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My mast is stored outside and I usually wrap it for the winter. Looking from the mast foot inside, my nose was close to the opening. I smelled that familiar odor most country folk get to learn, mice pee.

I thought reading about drilling out the mast head rivets for maintenance would be far in the future. Apparently I'll be doing that soon. They build nests in such open spaces. Usually in places high off ground level in fear of marauding rats. I need to constantly keep my ride mower and machinery clear of the nests of these pests. They'll also find open crannies in that OB motor too, usually over the cylinder head fins.

I suspect the sheets are chewed up or damaged inside, and besides I was thinking of changing them to a new set. Hoisting the sails would cause grass and nest material getting clogged in the sheaves. I'll use a plumbers fish to clean out the debrit. So I'll be stuffing the end with stainless wool next time at close of season.

Just thought I'd pass this on.
 

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Rodent-proofing is normal. All kinds of critters like salt, and any lines or sails that have been used in salt water or have heavy perspiration on them will be a tasty snack, they need to be cleaned and secured. For spars, you can toss in mothballs, then plug the end with some steel wool (even rats don't like to chew that) and put them up on sawhorses to make them less attractive to critters. The mothballs will also discourage nesting wasps.
 
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