Does anyone with a keel-stepped mast have a completely dry bilge?!

SHUG

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Probably not possible to seal unless they have taken particular care to seal up the groove. Even then, rainwater can come in at each sheave. Fact of life...no worries!!
 

30boat

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Unless there's something sealing the inside of the mast at deck level you'll always get rain water coming in from the holes on the mast.I've never seen it,people just accept that'll always be a bit of water in the bilge.My previous boat had a deck stepped mast and the mast step was on a small plinth so that it stayed dry.I've seen many badly corroded mast steps/heels because they lacked that arrangement.
 

oldsaltoz

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I had a problem with water entering from inside the mast on a boat we had a few years back.

First time we removed the mast I stuffed a part inflated balloon up to just above deck level, filled the area above it with epoxy and filler, no more leaks.
 

Independence

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I understand they can fit a 'water trap' which diverts the flow before it reaches the bilges.

Can't say I've ever been tempted myself.
 

30boat

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I had a problem with water entering from inside the mast on a boat we had a few years back.

First time we removed the mast I stuffed a part inflated balloon up to just above deck level, filled the area above it with epoxy and filler, no more leaks.

I thought of doing something like that on my boat years ago but was concerned about corrosion if the water was left to sit inside the mast.Maybe a drain hole or two ?
 

homa

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keel stepped mast and a dry bilge

My bilges have always been dry
My halyards are internal and exit above the coach roof.
My electrics are contained within plastic pipe conduit which exits at the base of the mast in the main cabin.
There is a plug of what looks like expanded foam inside the mast just above the cabin roof.
I've always assumed all keel stepped masts were like this.
Was a PITA when I wanted to run an extra cable down the mast. Had to run it down the conduit which was quite tight.
Other disadvantage was that I couldn't see right down the mast when I wanted to run a new halyard (no mouse) even though I had both the mast foot and top removed. Managed it in the end, but much harder when looking into a "black hole".
Mast comes down every year and I've never seen water running out of it, so it must exit above deck somewhere. I've never thought about it really. You've got me worried now. I'll go and investigate. Don't like the idea of stale water sitting inside the mast.

Homa
 

Strathglass

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Seems impossible to me although I have tried everything!!

Not a problem with me. I do have a keel stepped mast.

I have a Sparcraft F306 mast supplied as a bare pole kit by Sailspar.

There is a dam at deck level with a drain hole in the front just above it.

The dam has a 30mm x 150mm long tube through it.

There are three split plastic conduit tubes which run from the top of the mast to about 150mm above the top of the tube in the dam.

There are T shaped extrusions inside the mast which the split conduit slides on to.

All the mast wiring is passes inside the conduit tubing, through the tube in the dam at deck level and exits inside the boat about 150mm below the headlining.

There is a wooden box just fwd of the mast with connectors to take all the wires from the mast - all nice and dry inside.

The through deck assembly supplied with the mast kit consists of two alloy castings and a specially shaped rubber type material doughnut.

One of the castings bolts to the deck at the mast hole position. Although on my boat I had to mount this casting on a iriko pad as the casting must be kept horizontal and the deck slopes a lot at the mast entry point.

The second casting and doughnut are slid on the mast from the foot prior to stepping the mast. The doughnut even has a bit which slides up and seals the luff grove.

When the mast is upright before tightening the standing rigging the doughnut is slid down the mast into the deck casting and the upper casting is pushed down onto the doughnut

Substantial alan screw bolts then pull the two castings into position and compress the doughnut to seal the mast.

As there is no mast positional adjustment at deck level with this system I have made the mast step, sitting on top of the keel, adjustable fore and aft. This gives me mast rake adjustment.


I suppose this is one of the advantages of building ones own craft where you can eliminate some of the compromises inherent in production built boats.

Perhaps a slight compensation for the extreme time and cost penalties.

Iain
 
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ALPHORA

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A water dam can be fitted inside the mast, just above deck level, with a drain hole to the outside world. It is a big plug of expanding foam or similar and is fitted after the wiring conduits are in place, works quite well on our replacement mast, as supplied by Sailspar
 
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