I have a1985 Frers designed Beneteau-First456. The stainless steel mast
step is only bolted fore and aft to the vertical faces of the stringers and has sunken over time with pressures from rig tension (as evidenced by the floorboards in this area).
I would like to modify the mast
step, welding new ends on that actually rest on top of the stringers instead of just relying on the shear of the bolts/screws holding them to the inside of the stringers, but I don't want to pull the mast if I don't have to. I am considering using a hole-saw to cut 2" holes through each side of the mast near the base, de-tensioning the rig and jacking the mast up just enough (couple inches) to remove the mast step (using a 2" aluminum
pin and some 2-ton hydraulic jacks). I would then take the step to a local welder and have the ends modified, re-insert and lower the mast back down.
My concerns are mainly:
What is the Spartite going to do?
Is the mast going to want to jump around off the jacks?
Is this a bad idea?
It is obviously less of a project
if I don't have to pull the mast.