Originally Posted by chuck g
Thanks for the feedback; I like the idea of the notches and your approach of surrounding the mast. I'd be interested in knowing how big your notches are -- 1/4" or so? The only aspect of your solution that leaves me a bit uneasy is not having something at the base of the mast for compression purposes. FYI, the drainage hole at the base of my mast is a 3/4" hole on the side, roughly 2" from the bottom.
The whole project
was actually a bit more complex that the drain holes I described. Pearson
for some strange reason (cost? convenience? cost?) decided to use steel
mast steps in the bilge
for Al masts. So a fairly common problem with older Pearsons is mast rot
where the Al/steel combo sets up a galvanic reaction and the mast base becomes a sacrificial anode. I had to cut 3" off the base of my mast that looked like Swiss cheese. I'm surprised the mast hadn't collapsed down into the step it was so eaten away.
To replace the steel
step I first put a 3" block of UHMWPE bolted to the keel
, then a 1/4" plate of 6061 Al for the mast base to rest on and take any abrasion between the mast and step, then the rectangular piece with the hole in the middle as the final piece on top.
Mine also had a couple of holes a few inches up from the base but were used for leading wires out of the mast. Guess if the drains at the bottom clogged they would work for overflow but I like having a drain at the very bottom so you don't end up with any standing water.
It has been a while since I built all this but I think the notches in the base of the mast (and the matching channels I cut in the bottom of the step) were about 1/2" diameter. I wanted them large enough so any small trash wouldn't block the drain and also big enough to poke a piece of coat hanger into the hole to clear it if it did block.