Technical Article: #001
Title: Hustler 30 Mast Foot Renewal
Date Added: 23rd July 2011
Article Author: Phillip
Boat: Hustler 30 – Saltire Of Clyde
Having taken the mast down for transportation and prior to re-stepping the mast I decided to replace the corroded mast foot.
The rectangular box with a hardwood spacer in which the mast sat had seen better days and was badly corroded at both the front and rear, this was aided by the fact that there were no drain holes machined in this section from new and was it prone to filling with water.
On removal of three electric/electronic cables that passed through the mast foot i turned my attention to the approx twelve retaining screws (approx six per side) whose heads had become corroded. Knowing that removal with a screwdriver was not an option I drilled them off only to find that the mast foot still appeared to be stuck fast. I studied the mast foot internally and externally to see what else could be securing it as the screws were the only thing that appeared to secure the bracket………………… but it was still stuck fast.
Having taken time and convinced myself that the bracket should now be free, being very, very careful not to damage the GRP around it i carefully wedged an assortment of tools including a masonry feather splitter and various chisels around the edges of the bracket until the thirty-five year old sealant between the bracket and coach roof admitted defeat and let go. All that remained was to remove what was left of the screws using long nosed vice grips.
Being a strong admirer of the services but not the prices that most boatyards charge, i find that where possible i try and find someone locally who can offer a similar (if not better) service but at sometimes a drastically reduced price. In this case i opted for a local metal fabricator who not only fabricated an exact replacement using the old one as a template, machined in drainage holes in the main centre section ( see figure 2),he also allowed me to take it over to the boat to ensure a good fit prior to it being zinc plated as to drill holes in it after being galvanised would apparently drastically reduce its lifespan.
Back to the boat and within an hour the new mast foot was secured in place, ensuring that the external perimeter and all screw holes were well sealed with Sikaflex sealant prior to securing it back in place with new stainless steel screws.
Job done and that should last the old girl another 35 years plus.
Philip – Saltire of Clyde
HOA NOTE: The article above is related to works that the author has carried out to their own boat at their own risk. This article is intended to share the authors experience with other readers only. It is not intended to be a comprehensive step by step instruction guide. Anyone choosing to do any work as a result of reading this article do so at their own risk. If there is any doubt about whether to conduct work on your own boat call a professional to assist.