View Full Version : Mast Base Problem " Help"

01-05-12, 12:34

I have a 1970 Albin Vega, A lovely craft she is too. Having a slight problem with the mast base though.

The Vega mast base is open ended there's no boot, and the open end slips over a shoe attached to the deck which has a shoulder for the open end to fit around.

My problem is that there is some corrossion and minor cracking on the base now and i was looking for advice on repair, I cant put a ring in or outside as it would'nt fit the shoe and if i cut the damage away obviously my rigging would be all to pot.

What i wondered was if there was any sort of aluminium repair paste/filler that would repair the wall thickness and fill the small cracks if i were to tickle them out.

Im a bit stumped on this one so any ideas or thought would be great

thanks for reading


01-05-12, 12:54
Cut the damage away and put a hardwood block under the deck fitting to restore the height ?

01-05-12, 13:03
is the corrosion on the mast itself, or on the step/base?

01-05-12, 13:50
hi its on the mast base itself

01-05-12, 13:55
Cut the damage away and put a hardwood block under the deck fitting to restore the height ?


That's exactly what I did; still going strong after >20 years and the occasional replacement block of wood.

01-05-12, 15:24
get a new mast step. Order from stock/manufacturer or get one made

01-05-12, 15:34
I know I'm being obtuse, but I don't see why you cant sleeve on the outside. My own boat has a Z spars mast with a base that fits up inside the spar, so I could probably sleeve that. Nothing will effectively repair rotten aluminium sheet and bring it back to its original strength, unfortunately so either shorten and block it up, as suggested, or sleeve it.

Z-spars website gives dimensions of all their sectons, so you should be able to identify it and they may be able to supply a short section for you.


01-05-12, 16:04
Most of the sleeves available for common mast sections go on the inside, to join two lengths of the same section.
But you might be able to use such a sleeve to replace the bottom bit of the mast.
If cutting off an inch or two will get rid of the dodgy bits, I would look at doing that.
If the foot is worse than that, is every other part of the mast ok? Have you checked over areas like spreader roots, hounds etc?

I think some of this damage is done unstepping masts, not lifting the straight off the step puts a lot of stress on the walls.

01-05-12, 16:48
Cut the damage away and put a hardwood block under the deck fitting to restore the height ?

Or maybe you could sleeve it and adapt the mast step to fit the sleeved mast foot.

Adapt = butcher

01-05-12, 18:25
Cut the damage away and put a hardwood block under the deck fitting to restore the height ?


01-05-12, 19:11
Do you have a photo or approximate dimensions of the damaged base. Depending on the length of the damaged piece there may be a way to replace it using a block of aluminium, but it involves some hard work with a saw and a file.

01-05-12, 20:48
Careful about any welding or other hot processes in case it distorts and wont fit the mast section. Not sure if you have turning blocks attached to the base but otherwise the base is only a holding device acting in compression so if its not too bad and the base has not lost its structural integrity, suggest you first try an easily worked epoxy filler (eg plastic metal) and file to shape. Otherwise it should be possible to replace it in stainless steel but you would then need an inert paint or other anti-electrolysis separation between it and the aluminium mast.

02-05-12, 00:21
hi its on the mast base itself

I presume this means the mast itself is damaged not the Al base it sits on.
In this case a sleeve around the outside would give support. There is a huge downward load on the mast and I had a case where cut outs in the mast near the bottom allowed the mast to crumple slightly. Not a disaster but certainly a worry when I found it. Your mast could crumple in a similar manner if the corrosion go bad. So it is a good case for cut off the mast bottom by and inch or 2 and raise the base or shorten the stays.
If in fact it is the aluminium block that the mast sits on then not so much concern. It takes the downward pressure quite easily and also locates the mast fore and aft and sideways with very little pressure. It is likely that epoxy will fill the cracks etc with no more concern. good luck olewill

02-05-12, 10:00
As has been mentioned speak to someone like Z Spars, they will have records of this boat and may even have a similar section that can be used as a sleeve. The sections
Z265 or Z351 may work. If you draw round your mast and fax it to them they can then offer it up to the sections they have to see if they match. If they match they would be able to supply a small off cut.

02-05-12, 15:51
I think you are worrying far too much! In the days when I had richard head tatooed on my forehead, I lifted my Vega mast from a shoreside abandoned crane. This resulted in me ripping the mast base off, big time! It was a simple fix, I re- screwed and epoxied the mast base back, no problems, it does NOT support the mast, it simply stops it sliding sideways, take it off, have a good look and epoxy repair it, it will be ok.
Or have a word with Steve Birch (Vega Man) of this parish. The wooden base as mentioned, is a good idea and will work, try to fix the ally base first.