So after my first season of sailing my newest boat I pulled the mast so I could thoroughly check things over, replace sheaves, put an LED Tricolor/anchor light on, inspect chainplates etc.
One thing that caught my eye was what appeared to be a hairline crack in the maststep. Dusting off the crud and looking further I found THIS.
As you can see, it would have been hard to detect w/ the mast in place.
Here is another shot; the crack is just visible at the top of the photo. You can see the deteriorating grounding strap.
Getting the old step out was pretty easy. 4 Lag bolts that didn't want to budge until I hit them w/ a bit of propane torch, gave em a big smack w/ a BFH on a piece of brass bar to keep from deforming the head and then a socket on an 18" bar. No fuss, no muss. Didn't even take 10 min.
So, I ordered up a new mast step ($369 thank you very much) and tapped it for the grounding strap and also so I could install two 5/16" Machine bolts to hold the mast in (Offshore racing requirement) and also made up a new grounding strap. (Crimped and heat shrinked OF COURSE!)