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This weekend came with its own little set of challenges but one of them was not the weather. We made use of clear skies and moderate temperatures to get a few things checked off the list.

With the mast down the first thing I wanted to “really” check out was the mast compression post and setup. On the Westsail 32 there is a beam that runs over the bilge and on top of this beam is a post that goes up to the deck, supporting the mast. Problems have occurred over the years with this setup as the beam will sag and allow the mast’s entire support structure to “sink”. There are signs of this like loosening rigging or floor boards squishing down. For most owners, the solution has been to install a block between the bottom of the bilge and the beam/compression post.

On our boat, this appears to have already been done.
Wood supporting the mast

My concern was that this was not done well. Its obviously wood. I believe it to be black locus. I first checked for rot and found absolutely no sign of any rot despite the wood having been exposed to fresh water from leaks over the past what… 10years? This wood is serious. The second concern I had was that it was not secure, but those fears were quickly dispatched when it took serious hammer blows against the blocks without moving. And keep in mind, without the mast there is no force holding these blocks down. My guess is that they’ve been epoxied or caulked into place on the bottom. All the better, one less job.

So moving on, we went about addressing the mast step which we thought may have rot due to a slight dip in the cabin top along the mast step. But amazingly, things turned out much better than we expected.


For a better visual of what came out of those “core samples”:
Dry core in the mast base

And for a view of what Dani was inspecting in the video, one of the brass washer and cap nuts:
Beam bolts supporting the mast

We also got to finish installing the boomkin chainplates after having been stymied by the cold weather. I drilled out the new holes that were very close to the old holes after we epoxied them shut.
Drilling boomkin tangs

You can see the old thinner and tangs in poor condition compared to the new ones. Notice that the new ones don’t use carriage bolts but instead use round cap head bolts that need a wrench to tighten down.
Caulked boomkin tangs

In other news, we finally pulled new wires in the mast. It looks as though this wasn’t really required as much of the wiring was only corroded right at the ends but regardless it felt good to pull modern sheathed wire through the mast. Now all of it is two conductor sheathed.
Mast wires

And to round out the projects from this weekend we installed a new set of LED spreader lights.
Spreader LED lights
Spreader lights finished

I’m giving these cheapos a try. They’re not tinned wire so I heat shrunk the crimped connectors and it looks pretty water tight. They’re pretty bright and if they die it isn’t a big deal because at the price we got them for we can carry spares. They’re basically just LED lights potted in some sort of clear resin. Lets hope they last and light up the deck as well as we hope!

More next weekend. Got about a boat buck of rigging parts on the way!