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Old 21-01-2011, 16:25   #1
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Holes in Front of Mast . . . Thoughts, Please

Im fairly new to sailing as many may know by now from all my questions, so I have another.

What would these holes be used for in the front of my mast? They run from top to bottom. The interesting thing is that they run down through the deck and are found inside the cabin too. (image below)

My thought is that the mast is from another boat and cut to fit my Pearson 323, but that still doesn't explain what could run down the front of the mast.

Im wanting to put steps on the mast and was wondering if i could use these holes to some advantage without having to drill many more. (though they seem small)

All suggestions welcome and appreciated.



Thank you much,
austin
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Old 21-01-2011, 16:36   #2
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Austin,

Could they possibly have held straps that were riveted on all the way to the top.
Possible holding a wire conduit.

Steps normally go on port & stb. side of the mast. Your sail track is on the back side, so it would be hard to put steps on the front and back of the mast.

Mark
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Old 21-01-2011, 16:40   #3
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In some cases there are tubes or brakets held inside the mast by hardware. Do they look like the heads of pop rivets or can you tell if they are or were holding something inside. If they are no longer being used then useing them for mast steps would be better than more holes. Heads up when putting mast steps on. Insulate mettals so you dont get any dissimilar metal corossion. I.E. teflon washers, Stainless screws. Even us a primer to protect surfaces.
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Old 21-01-2011, 16:44   #4
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Quote:
Im wanting to put steps on the mast and was wondering if i could use these holes to some advantage without having to drill many more. (though they seem small)
Nope, steps go 90 degrees the other way. I don't see that they are a structural issue nor would installing steps.
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Old 21-01-2011, 17:02   #5
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PVC tubes are placed inside of the mast and held next to the interior of the mast by a long steel rod and a hole is drilled through the mast and the tube. A pop rivit is then inserted in the hole and the PVC tube is drawen next to the mast and is used to run either electrical wiring or sometimes halyards through them. This prevents wear and noise caused by banging on the interior sides of the mast.

My boat had a full length tube for the electrical lines from the masthead and a second tube from the spreaders for the radar cable. The haltards were on the outside.
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Old 21-01-2011, 17:28   #6
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Hmmm, the ideas about it holding some kind of tube to the top would make sense, because the holes run down into the cabin too. I will take a look at the keel step to see if there are signs of this. There are a fair amount of things at the mast head that need electricity so a method such as pvc would be a clean way to run all the wires. And would keep them protected from the internally run halyards.

thanks again everyone
austin
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Old 21-01-2011, 17:54   #7
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I'd also guess the holes (I see one has a pop rivet in it, the one next to it does not) were used to pop rivet a wiring conduit inside the mast. AFAIK that's not stock from any maker that way, so a PO probably did it.

The problem with holes is that it can mean "tear along dotted line" so if you go making more holes to install mast steps--try to offest them, so the steps and existing holes don't line up to become a "dotted line" at any given height.

Usually a conduit would be installed inside the rear of a mast, so a spinnaker pole track or other working geare could be added to the front of it, unobstructed.
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Old 21-01-2011, 18:38   #8
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This is why, when you purchase your next boat, you want to buy it from someone who doesn't own a drill.
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Old 21-01-2011, 22:42   #9
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Trust me on this folks.

When I had the mast down to add a spare halyard and install the radar on a bracket just above the spreaders and paint the mast, plus replace all rigging prior to going cruising, the PVC was installed by a rigger in Alameda, Calif., with me watching.

The metal of the mast was about 1/4" thick.
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