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jcislanders
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 9/12/19
Posts: 11
Mast Step replacement options or suggestions

Well, now that the holidays are over it's time to start planning for the big haulout next month.  Main priority is to install a windlass, with a proper bow roller and cleats as well as pull the mast and replace the rotting step.  At the same time I will be doing my best to fabricate a dodger with limited knowledge and zero experience..... wish me luck!!

After much discussion we are wondering why the original material appears to be red cedar (wouldn't be our first choice) and what we can replace it with.  Not being experienced sailors we wanted to put this question out to others and see if we can get some pros and cons of different materials before we commit to one or the other. 

We have been discussing sandwiched star board panels and plywood encased in epoxy as well as one friend who suggested pouring a concrete block.  I am sure there are many other options out there and hope this wonderful community can help us find the best option available.  

The hope is to get the major projects done in time for the rendezvous at Roche Harbor in May.

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome. 

Cherel
 

sv Sidetracked
1983 Catalina36 MkI #0157
Nanaimo, BC

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sv Sidetracked
1983 Catalina36 MkI #0157
Nanaimo, BC
GaryB's picture
GaryB
Last seen: 11 min 17 sec ago
Joined: 10/26/08
Posts: 525

https://www.catalina36.org/sites/default/files/legacy/Jason%20V%20Mast%2...
Actually same year and about as thoruogh as one could expect. Use search and "Mast step", good luck

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Gary Bain
S/V "Gone With The Wind"
Catalina 36', Hull #: 1056, Year: 1990, Engine: M-35
Standard Rig
Moored: East Boothbay, Maine
Home: Auburn, Maine

jcislanders's picture
jcislanders
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 9/12/19
Posts: 11

Thanks Gary, we have seen Jason's write up and practically memorized it over the last few months while we ponder this project.  I tried to contact him directly to see how it's been holding up but it appears that he is long gone. 

We are hoping for some alternative suggestions for the actual material to replace the step.  I'm thinking this will not be one of my favorite jobs and hope to only have to do it once.  Replacing old rotten wood with new wood seems to me like it will just become an issue again down the line. 

While the mast is out we will redo most of the lines and wires as well as make sure there is good drainage at the base.   I know we can't eliminate all water coming into the mast.  It would be great to have a replacement mast step that is not susceptible to rot.

Cherel

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sv Sidetracked
1983 Catalina36 MkI #0157
Nanaimo, BC
pkeyser's picture
pkeyser
Last seen: 10 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 414

Very interesting link to replacing the mast step.
When I replaced the top 3/4" layer of our water logged keel stub in or 1986 C30, I had similar questions about what materials to use. My preference would have been a material like G10 epoxy/glass laminates from Defender Marine, because of supperior resistance to water intrusion....but it is expensive (for a piece ~ 6 feet in length). In the end,  I selected marine grade plywood and epoxy sealed all surfaces, including the keel bolt holes prior to installation. My decision was based on the fact that the boat was 22 years old and if my repair lasted just another 22 years, that seemed pretty reasonable to me.
 

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Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

Daddio Rick
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 11/13/19
Posts: 15

Just curious. As new owner of a 1995 C36 do I have a wood under my mast? Anyone have a diagram of the keel step including the drain holes. I have lifted the cabin sole part in the v-berth and everything was dry as a bone. My rigging is also solidly tight with plenty of thread left on turnbuckles so I have no reason to suspect a problem. Just want to be better aware of what is under the mast and how I might better keep an eye on things. Thanks. 

Rick

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Indigo, 1995 MKII, Charleston SC, SR/WK
Daddio Rick
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 11/13/19
Posts: 15

Upon further research let me cancel a diagram request. I have found a couple of websites with excellent pictures of at least the mast shoe . I think I now understand how water coming down the mast should get intot he bilge. 

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Indigo, 1995 MKII, Charleston SC, SR/WK
jcislanders's picture
jcislanders
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 9/12/19
Posts: 11

Thanks for the reply.   22 years out of a replacement would be fine if it was just the mast step.   The main issue I have is the other related "fixes" once the mast step height is back to where it should be.  Not sure how long this has been an issue but it has certainly affected the rigging and the floor is completely cracked and sunken at least 1/2 " around the base of the mast.   Once we get everything where it should be I want it to stay forever!!  (I know, it's a boat LOL)

Because the cabin sole is sandwiched under the mast, as the step compressed it pushed the floor down.  Both bulkheads in the head are raised off the floor as it has dropped and they are "hanging" from the deckhead.  Once the step is replaced, the sole will be back up to their level and we should be able to re-seal the shower seat and bulkheads so we can use the shower without water running out onto the floor in the vberth. 

The floor boards will need to be replaced since much of the holly has come out and hopefully that will eliminate some of the very loud squeaks.

Since we will have it all apart anyhow, this will be a good time to put in a proper holding tank........and so on, and so on.

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sv Sidetracked
1983 Catalina36 MkI #0157
Nanaimo, BC
LeslieTroyer's picture
LeslieTroyer
Last seen: 16 hours 41 min ago
Joined: 3/13/16
Posts: 490

Don't use Starboard, it doesn't do compression well.  If I was doing this I'd probably use aluminum, G10, or Ipe (Coated in polyester resin).   You can get Ipe at places that sell decks. It's also called iron wood, very hard and very rot resistant. Comes in 1.5" and 5/8" thickness. 

G10 is very good but expensive.  
Aluminum is hard to work with without proper tools   

les

 

 

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Les & Trish Troyer
Mahalo 
Everett, WA
1983 C-36 Hull #0094
C-36 MK 1 Technical Editor. 

Commodore

 

Daddio Rick
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 11/13/19
Posts: 15

Would agree on the Ipe idea. That stuff is unbelievably hard. Just have multiple saw blades on hand :-)

Rick

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Indigo, 1995 MKII, Charleston SC, SR/WK
jcislanders's picture
jcislanders
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 9/12/19
Posts: 11

Thanks for the suggestion Les and Rick.  I think we will go that route.  I was thinking that we will put some grooves in the top layer to facilitate drainage.  If we are going to put such effort into replacing it, might as well do it right.  

On another slightly scary note, I got a quote from the rigging folks at the marina where we will haul the boat.  They quoted $2000 to pull the mast.  Suggested another 2k to put it back on again.  I nearly had heart failure.....  I was able to contact a neighboring company that has a crane onsite and they quoted $100/hr to use the crane and said it takes just under an hour (as long as we are prepared to disconnect everything etc).  Phew!!!

Plans are made to haul the boat Feb 3rd, be prepared for many more questions for the following month.

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sv Sidetracked
1983 Catalina36 MkI #0157
Nanaimo, BC
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