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Discussion Starter #21
Do a search for "Splitting Compression Post" and there is more information there.
Or maybe this link will work: https://www.sailnet.com/forums/pacific-seacraft/249913-splitting-compression-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
s/v Pelagic
1980 C37 Yawl
Lake Union, Seattle, WA
Thanks, John. I had the mast pulled yesterday and I'm heading to the yard to take a look. According to Thumper at Pacific Seacraft, the mast step on the PSC 34 is attached with lag bolts. I really hope it is, as I don't feel like messing around with the headliner.

Joost
 

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Discussion Starter #22
So, I made it to the boat today and had a look at the mast step. As Thumper had pointed out, the mast step on the PSC34 is held down by two lag bolts. That's different from the 37 where it is fastened with two regular bolts. The lag bolts came out very easily and the mast step popped right off. The bedding between the mast step and the stainless organizer tray was completely delaminated (see first picture) and there clearly was water trapped between the two. I cleaned off the old bedding compound and rebedded the mast step and lag bolts using Sikaflex 291 (on Thumper's recommendation). The second picture shows the mast step in place. To seal the standpipe, I first plugged it with a piece of absorbent mat (the kind I use below the engine to catch any oil leaks) and then poured self-leveling silicone almost to top of the pipe. I also took the opportunity to bed some of the wires at the masthead - there were a couple of gaping holes that allowed water to run down the inside of the mast.

Thanks for all the info and advice - it was very helpful. Let's hope this fixes the problem.

Joost
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Not sure why the pictures are upside down, or how to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Joost,

Wow! Quality Job!

Dave
Thanks, Dave. I still need to double check that this fixed the problem, but I expect it to. If not, rebedding the organizer tray is a much bigger job given that the bolts are not easily accessible. The silver lining of all this is that I now have the opportunity to touch up the paint on the mast - why did Pacific Seacraft paint their masts instead of anodizing?

Joost
 

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S/V Interlude, PSC31
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Thanks, Dave. I still need to double check that this fixed the problem, but I expect it to. If not, rebedding the organizer tray is a much bigger job given that the bolts are not easily accessible. The silver lining of all this is that I now have the opportunity to touch up the paint on the mast - why did Pacific Seacraft paint their masts instead of anodizing?

Joost
They didn't, Lefeil who made the masts and booms did, and they are now out of business I believe. The new PSC spars are anodized.
 

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The silver lining of all this is that I now have the opportunity to touch up the paint on the mast...
That was one repair that did not go well. I patch painted the mast covering the areas where halyard hardware and other things had removed the original paint. While the patch paint originally matched perfectly, over the years it has aged to a very different color and begun to flake. Add to that the under-paint-aluminum corrosion on the boom which was repainted before I bought the boat, and things are a cosmetic mess. Oh well, it was good for a time.

The very idea of removing all the hardware, sanding, cleaning, prepping, priming, and painting the mast and boom fills me with dread. Other things are a higher priority. My solution is to go sailing.

Bill Murdoch
Irish Eyes
1988 PSC 34
 

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Discussion Starter #28
That was one repair that did not go well. I patch painted the mast covering the areas where halyard hardware and other things had removed the original paint. While the patch paint originally matched perfectly, over the years it has aged to a very different color and begun to flake. Add to that the under-paint-aluminum corrosion on the boom which was repainted before I bought the boat, and things are a cosmetic mess. Oh well, it was good for a time.

The very idea of removing all the hardware, sanding, cleaning, prepping, priming, and painting the mast and boom fills me with dread. Other things are a higher priority. My solution is to go sailing.

Bill Murdoch
Irish Eyes
1988 PSC 34
Hi Bill,

The paint on my mast is in pretty bad shape - it's flaking off in more areas than I can count. I don't have time (or the patience) to completely restore the paint. Instead, I'm trying to stop the corrosion under the paint where it is delaminating and will repaint the the bare areas. I've removed the loose paint by sanding and have treated the aluminum for corrosion. The next step is to paint the bare patches. I did the boom using the same procedures about six years ago and it has held up really well. Would I rather be sailing? Absolutely! But that has to wait until the mast is re-stepped.

