The hole through the foot of the mast was too tight for the stainless steel rod, so I ground the end of the rod as a quick and dirty reamer to make the hole the right size.
This worked well. However, on assembling the system in the boat a problem became apparent: when in the boat the rod wouldn’t go through as it wasn’t aligned perfectly. Boats are never straight and the mast wasn’t at right angles to my new mast step.
I solved this with three approaches:
- Adjust the alignment of the metalwork with washers under one side;
- Barrel the centre of the rod so the mast could move from side to side without jamming;
- Put a big handle on the rod to help in applying force to get the rod in or out.