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In my opinion this is a fatique crack. The shape is not linear therefore a hole to stop it will not work. There is load also on top of the connection, ad this load caused the fatique metal to give away. A good weld or patch will keep the mast for a few more years but ithe whole mast should be monitored closely every year.
Using penetrating dyes is one solution to find out the cracks, but this method is really messy, cleaning from different parts of the boat might be really a problem. Instead you can use magnifying glasses of 40 -70x. They are sometimes sold as portable microscobes. You can see the crack with those. The use of dyes is specially preferred by some surveyors, because it is easier to take photos of the dyed crack.
Last edited by celenoglu; 12-23-2011 at 03:08 PM.