Joost
 

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I don't believe Lefiell is out of business. Their website is alive and well, which is a good thing, because you can also buy all the mast hardware (tangs, bolts, etc.) for your original mast. I once called them up, gave them the year and PSC model and they sold me exactly what I needed to completely replace the rigging and hardware (except the wire rope)—things that were not online in their website. Their prices were very reasonable and they were very helpful and quick to ship.

They also make the masts, booms and spreaders, and they will either paint or anodize to your order.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #30
So, I just checked if re-bedding the mast step fixed the problem. The answer is "sort of". Re-bedding the mast step fixed the main leak, there is no more water coming down the compression post, but I noticed that one or two of the bolts holding down the organizer tray are weeping. I think the issue is that the bolt heads are slightly too small for the holes in the stainless and there are two sides of the heads that do not cover the hole, allowing water to penetrate around the bolt.

Question is how to fix this. This is not really an issue of keeping water out of the boat, the amount of water entering is tiny. I am worried about the plywood in the deck that would be exposed to water. I think I can access the nuts of the two aft bolts, but the other two are buried somewhere next to the bulkhead. Any suggestions? The thought occurred to get four little stainless caps slightly larger than the bolt heads and use them to cover the bolt heads with a lot of bedding compound. I think it would fix the leak, but it just doesn't seem right. The right way is to remove the bolts, fill up the holes with thickened epoxy, drill out the holes and re-bed the bolts, but that supposes I can remove them in the first place.

Joost
 

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Joost,

I just found this picture of someone rebedding the mast plate on a 1998 PSC 37 #337, "Cilantro." Picture of plate attached. Perhaps you can contact them to see how they did it. This is their blog: s/v Cilantro (Sue Carnahan and Curtis Smith). Apparently, Curtis Smith posts on this forum, user name: whimbrel (last posted 2016). Maybe you can PM him. From what I can read, Bitterseet Landing was involved with the work in July of 2012. Their phone number is 207-644-8731.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
Joost,

I just found this picture of someone rebedding the mast plate on a 1998 PSC 37 #337, "Cilantro." Picture of plate attached. Perhaps you can contact them to see how they did it. This is their blog: s/v Cilantro (Sue Carnahan and Curtis Smith). Apparently, Curtis Smith posts on this forum, user name: whimbrel (last posted 2016). Maybe you can PM him. From what I can read, Bitterseet Landing was involved with the work in July of 2012. Their phone number is 207-644-8731.

Dave
Thanks, Dave, I'll look into that. First thing tomorrow morning, I'll call Thumper at Pacific Seacraft and see if he has any recommendations on how to get to the nuts. Once the bolts are out, the re-bedding should be pretty easy, unless of course I stumble on something else - that always seems to happen with sailboats, doesn't it?

Joost
 

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I don't believe Lefiell is out of business. Their website is alive and well, which is a good thing, because you can also buy all the mast hardware (tangs, bolts, etc.) for your original mast. I once called them up, gave them the year and PSC model and they sold me exactly what I needed to completely replace the rigging and hardware (except the wire rope)—things that were not online in their website. Their prices were very reasonable and they were very helpful and quick to ship.

They also make the masts, booms and spreaders, and they will either paint or anodize to your order.

Dave
Dave, that is great to hear! I was told by PSC that they were no longer in business. That would be the first inaccurate info they have given. Maybe they said didn't make the spars anymore but even then? Thanks for correcting my assumption/information. Spent a good part of the day last Thursday meeting Steve, Thumper many of the craftsman there and seeing an almost completed 31 among other projects. Holy Moly, she is beautiful but also just North of $400,000. Feeling better about the price we paid for Interlude. Pic is of the new 31 with Thumper and myself (on the right)
 

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Interlude,

I just found out from James.Gitana on the "Crealock 34 mast tang bolts and nuts" thread that Lefiel sold their marine division, including their inventory, to Forespar at 949-858-8820. So, that's why the conflicting info on the subject.

