I'm looking for advice!
I'm about to place the third (maybe fourth) mast step ball on my Hobie Tiger. That averages one ball per year sailed. Is this normal? These little jewels cost $21.55 US and let loose in the most inopportune times.
It looks like the threads fail from raising and lowering the mast. If this is the case, this is amazing because I usually leave my mast up (it stays on a lift) and that means these beasts are the tender-revenue-generating-soul of Hobie.
Or, is it the way I lower the mast? Does the weight of the mast pull on these balls and strip the threads? If so, does someone need to push down on the bottom of the mast to prevent a failure?
Or, have I installed it incorrectly? Can you screw it down too much? Did I not crew it down hard enough? Maybe I need to put silicon glue on the threads to help take the load?
Since I leave the mast up, maybe I have the sidestays too tight and the ball is rotating with the mast? I think not. I'd be surprised.
Any experience out there with this problem? Something must be going on -- I just received an email from a new Tiger owner (he bought a Tiger Worlds boat). "I'll be there, I may need some help setting up, I have a mast ball back ordered so if you have a spare or know where I can get one off the shelf let me know."