I have been looking at the action of the 2 castings as they rotate around the pin. I'm convinced the link can be replaced by a solid piece which will pin rigidly into the slot of the base casting and provide a clevis type end with a hole for locating the mast casting and allowing it to align properly as it raises till it's in place. It will have to be removed completely while sailing but this is no problem. Stopping the winching half way up to push the mast back and pop it into alignment is unnerving. The winch and the trap wires attached to the front castings works great if you first prop up the mast with a 2x4 to get it in a partially raised position. If anyone knows of a reason why the proposed link substitute won't work, I'd love to hear your comments.