Thanks, for the picture of Thumper. I have talked to him a number of times and it's nice to see his smiling face at last.

Dave
 

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Interesting to stumble across this thread...

Yes, Lefiell has shut down their marine division. We bought our new mast/boom from them in 2014 for our refit and I think ours was the last set of spars they made. At that time, the marine department was down to one guy, and I'm quite certain he retired after our order was fulfilled. Didn't know of the sale to Forespar though.

Anyway...

After our full refit, after enduring Hurricane Irma and a subsequent year of repairs, and after 1,000 or so miles sailed since the Irma repairs...we have water running down our wires in the mast. This has just started with a set of squalls over the past few days. (We're in Marathon, FL.) This is a first for us, and the only new holes in the mast are from Irma repairs: the replacement radar cabling and mount; the loudhailer cabling and mount; the VHF antenna mount; the wind speed/direction transducer; and the spreader lights. (The VHF antenna and wind speed/direction unit used existing mounts, but were still removed and reinstalled for cabling replacement.) Right now, it is a mere trickle, but trickles unchecked can become torrents. What is peculiar in our case, is the water seems to only run down one side - the aft side - of the compression post where the cabling and wood touch. Surface tension causes it to 'puddle' in the tiny gaps between wire and wire ties. The visible portions of the conduit, etc., and forward side of the post are dry.

The rig was down for the storm repairs, but we don't feel like this is coming in at the step. We think it must be one of the 'new' holes, or perhaps an existing hole through which cabling or wiring passes, as the water seems concentrated on the cabling, and where the cabling is contacting the compression post, on the aft side of the post channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Interesting to stumble across this thread...

Yes, Lefiell has shut down their marine division. We bought our new mast/boom from them in 2014 for our refit and I think ours was the last set of spars they made. At that time, the marine department was down to one guy, and I'm quite certain he retired after our order was fulfilled. Didn't know of the sale to Forespar though.

Anyway...

After our full refit, after enduring Hurricane Irma and a subsequent year of repairs, and after 1,000 or so miles sailed since the Irma repairs...we have water running down our wires in the mast. This has just started with a set of squalls over the past few days. (We're in Marathon, FL.) This is a first for us, and the only new holes in the mast are from Irma repairs: the replacement radar cabling and mount; the loudhailer cabling and mount; the VHF antenna mount; the wind speed/direction transducer; and the spreader lights. (The VHF antenna and wind speed/direction unit used existing mounts, but were still removed and reinstalled for cabling replacement.) Right now, it is a mere trickle, but trickles unchecked can become torrents. What is peculiar in our case, is the water seems to only run down one side - the aft side - of the compression post where the cabling and wood touch. Surface tension causes it to 'puddle' in the tiny gaps between wire and wire ties. The visible portions of the conduit, etc., and forward side of the post are dry.

The rig was down for the storm repairs, but we don't feel like this is coming in at the step. We think it must be one of the 'new' holes, or perhaps an existing hole through which cabling or wiring passes, as the water seems concentrated on the cabling, and where the cabling is contacting the compression post, on the aft side of the post channel.
Bill,

Is the standpipe that the wires pass through sealed? I plugged mine with the material I use to catch oil drops below the engine, and then sealed it with a layer of self leveling silicone. The other major path of ingress is the mast step itself. In my case the bedding material between the stainless organiser tray and the mast step was completely compromised allowing water to seep between the two and then run down the standpipe. After rebedding the mast step, the bilge is dry.

Best,
Joost
 

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Bill,

It's great to see you are back on the boat. Run over to the Home Depot store in Marathon and buy a pound block of duct seal. It is a Play Dough like stuff near the cable ties and electrical tape. With it and some duct tape you can find the source of the leak and maybe fix it.

Here is the plan...

Use the duct seal to plug the drain holes at the bottom of the mast. Remove the inspection plate and pour a couple of cups of water into the mast. If it leaks through, the leak is at the two bolts that are in the mast step. Other than pull the mast, I don't know of a fix.

