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Old 14-10-2012, 14:14   #1
Jd1
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Mast boot sealing

The rainy season has started ... unfortunately also inside the boat
I have a nice factory rubber boot around the mast and the previous owner used silicone to seal between the boot and the mast. Since silicone is apparently verboten on a boat, I thought I would ask if there is something better one could use .... maybe something that can stretch a bit as needed without breaking down but not a sticky mess like butyl tape.

Thoughts ????

Thanks !
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Old 14-10-2012, 14:18   #2
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Re: Mast boot sealing

I've used some nice (and stupid expensive) white 3m tape that's rated for months. I did some overlapping layers. It lasts for a year, then I do it all over again. I had a "real" one before but it lasted as long as the tape does and made a mess.
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Old 14-10-2012, 14:32   #3
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Re: Mast boot sealing

If the leak is between the mast and the boot, I'd try wrapping some self amalgamating silicone tape ("Rescue Tape") around it.
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Old 14-10-2012, 15:13   #4
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Re: Mast boot sealing

i replaced both mast boots, as they were original from 1976--nasty things--and yes we put silicone on them. silicone works. it also replaces easily. i use the expensive goo on the other items on board needing rebedding....i also replaced my wedges...
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Old 14-10-2012, 15:38   #5
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Re: Mast boot sealing

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i replaced both mast boots, as they were original from 1976--nasty things--and yes we put silicone on them. silicone works. it also replaces easily. i use the expensive goo on the other items on board needing rebedding....i also replaced my wedges...
Zee, where did you buy your wedges? When I had the rigging inspected recently I was told that the wedges probably need replacing. I haven't done anything about that yet but since it came up .....
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Old 14-10-2012, 16:03   #6
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Re: Mast boot sealing

we custom made them. we also custom made the boots. we used some hose clamps and sillycone to seal them. the material is a waterproof sunbrella--kind of rubbery. nice stuff.

is easy to make wedges--i prolly could even make em--we used huanacaxtle wood(is a hard wood), made slightly tapered 2x4s, shorties,and made a lip on upper(fat) part of wedge for a keeper. my old ones were triangular , no keeper, and used to fall out at will. these wont.
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Old 14-10-2012, 16:42   #7
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Re: Mast boot sealing

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
we custom made them. we also custom made the boots. we used some hose clamps and sillycone to seal them. the material is a waterproof sunbrella--kind of rubbery. nice stuff.

is easy to make wedges--i prolly could even make em--we used huanacaxtle wood(is a hard wood), made slightly tapered 2x4s, shorties,and made a lip on upper(fat) part of wedge for a keeper. my old ones were triangular , no keeper, and used to fall out at will. these wont.
Huh ... and here I thought the wedges were a hard rubber kinda thing. I googled for "Wedges-R-Us" as a place to buy them but wouldn't you know it - no results

Well I will see what the old ones look like and if worse comes to worse I have some oak that I can make wedges out of ...

Thanks for the pointers !
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Old 14-10-2012, 16:58   #8
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Re: Mast boot sealing

Actually, I think the rubber "wedges" are the best. They are actually blocks of semi-hard rubber. You want them to be large enough so they can partially wrap around your mast, and slightly thicker than the gap between the mast and the partner (see the diagram in the attached document.) The trick is knowing how to get them in. The first one (say the fore wedge) is usually no problem--just loosen the forestay tension, tighten the backstay, and slip it in. To get the aft wedge in, you run a line from a bow cleat, around the mast, forward to a block on the bow, and then back to a cockpit winch and crank away. This will compress the fore wedge and allow you to slip the aft one in. When you release the line tension, both wedges will be slightly compressed, conform to the shape of the mast and the partners, and help to stabilize the mast fore and aft and athwartship.

You can get the rubber (neoprene is best), from any of several places on the web.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Sealing.pdf (335.4 KB, 337 views)
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Old 14-10-2012, 17:32   #9
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Re: Mast boot sealing

hard wood works just as well as rubber. they were made of hard wood before the gods invented rubber, and rubber ones are very pricey down here, if you can find em--so we made wood ones--is perfect.
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Old 14-10-2012, 17:43   #10
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Re: Mast boot sealing

I used the pour in place Urethane on one boat, cures up like hard rubber. Was great and eliminated any chance of leak that got past the boot too. In the end.. not really necessary though!
I dont see a problem with Silicone sealant on a mast boot, very flexible and lasts a long time.
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Old 14-10-2012, 17:47   #11
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Re: Mast boot sealing

forgot to mention--my masts are wood hollow box--spruce-- the old wedges that would not remain in place were fir.
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Old 14-10-2012, 18:00   #12
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Re: Mast boot sealing

Installed spartite years ago. No leaks!!
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Old 14-10-2012, 19:14   #13
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An old rigor help me out when I got the new boat some 10 years ago. I use 5/8" doubled Baird line and a flat chisel to drive the line tight around the mast. Then I wrap 2" wide rescue tape around the joint. I have had to replace the tape once or twice in the 10 years. This provides good support to the mast and distributes the load.
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Old 14-10-2012, 19:39   #14
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Re: Mast boot sealing

i bought an old truck inner tube and cut it into a long wide strip. then i wrapped it around the mast, leaving a fringe of rubber on deck. i held it to the mast with very long hose clamps. then i cut up sunbrella to match my sail covers/bimini into a long wide strip and wrapped that around the inner tube a few times. that's held in place with wide webbing strap to make it all look nice and save the rubber from the sun. it's been in place for eight years now.
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Old 16-10-2012, 13:04   #15
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Large black rubber drain stoppers work great. About 1 inch thick and 2 inch diameter. Use band saw to cut into wedge shape. Above average hardware stores have them. This worked for me
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