With my step link in place on the mast step base, right side up.. it will only pivot so far, before two small side tangs come in contact with either side of the groove in the step base. (The link was slightly bent and distorted when I got the boat, so I'm unsure of the exact proper shape). I did restore it to fit over the mast tang, and in between the base groove. But can anyone tell me if those tangs are to fit inside of the mast base groove also?? That would allow it to pivot much further forward. Otherwise (by careful measuring), it appears the mast will not be in the socket.. and something is going to bend or break or stretch while stepping the mast. The bottom holes are already elongated slightly. This link does not have the small cross brace welded to it, like some I have seen. Just the convoluted U shape. It actually looks like it would fit/work better if I put the U part up. It would then probably pivot far enough to get the mast were it belongs.. without anything bending or breaking.
Looking into the base, I can see where the tangs have cut slight groves, so it has apparently been forced before. And ALSO.. I can see a flat mark, which matches the square sharp edge of the U part, if the link is turned upside down. But it apparently doesn't have the right (and full) clearance either way!! Yeah I know.. grind off the tangs, put it on upright, step the mast, and go sailing! LOL
I've stepped a lot of times, but don't remember this link only going "so far".