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SailingWebGuy 12-10-2010 08:33 AM

Mast Step Plate
Just a quick question..

How should a mast step plate be secured to the deck?? Mine was secured with 4 screws that seemed extremely inadequate. Should they be through bolted? I can tell that there were repairs done to that area at some point (older boat) and a very large chance that whomever did the repairs did not re-secure the plate correctly.

P.S. I apologize if I'm using the wrong terminology for the plate I'm referring to. It is that plate that the mast slides down over. Not the SS plate that can be using to attach blocks to.

Thanks a ton!

rayncyn51 12-10-2010 09:03 AM

Our Catalina 30 uses 4 lag screws approximately 3/8" x 1 1/2". There's not a lot of lateral load on that plate, most of the force is downward.

SailingWebGuy 12-10-2010 10:10 AM

Hey Rayncyn!

Ok, thanks! Mine were slightly smaller. I'll get something a little bigger than what came out. Just wanted to make sure it shouldn't get through bolted or something.


mitiempo 12-10-2010 10:28 AM

6 through bolts on my CS27. I don't think screws are enough.

mike dryver 12-10-2010 10:54 AM

Sailingweb if the heads of the screws fit properly then they are the right size. just pull one if you have not already done so and check shank diam to hole diam. a mast step is in compression load not shear load unless a stay or shroud fails

SailingWebGuy 12-10-2010 12:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks to everyone for the replies!

I bundled up and climbed out there to take another look. It does appear that they are 3/8 x 1 1/2...remembered them being smaller for some reason.

I filled the holes with epoxy a while back. In the spring I'll drill em out when its warmer and sealants will cure correctly.

Managed to snap a little pick of it.

sailingdog 12-10-2010 04:24 PM

Ideally, the mast step plate should be through-bolted to the compression post or bulkhead.

SailingWebGuy 12-10-2010 05:09 PM

Aww man! It's two for through bolting and two for not. I can't decide a tie breaker. :)

I think I will through bolt...if only because it seems stronger.

jaschrumpf 12-10-2010 07:27 PM

There is no need for through-bolting. On a deck stepped mast the load is straight down on the plate and the lateral forces are low. Deck stepped masts are held in place only by the lip of the plate; I know my mast doesn't have any screws or bolts holding it to the plate.

Since you filled the original holes with epoxy, once you drill them out again for the proper screw size you will be good. No need to through-bolt; but if you are doing other repairs that make it possible and can cover everything up, there's certainly no reason not to go the extra mile.

mitiempo 12-10-2010 08:42 PM

I can't think of any item on the deck of a sailboat in this size range that should not be through bolted.

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