Author Topic: Terminator "T-800" Grade Mast Step  (Read 2956 times)

Sea Haven

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Terminator "T-800" Grade Mast Step
« on: June 03, 2014, 12:24:06 PM »
Ahoy Shipmates!

Finally got around to showing you my new Mast Step.

Last year when I had her surveyed prior to purchase, one of the few items the Surveyor specifically pointed out was the need to inspect and possibly replace, my mast step.
Sea Haven being a 36 year young sailing yacht,  I decided to pull the mast, redo everything, and I would just go ahead and have a new mast step fabricated anyway.
Seeing on how I intend her to last another 36 years, why not?

So when I approached a coworker who is a Mechanical Designer about my need to fabricate a new mast step, he was willing to take it on. Plus he is friends with a local machine shop. I provided him the old step, as well as photo's of new steps from this very site. His first comment was "Why is everyone welding them?, We can probably do it cheaper if we just hog it out of a solid piece of off-the-shelf Al using a single tool.". You see shop time is all about "setup" and the number of steps. So with idea in mind, pictures and old step in hand, Tony sat down with SOLIDWORKS 3D software and starts designing a 3D model of the new step. This provided NC Data for the shop to mill out the new step using just a sinlge setup/cutting tool. He fabricated the Stainless Tension rod mounting plate himself. Helicoils threaded inserts were installed for all the fasteners, and she was anodized in black.

This is what he came up with........

The new machined step being test fitted prior to having it anodized:

Here it is anodized with the stainless steel "Tension Rod" mounting plate alongside the original steel plate:

As I blab too much, this is for those of you wondering "Why the coins?": Mast Stepping

The underside:

Underside detail, note the machined pocket for the coins:

The coins installed with some laminate to limit corrosion:

I must say it worked perfectly. The lag bolts are ~1 1/2" longer, and you can still adjust the tension rod easily with the mast in place.
Though I don't plan to market/sell these, the shop does have the NC data and can reproduce them if desired. I'll be happy give you "Tony the designers" email if you want to inquire about having one made for yourself.

FWIW, another sailor (a racer) commented that it's overkill and too heavy, and though I didn't weigh it, I didn't feel a significant weight difference between the old and new. As a Design Engineer by profession, I tend to over Engineer. The first to admit it. So what I do may not appeal to most of you, but it certainly appeals to me as Murphy's Law is a "Clear and present danger" in my life.  ;)
I like "stuff" that's gonna last, and willing to pay extra for it. For I'd rather buy one quality item, than keep replacing an inferior item in a never winning attempt to save $$. I've always ended up losing over the long run. Make it tough, make it last. Take care of your boat and she'll take care of you.
You "get" the picture!

"Sub" Ed


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Re: Terminator "T-800" Grade Mast Step
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 12:18:12 PM »
Looks great!