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Prindle 18 mast hinge  Bottom

  • Recently purchased a Prindle 18 in very good condition but has one problem I didn't notice until I got it home. The bracket attached at the base of the mast that the mast step hinge pin slides into has two rivets on the bottom and two bolts at the top. (The bolts are a fix from a previous owner) The bolts have pulled away from the mast leaving a 1/8" gap between the bracket and the mast. The threads on the mast are stripped as the bolts will not torque down tight. I want to get this fixed before taking the boat out and I am dying to go sailing. Do I go to a metal shop, boat shop, any ideas?
  • You can remove the bolts and rivets that are there, remove the hinge plate and redrill the bolt holes to the next larger size and retap the holes in the mast. When you put the hinge plate back I would use 5200 between the plate and the mast. Bolt and rivet back in place and maybe add 1 more rivet between the bolts. The 5200 will help alot, it's pretty strong stuff. Wear gloves as it is very difficult to remove from your hands.
  • You can take it to a welding shop, they can fill the wholes and re-rivet. This cost about $70 in Chicago. I think the mast extrusion seems pretty thin for tap and bolt solution.
  • Thanks for both suggestions. Now that I know it can be done and a couple of ways to go about it I hope to be sailing by the weekend.
  • If you do not want to retap you can do this. Remove the hinge piece and then drill out the mast base rivets and remove the mast base, it really is easy. Then you will be able to through bolt the 2 bolts on the top portion of the hinge part because you have access to put nylon locking nuts on the bolts on the inside of the mast, put the mast base back on and rerivet. Remember to put some silicone sealant on the mast base when you reinstall. This is a 30-45 minute job. You will need a good sharp or new 3/16 inch metal drill bit. When you drill out the rivets if you just drill and remove all of the rivet head you can take a punch or small phillips head screw driver and drive the remaing part of the rivet out.
  • I have done this same repair I will try to get you some pictures. I ended up getting some nice stainless steel bolts that were the right size. don't want to long in fact I cut 2 of them down because you do not want them to go through to the little round pocket in the bottom of the mast where it rotates from. I had a neighbor who brought a tap and die set home from work and we drilled and tapped the holes the 2 lower ones have a fair amount of metal to bite into but the upper ones are kinda thin. You have to be really careful not to over tighten them. As a precaution I also used a thin layer of putty epoxy between the mast and the hinge. I don't know if this helped or not but I was worried about it not holding and the putty helped the fill the gap between the relatively flat hing piece and the curve of the mast. I also after dry fitting liberally dosed the threads with permanent locktight. I only did this last year and I haven't seen as much sailing time as most do but it still is very tight and I have no problems with it.

    edited by: Quarath, May 26, 2009 - 10:24 AM

    Dustin Finlinson • Magna, UT
    Member: Utah Sailing Association
    1982 Prindle 18
    1986 Hobie 17
    1982 Prindle 16
    1980 Prindle 16(mostly)
    1976 Prindle 16(mostly)

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  • My bracket pulled out too a few years back. The mast aluminum was very thin underneath from 25 years of galvanic reaction with the stainless bracket. I considered moving the bracket to the same location on the other side of the mast but, in the end, I just used shock cord to raise and lower the mast. I looped a short, sturdy bungee cord through the diamond wires and hooked the ends to the dolphin striker. That prevented the mast base from popping up while stepping. You just need another person to guide it into the step.
  • Went with Hullflyer's suggestion drilled out the rivets removed the base put lock nuts on the bolts liberally applied 5200 tightened the lock nuts and replaced the rivets. It took longer to find stainless steel rivets than to do the job. The bracket is now solid! Thanks to all.

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