Mast Steps as Consumables?

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We were sailing on Porter's Lake (Nova Scotia) this weekend and the boat I sold last year had a mast step failure: the weld holding the 'ball' to the mounting plate on the Sarns mast step failed after growth of a fatigue crack.  The mast step was only in its fourth season of use.

I can only recall two other mast step failures in our club over the past 30 years or so, but is this representative?  Are mast steps more like plank stud plates, which seem to be best treated as consumables?  Regardless, it would seem wise to remove and examine the underside of the mast step from time to time to check for evidence of cracking, assuming that a fatigue crack would be visible.

DN 3786

DN 5449:
Just did a check on mine.Having recently broke my Mast Hound,everything on my boat got a look see.When you Sail your boat lots everything is consumable.

Bob Rast DN1313:
You may want to get one of these
Much easier to change mast step position

Bob Rast DN1313:
These are on 4 lakes buy sell page


Yes, they are rather spiffy.   My current boat uses a Steve Duhamel Euro-style one, with some rather nice-looking TIG welding.  But the mast step you recommend has a simplicity that speaks to long life.



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