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Water in mast E34-2

Bobby Steele

Member I
I’m hoping someone has a good remedy for this issue...
We discovered water is pooling inside our keel stepped mast. There’s also a seal at the base that’s seeping water, and caused the wood to rot out.
Short of unstepping the mast - which won’t be possible til spring - is there any ‘first aid’ anyone can recommend?


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Bobby Steele

Member I
I was able to siphon the water by inserting a small hose into the opening shown in the second picture.
I felt beside the hole and it feels like there’s mud covering the bottom.

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Blogs Author
There might be a drain to let rainwater out--since there's no way to keep it from coming in. If not, you could drill a hole.

Here is a 1980s Kenyon mast drain hole in action:


Bobby Steele

Member I
I think there’s what feels like a drain hole in there, but it also feels like it’s filled with a mucky substance.
I guess I can try poking around with a wire hanger and see if I can break it loose. Right now, I’ve Maguivered a piece of small tubing with a hand sanitizer pump cap, and siphoned it out.

Dave G.

Member III
If you can get a operable drain hole in the bottom of the mast your bilge pump should remove the water yes ? If you have a wet vac you may be able to suck out the muck. They make a lot of different attachments for those now, some are pretty flexible. .

Kenneth K

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
I'd try stirring up and sucking out the mud out of the bottom so the drain hole can function. Even though my drain hole is clear, water sometimes leaks from the mast-step joint in other areas around the mast. You'll probably want to create a caulk or weather-stripping "dam" around the mast step to direct water away from the wood and directly into the bilge.

20170205_221251.jpg 20170205_221301.jpg

Note wood damage/delamination of sole from previous owner who didn't do this.
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Bobby Steele

Member I
I’ll definitely go the wet vac route if it comes with an attachment that can fit through the one-inch opening.
Since the previous owner(s) Neglected this, we intend to eventually make a replacement for the bilge cover. For now, it’s just cheap plywood...
So glad we found this site - it’s been a blessing to have advice from people who know the ins and outs of this specific boat.


Member III
I also get a good amount of rain water down the mast of my 34-2 that caused my bilge boards to rot out. If your boards are not too far gone you may be able to re-laminate them with epoxy. A few few years ago I replaced my cabin sole. To stop the new boards from de-laminating I made a paste of epoxy and micro balloons and coated the bottom and edges of the boards. It's been three years now and the boards are still rock solid.

Bobby Steele

Member I
The boards were beyond repair when we bought the boat. For now, we just used plywood to make a temporary cover, and at some point we’ll make a new teak cover.

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Given that our boat is an '88, and we were lucky in being able to refinish the original sole back in the 90's, you've all got me thinking about what would be an acceptable "plan B"....
After all, the old growth teak that went into the factory teak & holly sole cannot be easily sourced today at any affordable price. :(

I have seen synthetic T&H soles in expensive boats. They were almost indistinguishable from the real thing, save for the fact that the grain was "too perfect."
As all projects do, it would all come down to prep and final fitting of the parts and of course the whole panel payout.

Plan C: about 20 years ago we viewed an expensive cruising boat (Canadian built, as I recall) that had a vinyl sole thru the galley and main salon area -- not TredMaster but rather Vetus, with the little circles rather than the diamond pattern.
Edit: link: https://image.fisheriessupply.com/f...atic-images/72809-vetus-den-anti12hap-ppm-tif
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