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Old 09-02-2016, 16:31   #16
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Re: Pourable, flexible, watertight caulk or sealant needed for difficult-to-access ar

I suggest you have a good look at your mast further up. Note any large access holes you have in it, and think about the fact that the mast is still strong enough with those holes further up, so it is going to be even stronger with a similarly sized hole down at the base. Then either make the existing hole larger, or hole-saw a new access hole in the spot you need to get in there, clean out, dry, and then seal. Make the hole the correct size to take an off the shelf flush hole-plug, and when you are done, just snap the plug into place. You now have a useful access port for future maintenance.
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:43   #17
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Re: Pourable, flexible, watertight caulk or sealant needed for difficult-to-access ar

Honestly, & this may hurt, but you really need to pull the stick, & do both a full inspection of the mast itself (especially the butt), & the mast step.
Or it's what I would do, were it me.

I say as much, as to some degree, there's going to be corrosion, & who knows how much physical degradation to the integrity of the base (& perhaps other internal areas) of the mast tube itself. Ditto on your mast step. Depending upon how long this has been going on, what materials are involved. And, plus, if there's any stray electrical currents in the bilge water or the mast tube, from instruments or lights etc.

The damage inside of the mast & step could be primarily cosmetic. And only require some removal of the corrosion in the area, prior to redoing the finish on the butt of the tube. Or you might need to bob the butt a bit, & have some work done on the step.

Some of the degree of corrosion can be seen via a camera, & some can likely only be seen with the mast removed. Generally speaking.
And of course without having seen the video, personally, I (& most others) can at best, only speculate as to both the problem(s) & their cures. Although I think that some of the "sand" & other grit like material which you're seeing, is likely aluminum oxide, which has flaked off from the insides of the lower sections of the mast tube & possibly the mast base.

If you did want to, or were in a situation where you HAD to seal things (up). Then you could do a fix like they did during one of the Volvo Races in the '90's. Where they sealed up all of the openings in the (aluminum) mast tubes, which were having cracking problems, due to huge loadings on the spars. And then they poured epoxy resin down into the tubes, in the sections of the spar belowdecks, where the cracks were occurring.
Having plugged off the appropriate internal areas of the mast, post an engineering convo & assessment with the shore team (& the expert riggers onboard).

They had go go slowly, only pouring 1/4" or so at a time (vertically), so that the resin didn't go exothermic on them. And after X hours, they'd pour in another 1/4" of resin. While the previous pour was still green, but mostly cured.
All while trying like crazy to keep the water out of a mast with all internal halyards, while racing full tilt in the Southern Ocean.

It worked, from the standpoint of stopping the structural cracking from spreading. But of course, was a nightmare for the crews to sort out, when the boats made their next port call.
Especially as, with a tube that's watertight like that, even with small holes drilled into it for drainage, above the seal, the metal down where the seal is, is continually immersed, with only a layer of anodizing for protection.
Unlike what goes onto an aluminum hull.

Although, some of the major spar makers do have setups designed so that you can internally seal up a mast from vertical water drainage, just above deck level. And so that the mast is protected internally from water damage. But that's something probably best discussed with them directly.
As, with hollow aluminum masts, even with all external halyards, you're still going to get decent quantities of water inside via multiple other access points.
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Old 10-02-2016, 05:13   #18
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Re: Pourable, flexible, watertight caulk or sealant needed for difficult-to-access ar

Quote:
Originally Posted by David B View Post
I suggest you have a good look at your mast further up. Note any large access holes you have in it, and think about the fact that the mast is still strong enough with those holes further up, so it is going to be even stronger with a similarly sized hole down at the base. Then either make the existing hole larger, or hole-saw a new access hole in the spot you need to get in there, clean out, dry, and then seal. Make the hole the correct size to take an off the shelf flush hole-plug, and when you are done, just snap the plug into place. You now have a useful access port for future maintenance.
Uhm.... YES!!!

(whew... I didn't think anybody was gunna say it)!
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Old 10-02-2016, 05:18   #19
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Re: Pourable, flexible, watertight caulk or sealant needed for difficult-to-access ar

lifeseal liquid caulk. is good.
i broke my teak with capt tolleys. donot use it. it makes white filler in cracks and the cracks grow. btdt. hate it.
use liquid caulk from lifeseal.
aluminum mast-- look for all the holes folks have made fro whatever purposes.. fill each with something not liquid-- liquid will not fill holes, bu t will work in the places where you have wood to fg, or metal to fg.
you may need regular sillycomb for hole plugging until you can work out a real fix.
keep us posted as to how it all works for ye
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:28   #20
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Re: Pourable, flexible, watertight caulk or sealant needed for difficult-to-access ar

Drill a small hole right at the bottom of the mast and file it down square to deck level. Give the water an easier path out, still try to seal your cable holes but with an easy escape the water will not go down the cable holes so much.
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