Sealing mast step plate

Norwegian Blue

Luan/Bill Burton, E30+ in Sheboygan, WI
Noob owners of ‘84 e30+, getting ready to step mast for the first time. Previous owner did not routinely unstepped for winter storage.

We wanted to solve an occasional leak through the mast above the bulkhead. The problem may have been as simple as lacking a drip loop before the wires enter the standpipe—I wasn’t present when my helpers unstepped the mast last fall.

Now I may have opened a can of worms: There was a tongue of existing oozed caulk that I worried was partly blocking the drain3CCD49E4-93A2-4595-9B2B-9BAF43AD0072.jpeg slot, so I cut that away. But now there’s a low spot in the center, where white caulk is above pink caulk, and I wonder if this was the original channel through the step? The standpipe looks like it may have been installed where there once was a fourth screw? But from below, the compression post is in the way of everything except the off-center standpipe. What is normal, and what should I do to fix?

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
I also have an 84 E30+ and have the same plate under the mast step as in your pic, with holes to attach blocks, etc. But I don't have the stand pipe that sticks up. I'm guessing that was added by a previous owner, but I'm not sure why that would be needed.

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Blogs Author
If the mast drains to the deck through the gap in the step, the drip loop idea makes sense to me. Looks like the pipe is to prevent wire-water from running into the boat, and it would be great if a loop could drain it on deck.

No option like that with a keel-stepped mast.


Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
The standpipe prevents any water that gets trapped in the mast step from traveling down the wiring hole through the cabin top and negates the need to seal the wiring hole with sealant. A drip loop outside the standpipe is critical. The wiring hole in mine (same model) is more in the center of the step and angles forward and to port into the head compartment. It seems weird that the standpipe would be in that location. Does the wiring come in aft of the bulkhead? I would pull the screws, investigate the situation, check for moisture in the cabin top then rebed everything with fresh sealant. In the photo it kind of looks like the sealant around the standpipe may have failed. If you do pull the step send more pics of what lies beneath! Good luck.

Norwegian Blue

Luan/Bill Burton, E30+ in Sheboygan, WI
Thanks for these replies. The standpipe’s purpose is as bigd14 says. The questions are, why is it at a corner, did it use to be in the center, and why was it moved? I assume I can rebed/caulk the plate and screws (possibly upgrading to beefier hex head lag screws) at the 4 corners without too much difficulty, and restore the center hole in the plate, and fashion and caulk in a center standpipe. But I still need a channel into the cabin for the wires, and the compression post seems to be in the way...


Member III
possibly the centre was located directly over a compression post or beam, and was moved by a PO to be able to route the wires into the interior more easily.


Innocent Bystander
My 32 had wires that went straight through the mast step, and over time allowed water to seep into the beam that spans the bulkhead and compression beam inside the boat. Just not a good design. I‘ve since rerouted the wires out the side near the foot of the mast and sunk them into the deck near the mast, using fittings intended for that purpose.