Custom Mast Step

When I bought my Catalina 27 there were three 1 - 1 1/2 inch vertical cracks at the base of the mast. The remainder of the base had visible corrosion, and the step casting also showed corrosion which was probably the result of the step sitting on a stainless steel organizer for an unknown number of years. A few months later when I pulled the mast for repair the step casting was mostly aluminum dust.

The original plan was to try to weld the cracks, but the corrosion at the base was too severe so a couple of inches were cut off. A local mast repair shop made a custom step so the mast height was not reduced. The step assembly is made of three pieces - two machined step fittings and a filler.

Although the top machined step fitting may not be visible, it's there. The three pieces are attached using screws. The assembly and organizer are attached to the deck prior to stepping the mast, just as a regular step casting would be.

Catalina 27 Mast Rewired

My mast lights did not work, and in fact, constantly blew fuses. When I pulled the mast for other repairs the problem became obvious; the wire insulation was chaffed through where they exited the deck.

I started preparing to run new wiring but could not find where the existing wiring was run in the boat. My switch panel is on the port side below the sink and I could trace the wires to the starboard side above the quarter berth but at that point they appeared to run between the liner and the coach top. That meant running new wiring all the way from the switch panel to the mast base.

From the quarter berth, I ran the wires along the starboard side above the lip that is on the outboard side of the liner, through the main bulkhead into the head, and along the bulkhead to a terminal block. From the corner of the bulkhead I angle drilled a hole to the center of the mast step for the mast wiring.

Main Sail Reefing

When reefing the main on my Catalina 27 the luff of the sail falls clear so I can pull the reef point down to the boom. It's very handy as the reefing lines are lead back to the cockpit.

This is the reef point, top attachment for the slide control line, and top slide.

Bottom slide and cunningham. The slide line is actually the cunningham.

The line overhands through the cunningham hole, then continues down to about boom level where it's picked up by the cockpit cunningham control gear.

The slide control line could terminate at the cunningham or at a small grommet above the cunningham.