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Old 30-04-2009, 15:34   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Alaska
Boat: Beneteau First 456 - Radiance
Posts: 12
Modify Mast Step?

Seeking advice!
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.

Any thoughts?

palagic456 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 11:00   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 6,256
I found a similar issue when I had to remove the mast step to replace the keel bolt nuts. The pressure on the mast step had distorted some of the sheet metal screws. My solution was to add two more layers of glass under the step, bringing the holes in the stringers back in line with the holes in the step, as well as strengthening the whole area.

My mast already has holes near the base for the wiring, but it would be a real chore to get the step out by just jacking the mast up a couple of inches. My step was glassed in place, so required a bit of grinding and a lot of persuasion to get it loose.
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote


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