Skerry build, now putting in mast step

I have gotten all the seats in and am now adding the final piece. The mast step. I think I have it lined up well and the epoxy and fillets on exterior are curing.

Question, the hole for the step is much larger than the mast itself. What does everyone do about that? Wrap the mast in glass to thicken it up? I would be inclined to use some of the excess and build up the mast up to  and thru the seat, although I would have to enlarge that..

Another option is to add some a square collar such as is used in some weight benches with square tube frames...


Any suggestions welcome,



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RE: Skerry build, now putting in mast step


I noticed the same thing on my Skerry, just finished varnishing the mast and was thinking of how to keep the mast and step from rubbing. I might rap the mast base in leather, sort of like a boot. That would keep things from banging about. Good question, maybe there are some other ideas out there.


RE: Skerry build, now putting in mast step

I am thinking about wrapping my Jimmy Skiff mast with rope where it hits the partner, if there's enough clearance, or gluing something soft on the foredeck if not.  I guess the old-timey way would be to tack a leather pad to the mast partner, but I don't want to put a bunch of nail holes into my epoxy-sealed wood.  As for the heel of the mast, not sure, since it's tapered where it hits the mast step.  Solve that problem when I get to it, I guess.

RE: Skerry build, now putting in mast step


The opening in the seat is just under 2" making a tight fit with the 1/3/4" mast. The mast step is 2 1/4" giving 1/2" play on all sides, which makes it seem like it will clank around causing wear and tear.


I looked at pictures of the jimmy skiff, your mast is tapered, I wonder why, the skerry mast isnt tapered.



RE: Skerry build, now putting in mast step

I felt the mast come to life as I was shaping it---the taper above the partner must be for controlled flex.  This may in turn be because of the tall, skinny sail.  Actually, if anyone at CLC who participated in designing this thing could weigh in, I'd be glad to hear how it all came about.  Why the bottom end of the Jimmy Skiff mast is tapered?  Got me.  I think it's to keep me from trying to use a mast partner reinforcement to build the mast step or something.  As it happened, I ended up carving my own horizontal bit for the step, because there was some kind of mix-up when the kit was put together.  Needless to say, CLC provided excellent technical support.

RE: Skerry build, now putting in mast step

Don't worry about the mast step, or the mast partners on the Skerry.  There is always a little slop in an unstayed rig.  I've had Lasers with fibreglass sleeves for the mast.  The only mast step problem was with a hard racing son in a 30 year old boat where the mast step disintegrated in racing.  The mast step in those days was BONDO'ed into the hull.  The Skerry mast step is easy to inspect, screwed and epoxied in.  Also the sail is modest in area. Part of the Laser solution for friction purposes is to line the mast with tape to cut down the friction with rotation of the mast.  This actually reduces wear on the fibreglass as opposed to the aluminum mast.  The Skerry mast does not rotate so it just is a wood on wood issue (epoxied).

RE: Skerry build, now putting in mast step

The mast step opening should be wider than the mast partner opening. Otherwise stepping the mast would be like the Governer's pen scene in "Blazing Saddles".



RE: Skerry build, now putting in mast step


I will use wedges to firm up the fit. I was concerned about the clatter and an inability to control the rake mostly. In mine, it sits the mast leans forward w/out a tighter fit.

While I am writing. I am doing the rudder right now and the movable blade is fairly tight in the box. I am now sanding the epoxy off and rounding all the sides on the top so the rotation has less surface area to rub against.

How much pressure is typical for the blade rotating up? Should it be very loose or a firm fit? I have not looked into the rigging for it yet.


RE: Skerry build, now putting in mast step


The very same thing on my rudder blade. I sanded the epoxie and almost all of the 1st layer of Ply off of where the rudder will rotate. This allowed me to reapply the epoxie and still allow the blade to rotate freely. The jam cleat holds the blade in place once deployed and it kicks up freely when released. Hope that helps.


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