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Fair warning: I am very inexperienced/unknowledgable... but a fairly fast learner. Thanks in part to the help of this board I found and purchased my first boat: a '75 Grampian 26 here in the Finger Lakes. Made necessary repairs and motored to my slip, but when I first attached the sails for an exploratory run, I found out a part is missing, and I don't know what it's called or what a reasonable substitute might be.

This is the plate at the bottom of the mast where, after you slip all the slugs into their slot, is screwed into place at the foot of the mast and acts as a "keeper", preventing the slugs from sliding down and falling out the bottom of the track.

We've searched everywhere and can't find this cover in the piles of parts and spares that came with the boat from its (deceased) last skipper... It's a roughly 3" x 4" aluminum piece, two screw holes on one side, a flange on the other, looks to these lubberish eyes a bit like a large battery cover from a kid's toy. Without it I've resorted to using duct tape wrapped around the mast, which appears to work OK temporarily but looks like h**l.

I suspect the part proprietary to this mast, but before I try to fabricate it, I thought I's ask this group what it's called and if there are alternatives to making one up...
 

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Some boats have the sail stops mentioned by bub and others have an opening in the sail track extrusion to allow the sail slugs or bolt rope to be inserted. Then their is a plate usually, 4" by 8" or so, that screws on to side of the mast to block the opening.
Some use both ideas.
If you are missing that plate it can usually be fabricated using hand tools as the shape is pretty simple and not too fussy.
 
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