I was stepping the mast a few days ago on my new (to me) 1982 Hobie 14. All was going well until suddenly the mast started to fall for no apparent reason. I couldn't react quickly enough to figure out what went wrong and catch it. As the mast fell I was able to guide it enough to keep it from hitting a Sunfish. As I looked around to try to figure out what in the world had just happened, I noticed the mast base still connected to the step by the pins, sans mast. Wow. Am I glad no one was hurt and there was no property damage. The aluminum at the bottom of the mast had apparently corroded and the stress of stepping the mast was too much for it to bear. The two (yes only two) stainless rivets were still in the mast base.
Now I need to reattach the mast base. This appears pretty straightforward, nevertheless, I want to run my plan by the panel experts to make sure I'm not overlooking something. My plan is to 1) clean the mast base and mast and put a bead of 3M 5200 Marine Sealant around the inside of the mast. Then 2) insert the base back into the mast, then 3) drill five holes through the bottom of the mast and base, and finally 4) rivet the base back onto the mast. I'm planning to use stainless rivets because they are stronger than aluminum. Are there any reasons why stainless would be a poor choice, perhaps due to hydrolosis? I plan to place a new rivet on each side of the old holes in either side of the mast (four rivets) and one dead center on the front of the mast.
Please shoot holes in my plan if you can. I'd like to address issues now rather than later.
Mark Van Doren
H16 #112205 (Richard Petty Signature Edition)
San Juan 28