Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I see three possible sources for the rust. The shoulder (or interior) of the socket around the bottom of the tube, the bracket itself, or the screws. I am curious as to the composition of the screws, the socket, and the bracket. It seems to me that the rust trails are coming from beneath the bracket, though I could be wrong. The bracket, however, looks like proper brass to me, which could not cause the rust, in which case the screws would be my main suspect.
Also, there seems to be a rust buildup in the slot of the screw, though that could, of course, merely be a stain.
I would be interested to know what you find out. I am betting your first impression is correct, in which case brass screws would be your best bet as a replacement, I think. Stainless is not all it is cracked up to be, especially if you are sailing in salt water.