Since we are on this subject, I have a couple questions for the engineers at Hobie. I sail my Bravo in the ocean. On the rate occasion that I do tip over, it occurred to me that salt water is probably pooling in the lower section of the mast once I right the boat. I always spray down the boat with fresh water when I return home, but my concern is that salt water is seeping into the lower mast joint where the base and lower mast tube are united by the screws thus causing a potential corrosion problem. It looks to me like the mast in the picture in the original post has visible signs of corrosion where this connection is made, thus setting-up the scenario for a failure as described above (yes, I know the frame was bent, but it still looks corroded to me).
1 -Do you see any issues with me removing the lower mast base, sealing the mast base flange and the inside of the lower mast tube where the base is attached with silicone? The rational is that perhaps corrosion of this joint can be prevented if these mating surfaces can be protected from seepage of water between the mast base and the lower mast inner tube at the screw joint.
2- Once this area is sealed from intrusion of water, would it make sense to drill about ¼” hole in the center of the mast base (i.e. at the very end of the mast assembly and out of sight) for drainage purposes? This hole would hover directly above the stainless screw that holds down the rotating black ball of the mast step assembly.
Proposed design change:
Perhaps there’s merit in redesigning the mast base so that the top portion of the base that slides into the mast tube is shaped like a funnel with a hole drilled into the base of the funnel to allow for drainage, then the assembly sealed during the manufacturing process as I described above with silicone. This would allow any water entering the inside of the mast to be automatically channeled to the hole in the bottom of the mast assembly. Yes, the ball will block the hole, but this is better than nothing and I do believe the water would leak around the ball over time while sailing. The hole would also facilitate and easy means of rinsing the inside of the mast assembly with a garden hose.
Current Process for flushing the INSIDE of the mast assembly:
Currently, you have to unfurl the sail, release the downhaul, slide the sail up on the mast (to clear the mast top from the black strap of the sail), shoot water into the top of the mast, tilt the mast to allow water to drain to the base, then tilt the mast back to drain the water out of the top of the mast.
One hole in the base and I believe this potential problem is solved. This is a well-designed boat; I just think this simple manufacturing mod (and proposed field modification) would make the boat even better. What do you think?
Thanks, in advance, for your time in responding.