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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

Hello fune31, thanx so much for the pic and welcome to this fine group of folks! Interlude is hull#50. What is yours?
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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

Hello Interlude,

She is hull 89. What a wonderful sailboat.
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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

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Hello Interlude,

She is hull 89. What a wonderful sailboat.

Agreed!
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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

Same thing happened to us. The mast step is made to shed water through the limber holes, so the only likely access is down the standpipe. I also thought I had sealed ours well, but discovered it was leaking all the way down the groove in the compression post into the bilge. After much sleuthing I discovered rainwater was leaking all the way down the wires in the mast from poorly bedded masthead stuff, including one 3/16" hole left when a masthead light was changed to another brand.

After the holes/leaks at the masthead were fixed and everything was dry at the standpipe opening, I force pumped MARINE GRADE silicone sealant (no acetic acid) into the top of the standpipe using a quality caulking gun until I could see it oozing through from under the deck at the top of the compression post. Then I pumped it around the wires at various locations in the bundle where it entered the standpipe and, finally, shaped a mound of silicon above the standpipe and worked it around the wires with gloved hands.

We sailed the Pacific for eight years after that through tropical deluge and monsoon. No more leaks.

There is really no issue with the deck core getting wet as it is sealed around the pipe, at least it was in our 1996 PSC34. The real problem is the laminated oak compression post. Oak rots if left perpetually wet in a poorly ventilated area and the laminations are also in jeopardy if there is a lot of dry/wet cycling because oak expands and contracts significantly. As part of the fix. I coated the entire groove of the post with West System epoxy, just in case I got any further leaking (never did).

Dave
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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

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Originally Posted by DaveMancini View Post
Same thing happened to us. The mast step is made to shed water through the limber holes, so the only likely access is down the standpipe. I also thought I had sealed ours well, but discovered it was leaking all the way down the groove in the compression post into the bilge. After much sleuthing I discovered rainwater was leaking all the way down the wires in the mast from poorly bedded masthead stuff, including one 3/16" hole left when a masthead light was changed to another brand.

After the holes/leaks at the masthead were fixed and everything was dry at the standpipe opening, I force pumped MARINE GRADE silicone sealant (no acetic acid) into the top of the standpipe using a quality caulking gun until I could see it oozing through from under the deck at the top of the compression post. Then I pumped it around the wires at various locations in the bundle where it entered the standpipe and, finally, shaped a mound of silicon above the standpipe and worked it around the wires with gloved hands.

We sailed the Pacific for eight years after that through tropical deluge and monsoon. No more leaks.

There is really no issue with the deck core getting wet as it is sealed around the pipe, at least it was in our 1996 PSC34. The real problem is the laminated oak compression post. Oak rots if left perpetually wet in a poorly ventilated area and the laminations are also in jeopardy if there is a lot of dry/wet cycling because oak expands and contracts significantly. As part of the fix. I coated the entire groove of the post with West System epoxy, just in case I got any further leaking (never did).

Dave
Dave,

I discovered the leak as I was cleaning the deck with a hose - somehow water is getting into the boat even if the water isn't flowing over the standpipe. My current working hypothesis is that it wicks underneath the mast step into the deck opening that the wires pass through. I'm getting the mast pulled on Tuesday, so I'll have a better idea then. I'll probably need to rebed the mast step. Do you know if the standpipe passes through the deck?

Once I've sorted this, I'll follow your advice about coating the inside of the compression post. I'll take a look at the mast head as well.

Thanks,
Joost


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1995 Pacific Seacraft 34
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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

Joost,

I don't think the pipe passes all the way through the deck, but I do think it varies depending on the year of the boat. For instance, none of the pictures in this thread look exactly like our mast step. Our wire bundle went through a heavy wire reinforced hose, like exhaust hose, that stood proud of the floor of the step by about two inches. It fit through a short metal standpipe on the mast step that only stood about an inch above the floor of the step, not like the tall metal downpipes shown in the pictures above. The hose went very tightly through the standpipe, and the wire bundle forced it against the flange even tighter. The hole in the deck was sealed with what looked like epoxy or polyester to protect the core but I actually don't think the plywood core extended into the built-up area under the step where the hole was, but I could be wrong.

That is strange that water is getting below from outside the step area. I haven't heard of that in these boats so far. I hope all is revealed when your mast is pulled and you can get it fixed easily.

Dave
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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

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. https://www.sailnet.com/forums/pacif...sion-post.html

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
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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.
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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

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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. https://www.sailnet.com/forums/pacif...sion-post.html

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.

Cheers,
Joost


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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

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Did you notice how the mast step is fastened in your PSC when you replaced the compression post?
The mast compression post was replaced in the fall of 2007, and my memory is not good enough.

Bill
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Re: Mast Step leak PSC 34

Do a search for "Splitting Compression Post" and there is more information there.
Or maybe this link will work: https://www.sailnet.com/forums/pacif...sion-post.html

I posted a pic of the new cast aluminum mast plug from LeFiell that I installed.
Our 1980 C37 just had a hole in the step and plug--no stand pipe or drain holes and rot had started in base of the post.
The new step had both and fixed the water intrusion problem. West epoxy thinned with MEK fixed the soft wood.
Bottom line: all the bolts to remove the cast mast plug and SS step can be removed but it's a chore.

John
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