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Old 11-03-2013, 06:22   #1
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Tartan 3500 Mast Step Design

New owner of a Tartan 3500. It has a keel stepped mast where the step actually sits on the fiberglass cabin sole. I discovered that water is seeping out from under the mast step where it meets the sole and sloshing around under the teak flooring that sits on the fiberglass sole. I am curious if anyone is familiar with the design of the mast step interior? I figure it must have drain holes but maybe there clogged because its only been leaking the last few months.

There's a small channel that runs under the step and then drains to the bilge. I can barely get a few fingers in there and can feel the hose enclosed mast wires exiting the mast, but can't feel any drain holes. I'd like to seal up the mast step base, but want to know the water has a path to bilge. Any enlightenment would be much appreciated!

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Old 14-03-2013, 06:51   #2
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Re: Tartan 3500 Mast Step Design

I had the same problem with my 3700. Do you have a carbon fiber mast with a "plastic" sail track? I do, and in my case, the water was coming down behind the sail track into the cabin and found its way under the floor. My Tartan dealer provided a sketch and instructions on what to do, and I haven't had the problem since. I had to cut out a piece of the sail track just above the deck and replace it with an epoxy "plug." Let me know if this sounds like your situation.

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Old 15-03-2013, 11:11   #3
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Re: Tartan 3500 Mast Step Design

Thanks for the reply. We have an aluminum mast with a sail track, but the lowest portion was sealed up pretty well by the prior owner. We're not getting any water down the outside of the mast or the track into the cabin.

The water at issue is coming down the interior of the mast - which I guess is expected, but it doesn't seem to have any place to drain to bilge.
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Old 16-03-2013, 14:19   #4
Doug Annapolis, Tartan 3700

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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Annapolis
Boat: Tartan 3700 CCR
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Re: Tartan 3500 Mast Step Design

we have a 2000 tartan 3500. noticed paint flaking at base of mast.
it turns out the Tartan 3500 does not provide adequate drainage.
Solution, we pulled the mast, found the old mast step to be falling apart with lots of junk around the base of the mast that prevented any drainage.

Solution - a new mast step, fabricated from aluminum. created a drainage hole with plastic drainage tube into the bilge. problem solved.
I would be happy to describe the mast step. I had to have a machine shop create the new step. turns out tartans and sabre's have this problem.

Doug Smith
410 279 8603, annapolis
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