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Where to drill mast for water removal?
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Author:  Murph_PEI [ Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:32 am ]
Post subject:  Where to drill mast for water removal?

Hi folks,
I've got a surprising amount of water in my Wave's lower mast since I last had it down. I was very surprised at the quantity as since then, it would only be rainwater. No immersions.

I'll need to fully immerse it to find the leak as it is not self draining in any position I put it in. Therefore, I may need to create a drain hole. I've searched but have seen conflicting reports on how far up from the bottom to drill. 1.5 inches to get by the base to over 1.5 feet to get by the lower foam plug.

Aside from finding where it leaks, as that may change things, let's assume I want to drill a hole as low as possible in the mast to let water drain out. Can someone tell me definitively how high I should be to to avoid the base and/or whatever else may be in the bottom of the mast? Wave is a 2013 (or maybe 2012) model. I forget which but I bought it new this spring.


Author:  lwright [ Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where to drill mast for water removal?

I had the same trouble.
I thought it was condensation from leaving the boat rigged and from heating and cooling the black mast.

My problem was fortuitously solved when I left the mask base in the hot sun in the driveway for a few hours.

I have not had the boat rigged at all this summer, so I have not given any thought to the drilling alternative.


Author:  mmiller [ Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where to drill mast for water removal?

The likely leak is at the upper end CompTip joint. The aluminum forms a cup that collects water. In areas that see freezing, this appears to fail the seal when water there freezes and expands.

Remove the CompTip. Reseal the plug with 3M 5200 or similar.

Don't leave the mast up in freezing conditions. Water trapped in the lower mast can expand and crack the extrusion.

Author:  Murph_PEI [ Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where to drill mast for water removal?

Thanks Matt, Lee

I just purchased the boat brand new this spring, so it certainly hasn't been in freezing conditions yet. At least not in my possession. It will be stored horizontal indoors for the winter but good advice, all the same.

Sorry if I'm not getting the obvious but....
What is the best way to drain the lower mast. The comptip has been removed but the top of the lower mast is sealed and not draining from here when inverted.

Note, in case my terms are wrong here, my usage of "comptip" is the upper, non-conductive half of the mast. The lower half of the mast has a good foot or two worth of water in it by the sound of it and will not drain on it's own in any position I have tried so far.

The value add here....
It makes a nice rain stick when you rock it in a see-saw motion.

Author:  mmiller [ Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where to drill mast for water removal?

I would drill through the seal at the top and then fill with 3M 5200 or similar.

It is possible for a mast to "suck" water in past seals as the mast heats and cools it can create a vacuum. The water would not easily pass back by the seal.

Author:  Murph_PEI [ Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Where to drill mast for water removal?

Excellent. Thanks Matt.
Your knowledge and patience is truly appreciated.

Author:  xanderwess [ Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where to drill mast for water removal?

Gordo put a drain plug (like on the back of a 14/16/17) on the bottom of his mast that leaks a bit and he can unscrew the plug and drain the mast between races. Pretty smart if you ask me.

Author:  Murph_PEI [ Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Where to drill mast for water removal?

Indeed, which brings me back to my original question about how high up to drill in the bottom of a Wave mast for drainage vs. a solid inside. I was thinking that drilling and tapping something as small as a grease nipple would do. I wouldn't need something that fingers off as I have no one to race around here. She sits mast up on my shore all summer though, so an occasional drain without taking the mast down would be ideal.

In any case, I drilled through the inside seal at the top end this weekend to let it drain and then resealed it as that was an easy fix. I've pulled the boat up off the shore, so that may be the last time it's wet until the spring. Although, if I get a surprisingly nice weekend I'm only a minute from the launch site so who knows. I just wanted to get it up before a good, fall noreaster blows the tide in.

Author:  IndyWave [ Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where to drill mast for water removal?

You've probably seen my posts before, but what I did was drill two TINY (maybe 1/32 inch) weep holes inside the luff track; one about 1.5 inches up from the mast base to drain water out of the mast; the other near the top of the aluminum section, just above the foam plug, so water doesn't pool there.

Once everything drained and dried, I haven't had any water accumulate since, and the holes aren't an issue in a capsize.

Author:  Murph_PEI [ Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Where to drill mast for water removal?

Thanks Indy,

I did indeed see your post, which is where I got the 1.5" mark in my first post. I also found another person stating that there was a second foam plug from that point up for the next foot or so. Therefore I was looking for clarification. I'm not sure what purpose this bottom foam would serve though so it was suspect, but figured it was worth asking.

I think the top weep hole above the plug is a great idea and I may do the bottom as well.

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