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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-21-2007
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Question Mast Stepping

I recently purchased a keel stepped boat. When the mast was stepped down, only two wedges fell through to the floor. It appeared as they were wedged in from the bottom.
I expected the wedges to be placed in from the top so they would naturally snug themselves.
Can anyone explain the proper way to place the wedges? How many? From top, bottom, I've even heard both. That is, wedge the mast from the top and wedge the wedges from the bottom...
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-21-2007
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Columbia...I've always seen it done from the top but prefer to eliminate the wedges entirely and go with the much more forgiving and waterproof "rope method" which is both easier on the mast AND eliminates leaks:
1. Take a lenghth of 3 stand nylon that when wrapped around the mast is slightly too thick to fit in between the mast and the partners. Length should be enough to wrap around 3-4 times.
2. With mast upright and with a blunt tool and mallet, push first wrap down into the partners so it is a deep as it can go without coming out of the bottom of the partners.
3. Using a tube of marine silicon and a calking gun...layer in a nice thick layer of silicon and then take another wrap of the rope and bank it in on top of the silicon.
4. Repeat until the partners are filled with silicon and rope.

To really seal things up use a rope that you will really have to force into the space...not merely push down. You may find rigging some rope come-alongs from the mast to other points on your boat helps create enough space to get the next rope layer in place.
Voila...you have a sealed mast at the deck AND a soft and forgiving rope wedge instead of hard pieces of wood.
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Old 03-22-2007
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Thank you. As Albert Einstein said, "Keep things as simple as possible, just not any simpler". I like this approach. The added benefit should be the simplicity when stepping the mast.

This is why I haven't gone with the Spartite. I was helping some folks at the gin pole last spring. It took them half an hour to get the Spartite seal in-place without rolling or binding.

Thank you
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Old 03-22-2007
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
cam-

How do you get that out, and is it a one-shot deal??? I'm just curious, since my mast is deck-stepped it really doesn't affect me.
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