One of the kind folks at the Yahoo Sailbird group has graciously donated a aka-mounted mast step (well, the bottom half of one, anyway), and with this step and my own base, I’m going to move the mast base so that it sits on top of the forward aka, thus distributing the mast load in a logical fashion.
The first picture shows my old mast step to the left, the donated bottom piece in the middle, and a leftover bit of the 2.50″ SCH 40 aluminum tubing that I am replacing the old aka tubing with. The center pic shows the two steps stacked together, and the pic on the right shows them on the tubing sample. Interestingly, the step seems to be a tight fit on the tubing, possibly indicating that the old aka tubes were slightly smaller in diameter. This, of course, will cause me to rush home and check the fit against the original. if the new tubing is slightly larger, then I may have to remove a bit less metal from the aka hinge castings in order to get them to fit into the thicker walled new tubes. The new mast step will also leave me with a couple of ‘ears’ that I can attach fittings to, if needed.
Fun fun fun!