Mast Column Bilge Keel Fixes...
Starting at the very top, here is some owners experiences and great fixes.
Take a look at this link for what I've done so far.
Dan Metzler,1985 TRBS #4328
The deck step and the mast column showing the thru deck tube, open column and base openings. (click here) Bruce n Jacky Kachline (currently off cruising!)\
are some quick sketches of a fix for the rotten
mast step support (bilge block), and how I did it.
Rather than the typical wooden block replacement, I constructed a Stainless
Steel (SS) unit for long life!
1- The mast was unstepped to remove the load from the compression post.
2- I removed the rotten block by chiseling it out. It was easier then I thought as most of the wood was rotten. Be careful not to cut any of the wiring that comes down through the block.
3- I made a cardboard template of the bilge and one of the underside of the cabin sole. These were duplicated into 1/2" stainless plates. A slot was cut in the front of the top plate to accommodate the mast wiring. (Diagram 1)
4- Two, 1" sq. stainless blocks were bolted to the underside of the top plate and two more to the top of the bottom plate. (Diagram 2)
5- Four 1" square post were cut to fit between the plates.
6- Put some West epoxy under the bottom plate and on top of the top plate. While still wet, a small screw jack (uses for belt tensioning) was put in the middle & cranked up tight. Then the two forward posts were push in and bolted in place. Then the same with the two aft post. The jack was removed.
This may be a bit of over kill, but it seemed easier then trying to force a wood block back into this space without cutting the cabin sole or leaving so much space that the whole thing would settle under load.
Bob, Xanadu '88 TRBS #5333 Pelham, NY
And at the very bottom, here is the Catalina Yachts plan for repairing the wood filler in the bilge! ( Bilge Keelbolt Fix )
There was a conversation on another forum about
replacing the block under the mast compression post and someone had suggested
the MKIII boats had replaced the wood block with a fiberglass block. I posed the
question to Catalina and heard back from Warren and Kent. They said that all
C30's, regardless of model, used a white oak block fiberglassed in place.
If you find rot in yours Catalina sells replacement blocks for $165 (pics