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post #18 of Old 04-29-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
On my boat the base plate at the bottom of the mast had only a simple hole in it. I talked to LaFiel, and they suggested welding a 6" long piece of 1" aluminum pipe to the plate to make a standpipe. I did that. The yard put everything back when I replaced the compression post.

I had attempted to seal the space between the wires and the hole with silicone caulking; both the usual thick stuff and the pancake-syrup-viscosity stuff (Permatex 81730). Right now with the standpipe, I am using Ideal Industries Duct Seal. It is a Play Dough, non-drying, clay-like material that is packed between and around the wires.

I have enlarged the two weep holes at the very bottom of the mast so that they can be easily flossed with a pipe cleaner. And, I have several times tested them and the seal around the wires by running water into the mast thru the rectangular hole covered by the inspection plate near the bottom of the mast.

The two bolt heads inside the mast were buried in (covered over with) 3M 5200 by the yard before they reinstalled my mast last time as an additional protection against leakage along that path.

All four of the bolts through the stainless mast organizer plate under the mast now have their heads buried in silicone caulk. I found that leak after building a little dam of green florist putty around each one and filling the resulting ponds with water... one leaked.

I have removed all the blocks from the stainless mast organizer plate, made a duct tape dam over the holes in the turned up edges, and filled the pond with water to see if water could get between the base plate at the bottom of the mast and the organizer plate.

I have made a dam on the surface of the deck with florist putty all around the entire mast base and filled it with water to see if there was a leak between the stainless mast organizer plate and the deck.

I keep a piece of Kleenex with several lines drawn across it with a water soluble kids marker crammed into the inside of the compression post as a leakage tell-tale. The thing still leaks, and I have cosmetic damage to my new compression post.

Good luck. I hope you have it. I don't.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes

p.s. The races at the Family Islands Regatta in George Town this year were a hoot. We had a ball as did our two onboard guests for the week.

Hi Bill,

Thanks, this is very helpful. My mast step already has a standpipe and I attached a piece of exhaust hose to it to further extend it. I then plugged the hole with silicone. I think that's a good seal. I have also drilled an additional limber hole at the base of the mast to make draining easier.

If I direct a jet of water at the base of the mast step, it leaks. If I do the same at the base of the organizer tray, it doesn't. That leaves either the bolts of the organizer tray, those of the mast step, or the joint between the mast step and the organizer tray. I tried to check the bolts or the organizer tray yesterday using the same method you used, and they seem dry, so it's probably the bolts of the mast step or the joint between organizer and mast step. Either way, I'll need to remove the bolts and rebed the mast tray. According to Thumper, they are lag bolts, so I'm hoping they won't be too difficult to remove. For the PSC 37 they're not lag bolts and the nuts are hard to access. Did you notice how the mast step is fastened in your PSC when you replaced the compression post?

My main concern is damage to the compression post and to the deck plywood in case the bolts are compromised. I also put a paper towel inside the compression post as a telltale, but didn't think of the marker - that's a good idea.

Mast is getting pulled tomorrow. Once I figure out what's happening, I'll post an update.


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1995 Pacific Seacraft 34
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