Moving Mast Step

Moving Mast Step -click to add to this discussion RE: Moving Mast Step


From: Al Johnson , Pegasus, Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002
Subject: Moving Mast Step

I'm looking for information on construction of the mast support on Soverel Marine-built boats, and advice on moving the butt end of the mast.

I want to move the butt end of the mast on Pegasus (1986 model year / Dec 1985 built) forward an inch or two, since the mast exits the deck leaning slightly forward, then has a large amount of pre-bend to move the top back to a raked position. (The pre-bend is at least partly driven by the fact that the lower spreaders are swept back, while the uppers are pretty straight out.) The center of the plate that the mast sits in is currently about 3/4" behind the center point of the mast support. It is already slid forward as far as the slots in the plate will allow it to go, given that the 4 bolts are at the extreme back end of the adjustment slots. It has been suggested that I drill and tap 4 new holes at the forward end of the slots, put 4 new bolts into those holes, remove the 4 existing bolts, then kick the mast butt forward with a block of wood and a sledge hammer. Any thoughts on this?

Specific questions -

1) It appears that the 4 existing bolts go into an aluminum plate about 1" down into the mast support. Anyone know how big that plate is / how far forward I can go and still drill into it / what happens if I miss?

2) Any knowledge as to what the construction of the mast support looks like, do I need to seal the existing holes so that rain water doesn't go down them?

3) The plate is currently square to the center line of the boat - however, the hole in the plate that accepts the mast is not true. It is twisted slightly, so that instead of the front and back of the mast being at 12:00 and 6:00, they are at about 11:50 and 5:50. Thus the mast is twisted slightly in the boat. Anybody have any similar issues, what did you do, thoughts about squaring it up at the same time.

4) Any thoughts about going up slightly at the forestay at the same time? If yes, then what is the best way to do it without replacing the forestay. Linkplates? How big? Thanks - -


From: Pete d'Anjou, x-Gryphon Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002
Subject: RE: Moving Mast Step

When I first bought my boat it had the same mast butt plate you describe. I was sailing in Buzzards Bay in heavy air and wanted to rake the mast more. I ended up making another plate with longer slots instead of moving the holes. I also had to auger out the hole in the step to allow my wiring to go up the mast. This allowed me to move the front edge of the mast all the way to the front of the support. It also gave me better weather helm in light air.

The following year, I opened the partners on the deck 2 inches aft and extended my headstay length , further allowing rake. I had to make a new G-10 mast collar to do this but it worked great.

Last year I blocked my mast forward in the partners, using a wedge and spartight to be class legal with J dimension. It also gave me a little prebend as the butt was still on the forward edge of the mast support ring frame. After owning the boat for 4 years I've decided that I want to move the butt back an inch or so from the front edge and wedge the mast in the partners to within 1/2 inch of the forward edge. This will force more prebend to better match the luff of my new main and also make the stick stand straight up or even a little forward when backstay or runners are off so downwind it will be optimal. To flatten the sail for heavier conditions I had planned to put true runners on as well.

So the moral of the story is it may be best to just make another plate with bigger slots and then you can adjust to whatever conditions or setting you want. Be glad to make you a template.


From: Bill Adikes, x-Saucy Girl Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002
Subject: RE: Moving Mast Step

On a similar issue, I just cut about 0.75 inches away from the partners aft of the mast to get rid of some unwanted prebend. Kerry Klingler (UK - City Island) suggested it after some measurement and sail evaluation. The butt of my mast is also all the way forward in the slots, and I have a couple of toggles added at the base of my headstay.

I removed one of the bolts through the mast step, and the threaded piece (a nut?) fell off - I have been unable to retrieve it, so I go with three bolts. I asked Mark S. if I could cut an inspection port in the glass pedestal on which the step is mounted and he warned me against it!


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