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During the time of wooden boats, wooden masts were stepped every year. The aluminum masts do not need care or maintanence very often. The life of shrouds is approximatly 7 -10 years. You do not need to step your mast at all if you are climbing the mast every two or three years and checking it. In case you see some failure you might try to repair it without stepping. In my opinion every type of repair and care can be done without stepping.
 
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