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Old 06-22-2010
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merlinislander is on a distinguished road
mast and water

just got my mast back on the boat and one of the things i did while it was down was i installed an anchor light up at the top, along with replacing the steaming light fixture on the front of the mast. my concern now is water, with moisture eventually finding its way into the mast, i am wondering wether i should drill weep holes in the bottom of the mast and mast step so that any water that does collect at least won't pool up. does this make sense? am i missing something? thanks.

Merlin
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Old 06-22-2010
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Whether deck or keel stepped, the mast should be able to drain away any water that might find its way down the inside. Ideally this will not even permit a shallow puddle to remain inside the step at any time... so yes, it makes sense!
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Old 06-22-2010
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Faster is right. Most all masts were initially set up to drain water. For that matter, most places on a boat should drain water. Just like the bilges have limber holes a mast should have drain holes.
Often these holes get clogged up with debris and have to be cleared or flushed out.
Its amazing how much stuff accumulates inside a mast. Even those that seem to be pretty sealed up.
My theory is that insects are the main culprit. Birds second.

So make sure to check that your limber holes are clear once in a while.
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Old 06-22-2010
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i don't think i have drainage in the mast, i see no limber holes. i think i am going to try to get a drill bit down as close to the deck as i can and drill one on each side. at the top of the mast i just squeezed a bunch of sealant into the hole around the wire, same in the step where the screws go in to the cabintop. think it is adequate? passable method, or is water in the mast going to be a nagging concern?

merlin
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Old 06-22-2010
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Water can enter the mast through a number of sources - rivets, halyard exits and sheaves, fittings such as what you've added/sealed(?) etc. You just need to be sure that it can escape. With a deck stepped mast at least you won't get a damp bilge out of it.. with a keel stepped mast a certain amount of water is almost inevitable in the bilge due to water coming down the inside of the mast, esp in rainy AND windy conditions.
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thanks, my plan is drill a couple small holes, and watch my wire run into the cabin and see if i get any water inside. if i do i'll probably pull my hair out but if i don't then i won't worry.
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Old 06-22-2010
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Merlin, even with a deck stepped amst you will get some water trapped in it, or froming from condensation. A weep hole in the step, or a notch filed in the base of the mast, would help ensure it drains. Otherwise you are relying on evaporation to suck out whatever water gets into it, which might be enough for a deck-stepped mast most of the time. Still, I'd think drier, faster, would be better.
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