing the Spartite don''t forget to put the releasing agent (vasoline) around the mast as well as the partner. Dynamite is necessary to get this stuff off of things you don''t want it on.
Good Luck
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Old 02-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denr View Post
Brioooon:
When installing the Spartite don''t forget to put the releasing agent (vasoline) around the mast as well as the partner. Dynamite is necessary to get this stuff off of things you don''t want it on.
Good Luck
I used Spartite a couple of years ago and the instructions agreed with the comment above. However, Spartite told me they now only want the Vaseline (release agent) applied to the partners, NOT the mast. Therefore, when the mast is unstepped, the Spartite will come out with it, and will be in the proper position when the mast is re-stepped. I complied and sealed both perimeters as instructed, and have never achieved anything close to a water tight seal. Given the expense, effort (my partners made for a ticky application of Spartite) and the fact that a water tight seal was my main objective, I've been disapointed.

Last edited by L124C; 02-24-2010 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 02-24-2010
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I did my Spartite installation some five or so years ago, the instructions were very clear to me to not coat the mast, only the collar... I wanted to have, and got a very water-tight seal, as the low halyard exit boxes on the CS 36T made any type of traditional boot very difficult to work. I rank Spartite as one of the all-time great products.
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Old 02-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
I used Spartite a couple of years ago and the instructions agreed with the comment above. However, Spartite told me they now only want the Vaseline (release agent) applied to the partners, NOT the mast. Therefore, when the mast is unstepped, the Spartite will come out with it, and will be in the proper position when the mast is re-stepped. I complied and sealed both perimeters as instructed, and have never achieved anything close to a water tight seal. Given the expense, effort (my partners made for a ticky application of Spartite) and the fact that a water tight seal was my main objective, I've been disapointed.

The next time you step the mast, apply a layer of cheap clear (I hope Mainesail isn't listening) silicone to the surfaces. It'll break easy enough the next time you pull the stick and should make the seal water tight.
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Old 02-24-2010
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As far as sealing the inside of the spar, Selden does a similar thing to the spartite. They make a dam and pour something inside the mast above the partners and it prevents water from making it below. It works well for that purpose, but what a pain if you need to run something else up the spar. I can't remember what it was but we once needed to install one more wire in the spar of a new boat that wouldn't fit in the conduit. Some people add a lot of stuff. I made a 12' hole saw out of a piece of aluminum pipe and was able to get through it but there was no way to really seal it again.
In my opinion, water coming down the inside of a mast shouldn't be a problem. It's fresh water, so as long as there are clean, adequate sized limber holes, the step isn't sitting in a puddle of bilge water and there is a little ventilation, not much is going to happen to it.
I usually apply a coat of grease to the spar where it contacts the step or shoe to help ward off corrosion.
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Old 02-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
I did my Spartite installation some five or so years ago, the instructions were very clear to me to not coat the mast, only the collar... I wanted to have, and got a very water-tight seal, as the low halyard exit boxes on the CS 36T made any type of traditional boot very difficult to work. I rank Spartite as one of the all-time great products.
I just pulled out the Spartite instructions and stand corrected. They only recommended coating the mast with release agent if the boat has hydraulic jacks at the mast step, a bendy spar, or if movement is desired without bonding the mast. They also state that the seal will be better if the spartite is bonded to the mast (of course). Based on my search of this forum, it seems that some boats seal tighter than others with Spartite. Initially I used the caulk Spartite recommends ("Life Seal by Boat Life") to seal the perimeter. It seemed to work briefly, but after a couple of windy outings, I noticed water penetrating. The funny thing is, a couple of weeks ago, I was using some Silicone for another project. I noticed the Silicone insructions said "unlike other caulks, Silicone retains it's elasticity". I thought..."Hmmmm, I wonder if that might solve the Spartite problem?". In the back of my mind, I thought there must have been a reason I didn't use it when I installed the Spartite, but thought "Well, that didn't work, so what do I have to loose?". I cleaned off the Life Seal and installed Silicone. It seemed to keep the rain water out for a couple of weeks (without sailing), but is now leaking like a sieve! In reviewing the Spartite instructions, they state "Do not use Silicone, it will not bond to Spartite". ! Anyway, the difference in results with Spartite between boats/owners is interesting. Glad it's working for some! It certainly wasn't worth the effort for me. I'll probably re caulk with Life Seal and reinstall the boot I was trying to eliminate!

Last edited by L124C; 02-24-2010 at 01:44 PM.
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Fresh water GOOD, Salt water BAD...Ain't necessarily so!

Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
In my opinion, water coming down the inside of a mast shouldn't be a problem. It's fresh water, so as long as there are clean, adequate sized limber holes, the step isn't sitting in a puddle of bilge water and there is a little ventilation, not much is going to happen to it.
I understand the distinction between the interior and exterior of the the mast. However, given the topic of this thread, I think we should avoid the impression that fresh water leaking at the partners (not "inside" the mast) is OK . Here is a a thread I created which is slightly off topic, though certainly related. It's the main reason the leak at the partners bothers me.
River rot?

Last edited by L124C; 02-25-2010 at 12:01 PM.
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