Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Gloucester, Mass. USA
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 14
Mast step Compresion?
I had the same problem on my C22. There was a strong-back in the companionway under the mast step and some other rigs had been installed that were supposed to support the mast. But my suspicion was that the core material under the mast step was degrading and no shoring up from down below was going to help. I opted to take care of the problem at the deck level, with out tearing the deck apart.
I made a strong-back by laminating 6 pieces of ¼ inch thick oak, just wider then the mast step fitting and long enough to span the width of the companionway below. This allowed me to spread the compression load over good coring and to the up-rights on either side of the companionway that were originally meant to take this load. I molded it to fit the crown of the cabin top and finished it when it had cured.
This was epoxied and fastened in place with screws from below. The mast step fitting was through-bolted to this and through a doubler below. The indentation where the mast was originally stepped was filled with marine bondo. I hacked 1-½ inches off of the mast so that the rigging length would remain the same.
Now, my new mast step was far stronger then the original and it served as a great place to attach the turning blocks for the halyards to be lead to the cockpit too!
Incidentally, while I was making this piece, my step-dad and I got into a “discussion” as to its strength. To prove each other’s point we took the thing into the yard and set it up on wood blocks at each end and set another on top at the middle. On top of this, my step-dad lowered the bucket of one of his backhoes and in an attempt to break it, put on the pressure! The thing didn’t even flinch and the backhoe’s rear end was lifted clean off the ground!
You can show me all kinds of test results and paperwork from the epoxy manufacturers, but when it comes to my boat, that test superseded them all!