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I'd blame it on corrosion or severe changes in weather conditions.. the best way to fix it is to use a mast sleeve, and rivet both sections afterwards. This shouldn't be too costly, but it may be worth getting a quote for a new mast, it would last a lot longer!

If the mast is made from aluminium I wouldn't really suggest welding the mast because welding aluminum is less reliable than riveting.

Hope that's helped, Lee.
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