Mast leaks on keel stepped 52' mast - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-25-2006 Thread Starter
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Mast leaks on keel stepped 52' mast

We're chasing a mast leak on our '86 Kadey-Krogen that has a keel-stepped 52' mast. We've spartitite'd the deck collar (when it rains heavily it gets a few drops - probably from the not real thorough installation by Mack Sails) but the problem seems to be that in a good rain (living in south florida we get 'em) we get water through the mast drains at the keel. We've been up the mast and can't find any obvious water entry (except where the standing rigging hooks into the mast which is open at all hooks - seems strange to have several "holes" in the mast for standing rigging to allow water to get to) but I was wondering if anyone has experienced any particular gremlin allowing water to get into the mast or if it's just an engineered mast design and we should "chill out" about it?

Thanks as usual for the sage advice!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-25-2006
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Leaks such as these are commonplace on most any mast. If it's windy AND rainy, water finds its way into rigging connectors, halyard exits, wherever there is a hole. You probably find less water on a rainy calm day than a windy one.
The fix is difficult, a floor in the mast above deck height with drains above - it's hard to fabricate, and difficult to seal as well with the usual wires extending to the mast base.
By the way, Spartite is not meant to be a seal, it's meant to replace wedges - still needs a good boot at the deck.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-25-2006
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I'd agree with Faster... if you've got internal wiring and halyards on the mast, rain water will find its way in, no matter what you do. The only real way to prevent water from coming down through the mast is to insert a plug or floor in the mast, above the deck partners, and have drainage of some sort.

My friend built a conical plug that sits inside his mast and has holes drilled through it for the wiring to pass through. It has a single drain hose attached to the bottom of the cone, and that leads to a hose that drains out side the mast. Not a bad solution but was a pain to make and install.


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post #4 of 6 Old 06-26-2006 Thread Starter
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Many thanks for the insight and experience!!
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-26-2006
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You can't expect to keep water from entering the boat from inside the mast. there are simply too many opportunities for water to get inside. What you can expect is to stop water from entering the boat around the mast. A properly installed spartite system will stop virtually all water from entering around the mast and a boot will stop the rest. A little fresh water in the bilge once in a while won't hurt a thing if you pump it out often.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-27-2006
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On most Kadey Krogens, in addition to the open masthead, you also have internal halyards sheves open to allow water in.

The biggest problem with the fresh water down the mast is rott that somtimes occurs with the floor timbers immediately adjacent to the step. Place a small amount rock salt in this area, next to the wood, as it will kill the dry rot. Salt water kills dry rott, fresh water, as in rain, promotes it.

The step may also see some corrosion, but I have not had much difficulity with this.

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