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Author Topic: Mast Steps as Consumables?  (Read 11489 times)
wnethercote
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Posts: 109


« on: March 03, 2015, 09:41:24 AM »

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.

Warren
DN 3786
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DN 5449
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Posts: 368


« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 05:12:34 PM »

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.
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Bob Rast DN1313
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2015, 08:24:44 AM »

You may want to get one of these
Much easier to change mast step position
http://www.iceboat.org/photos/buyandsell/1-14-2015.JPG
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Bob Rast DN1313
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 08:32:49 AM »

These are on 4 lakes buy sell page
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wnethercote
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Posts: 109


« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 03:06:43 PM »

Bob,

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.

Warren
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Paul Goodwin - US 46
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 05:24:35 PM »

I have never seen a (Sarns) mast step weld break, but I'm not saying it couldn't happen.  I have been using the same one for 30 years, I guess I should hang on to it.
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Paul Goodwin
DN US-46
wnethercote
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Posts: 109


« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 07:11:29 PM »

Paul,

I was always of the same mind and the boat and mast-step in the photo was 18 years old when the photo was taken, but the recent failure the third mast step (in 30 yrs I would admit) in our fleet.  But maybe 3 in 30 years is near-as-anything 'never.' 

The one that failed recently  had a bit of undercut welding as I recall (which is never good for crack avoidance), so it may have been Monday for the welder.  Here in Nova Scotia it is road-salt-city, so the car top environment can be a bit tough on equipment too, although more of us are using covers (or, O luxury, trailers) to keep our stuff road-salt free.  We tend to be too trusting of stainless steel, when it is a material that is sensitive to crevice corrosion cracking.

Warren
KC 3786
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