Got the mast down to inspect and repaint. The fitting shown in attached pic looks to be 316 SS and is riveted (heavy stainless rivets) and through bolted (at the tangs used for forward and aft lower shrouds). This fitting clam shells around the mast and is fit perfectly to the mast shape. If not sealed well, however, water and salt could work its way between the fitting and aluminum mast and corrode- if that happened the mast could break as this must be a high stress point- seeing the mast is very firmly connected with 4 lower shrouds and a baby fore stay- a total of 5 connection points at this fitting with the addition of the spreaders. Note the spreaders do not pass through the mast- the spreaders fit into sockets in this fitting and held by one stainless through bolt (as shown in pic).
So request opinion- does the fitting look ok to leave as is and assume no major corrosion (note I can get a fiber optic camera and inspect the inside of the mast at this location- to make sure no corrosion through the mast wall)? Or would you recommend to remove the fitting? I would like to remove the fitting- but afraid I might open a can of worms and not be able to get the fitting installed as well as it is now- fitting might spring open on removal.