Hobie Forums

Mast Step
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Author:  jhovak [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Mast Step

A bunch of questions about my mast step.

Can I replace this mast step without disassembling the crossbar/dolphin striker assembly? Is the rod threaded in the mast step or does the screw hold it together.



Will I be able to rivet this by hand with a heavy duty hand riveter, such as this (Harbor Freight 17-1/2 In Heavy Duty Hand Riveter Set)?

Possibly I could drill 2 more holes in the current step and keep it rather than replacing it? I see there seems to be some more differences between the older steps and the newer ones, not just the extra rivet holes. Issues with the pin lining up? How will this all work out will a new teflon washer and a new bearing?


Author:  TAMUmpower [ Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mast Step

The striker post just sits in the cap so if you take the rivets out you can just pull it out the top if I'm remembering correctly. You'll have to loosen the dolphin strap nuts all the way to be able to push the new mast support all the way to the beam to rivet it. If you have good grip strength you can pop stainless rivets just fine with a normal hardware store riveter. I actually have a big riveter for stainless rivets but unless I'm doing a bunch I just reach for my small one and man up.

Not familiar with why people moved to the 4 rivet piece. All of mine are the 4 rivet. Probably just for strength. If you don't want to buy the newer piece just drill another hole for an additional rivet to keep it stable.

Author:  srm [ Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mast Step

The post does not thread onto the step casting. It slips up into the casting and sits against a shoulder. The screw for the plastic hemispherical bearing secures the post to the step assembly.

Before you can replace/re-rivet the step, you need to loosen the striker rod. To do this, loosen the nuts at the ends of the striker rod (located in the corner castings). If the rod is seized inside the corner castings, it can be a major effort to get it loosened up. If it won't budge, you can also use a car jack or ratchet straps to pull the new mast step down onto the crossbar and hold it in place while riveting.

Switching to the four rivet mast step is recommended since it provides a stronger attachment and updated design with a better method for connecting the striker post to the step. The down side is that you will also need to replace the striker post (they are different two-rivet vs. four-rivet steps). Also the aft hole in the steps are not in the same location.

The Harbor Freight heavy duty rivet gun works well. I've used it to replace mast steps as well as countless other rivering projects. Just be sure to use pletny of downward force against the nose of the riveter when pulling your rivets.

Here is a link to a post I made several years ago showing a mast step install that might help.



Author:  SabresfortheCup [ Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mast Step

srm wrote:
Here is a link to a post I made several years ago showing a mast step install that might help.


Ditto on everything srm said. My mast step was lifted up when I got my H18 too, though not nearly as bad as yours. I'd replace it with the 4 rivet step. More secure, larger seating area, and the mast step bearing is held on in a much better way. In the old 2-rivet style mast step, a single philips head screw is all that keeps your mast bearing (and thus your mast) from slipping off the mast base! If it loosens up, that could be a bad day! The new mast step comes with an updated dolphin striker that inserts further up into the mast base and into the bearing itself, keeping it in place.

Just remember, nearly all of the driving & heeling force on your sails and all of the shroud, forestay, and mainsheet tension are directed onto the mast step, then distributed through the fwd crossbar, dolphin striker & tension rod to the two hulls. It is probably one of the biggest stress-points on the boat, followed by the shroud anchor pins & crossbar/shroud anchor plates.

I followed srm's proceedure in the thread he linked to, and it went perfectly! Four years later, my mast base is still firmly planted to the crossbar.

Author:  jhovak [ Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mast Step

Thanks, I've been through that post a couple times now seeing what I was getting into. I was afraid I would have to replace more than just the step, there goes another 60 bucks for the post. I only paid $500 for the boat and trailer and I knew it was a project. It's comical I'll be in for 20% of the boat and trailer just for the post and step. Cheap me is still wondering about drilling the old one, but I guess if I ever decide to change it out I'll have a hole alignment issue.

I don't expect it's a problem, but does anyone know if the old mast hinge has any mating problems with the newer mast steps?


Author:  SabresfortheCup [ Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mast Step

To be honest, if the mast step bearing issue doesn't bother you, you don't have to change the mast step. I'd highly recommend it, because I think it's safer and a better design, but these boats sailed with the old style step for a long time. You could just drill & re-rivet the step you have for now, but make sure it seats firmly to the crossbar. Any point loading could do more damage to the crossbar. I'd still plan to replace the step later on. Don't try to convert this one to a four-rivet step, wait until you get that step and drill the holes in the right spot. But I fully understand having to prioritize when fixing up an old boat, I struggled with choosing which repairs to make each year myself! As long as you do something to fix it for now, you should be fine.

As a matter of perspective, I paid $1,500 for my boat and I still put in another $1,000 my first year. Was it sailable as it was? Sure. The boat was actually in good condition, but there was still a lot that needed to be fixed or replaced. The rigging hadn't been replaced in decades, the hull ports were cracked, the boat wasn't secured well to the trailer, the mast wasn't secured well for trailering, the hull lips were separating, there were a lot of parts that were worn out/not working, I didn't have a righting line, I found soft spots... It's a matter of what is safe, or "safe enough" to you, how much risk you're willing to take, and what needs to get fixed before it gets worse or fails completely.

I've put in about $10,000 in 5 years, and it's finally in a well kept condition and safe to trailer long distances. Maybe up to 25% of that is convenience items and upgrades... fat bags, upgraded tiller connectors, EPO rudders, SX wings, etc, but a lot of it was just good ol' boat maintenance. Figure if it were a power boat, you'd be spending that much on gas (or more) every year, so it's just the cost of upkeep on a sailboat.

Looking at the appearance of the boat, I'd look for soft spots first and foremost. If everything is solid, then the boat is in good enough condition to fix up. A couple small soft spots? Easy to fix. A couple big soft spots? Big problem. If the hulls are good, everything else can be fixed or replaced, but it gets expensive very quickly.

If you're looking for a cheap set of standing rigging (highly recommended to replace if it's older than 3 years in salt water), Saltcitysailing sells a complete set of standing rigging for $350 on ebay, which is considerably less than the cost of buying it all separately.

Author:  jhovak [ Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mast Step

Turns out the post is threaded in the step, but it doesn't matter since the whole assemble pulls out when the rivets are removed.

Author:  black4est [ Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mast Step

saltydogmarine.com in Michigan also has really good prices and reputation

Author:  Cork Guy [ Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mast Step

I have a 4 rivet listed on ebay at a far price http://www.ebay.com/itm/282540088968?ss ... 1555.l2649

First item to replace after you handle the mast set is to REPLACE the side shroud anchor Pins!!! These are expensive but the are the week link in the standing rigging. I would also reccomend adding the Anchor pin reinforcment plates if you boat does not already have them.

Murray's should have these in stock https://www.murrays.com/ . They also supply quality rigging and about any other item you would need for an H18


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