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 Post subject: Mast Step Ball Damage
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:32 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:20 am
Posts: 8
Hi guys,

i have a 2007 hobie 15 club. I have raised and lowered the mast about ten times now, but a couple of times on lowering it, the mast slipped off the base ball when the retaining bolt was still in. This happened when the mast was almost completely down (lets say 30 degrees). First time was a bit scary as i was doing it alone, so i couldn't stop it crashing down. Luckily the other time there was someone already half supporting the mast from below, but i dont want it happening when the mast is higher where it might hurt them.

The ball base looks a little gouged where i suspect the bolt sheared off a chunk sufficient to allow enough room to slip off.

My question is, is this a serious issue that needs sorting now?
Is it safe when the mast is up for sailing as the shrouds hold the mast tight down?
Would a new base ball sort it out?

Thanks again for the help. I'm a little confused why its like this as the previous owner never raised or lowered the mast (kept it beach side all year round).


PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:44 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:26 pm
Posts: 502
Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
Are you putting the step pin back in prior to lowering it? You should. I made that mistake the first time I lowered the mast, and dropped the top of the mast onto a steel seawall. I thought for sure I had wrecked the mast, but can't even see where it hit.

With the pin in there, the ball will come out of the base, but can't move more than a couple of inches. You just have to look forward to it and not panic when it suddenly shifts a bit.

I will admit, it makes me nervous every time I raise or lower the mast.

1979 Hobie 16 "Orange Crusher"

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:52 pm 
Hobie Approved Guru

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 5121
Location: Detroit, MI
The Hobie 15 is a Hobie Europe product that not been imported to North America.

From the image above, it appears it has a step similar to the 17 / 20 / Tiger.

It's not a concern while sailing, as long as the shrouds are relatively tight (the only real worry is in a turtle situation where you could dismast). A new base ball would help, as would making sure the pin (shouldn't be a bolt) in the base of the mast is as large as will fit though the holes.

When lowering the mast, try to keep some forward/down pressure on the mast to keep the mast base engaged on the ball.

You don't know fear until you've had a Tiger mast come flying off the step. Timmmmmberrrrrrrr!

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