Main mast foot

Well we haven’t been working on what we had planned so far today. The epoxy we did yesterday is still curing and a long way from being touch dry (at least the loose bits we have been drying in the clubhouse). All the drying times are given at 25°C and unsurprisingly the unheated clubhouse is nothing like that temperature. We have had a fan heater drying the coated pieces in the boat and they are now nearly ok to paint.

So instead we have been refitting the main mast foot. It had been leaking and the bolts were very rusty. So we had removed it a while ago.

When I ordered new metric bolts they didn’t quite fit through the holes. Finding a 14mm drill bit then took more time, by this point the job had become quite daunting.

Anyway, today we got on with it. The slightly larger holes were no problem. It also proved that the wood deck core was dry (a very big deal if we had needed to replace/repair that).

The new bolts are on (and during this saga I have learned that 316 grade stainless steel (normally the grade used on boats) is not the same as A2 stainless steel bolts but instead A4, so these might not last as long as we would hope.

The mast foot cleaned up nicely, clearly there has been some electrolytic corrosion in the past. Also (and maybe connected) the rubber pad for the mast was worn out, so removed for replacement.

The bolt heads, under the washers and under holes in the mast foot have all been sealed with butyl tape. The mast foot is resting on marine silicone sealant and the washers & bolts have dialectic grease to prevent electrical contact.

Everything tightened nicely, bolts exactly the right length, plus much larger washers to spread the load. Very happy with the result.

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