Add more water until the standpipe is under water. If it leaks through, the leak is where the wires go into the standpipe. Water is running down the wires. With patience, long fingers, and a mirror or bore scope, you can seal around the wires with the duct seal. That is its real purpose. You could also try to find where the water is entering the mast and fix that, but there are unavoidable holes in the mast and water seems to always find a way.

Pull out the Duct Seal plugs and make sure the mast drains.

Take the blocks off the organizer plate under the mast and using the duct tape cover over the holes and open corners, then fill the plate with water. If it leaks through, the leak is either the four bolts or the joint between the aluminum casting and the plate. You can use the duct seal to discover which one. Burying the bolt heads in 5200 or sealing the joint from the outside might fix the leak.

Use the duct seal to build a dam on the deck around the mast step. Fill that pond with water. If it leaks through suspect the joint between the plate and the deck.

Good luck with it.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
 

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Bill,

It's great to see you are back on the boat. Run over to the Home Depot store in Marathon and buy a pound block of duct seal. It is a Play Dough like stuff near the cable ties and electrical tape. With it and some duct tape you can find the source of the leak and maybe fix it.

Here is the plan...

Use the duct seal to plug the drain holes at the bottom of the mast. Remove the inspection plate and pour a couple of cups of water into the mast. If it leaks through, the leak is at the two bolts that are in the mast step. Other than pull the mast, I don't know of a fix.

Add more water until the standpipe is under water. If it leaks through, the leak is where the wires go into the standpipe. Water is running down the wires. With patience, long fingers, and a mirror or bore scope, you can seal around the wires with the duct seal. That is its real purpose. You could also try to find where the water is entering the mast and fix that, but there are unavoidable holes in the mast and water seems to always find a way.

Pull out the Duct Seal plugs and make sure the mast drains.

Take the blocks off the organizer plate under the mast and using the duct tape cover over the holes and open corners, then fill the plate with water. If it leaks through, the leak is either the four bolts or the joint between the aluminum casting and the plate. You can use the duct seal to discover which one. Burying the bolt heads in 5200 or sealing the joint from the outside might fix the leak.

Use the duct seal to build a dam on the deck around the mast step. Fill that pond with water. If it leaks through suspect the joint between the plate and the deck.

Good luck with it.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
Thanks Bill - and thanks to Joost also -

Thanks too for the 'roadmap' plan. The kicker is this: our mast does not have an inspection plate at the base - or anywhere, for that matter - and the original spar which was on her when we bought her in '03 didn't have any either. There are two small drain holes on the sides of the mast at the base. If the leak is at the standpipe, etc., or anywhere under the mast, then we're looking at having to pull it...hence my plan to try to find the source on the spar. If that method fails, well...we can always cut inspection plates with the spar in place...though I'm not really a fan of that idea.

It's certainly possible the four bolts holding the organizer plate in place have started leaking; I'll try the dam-building method this week. I'm also going back through my pictures from the Irma repairs when all of the mast wiring/cabling was being run to see how it looked prior to the re-stepping of the rig.

The ironic thing is, after a light shower yesterday morning, slight trickles were present in the compression post and on the wiring. We had to leave the boat to run errands, and while we were gone, rain fell in epic proportions...and the post, the wiring, the spaces beneath them both...all bone dry.

Thanks again -
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Bill,

In my case, water was entering between the cast aluminum piece and the stainless tray. It wicked through all the way to the standpipe and ran down the wires. I discovered that when I was hosing down the deck. You can easily check using Bill's method. Unfortunately, sealing the mast will not help you in that case and you'd have to pull your mast. Once pulled, it's an easy fix since the two screws holding down the mast step are lag bolts.

The two screws are unlikely to allow water to run down the wires since they do not go all the way through the deck.

I hope the water is not entering between the deck and the stainless tray, as that is a much more difficult fix. The bolts holding down the stainless plate are real bolts and only two of the nuts are readily accessible. On my boat, the other two are under the compression post and the bulkhead. Thumper at Pacific Seacraft told me that when they replace that part, they simply cut off the heads of the bolts.

Best of luck tracking down the leak.

Joost
 
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