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I have seen the same idea used at the base of the mast. At a minimum, you can put an angled brace between the mast and the deck, making the hypotenuse of a triangle on the centre line of your vessel, over top of the connections. I have a picture of this in a book I was reading but will have to search for one online...
They often put protectors around vents, again, same idea as above. If those vent protectors don't work for you, then try the angled brace as I mentioned.