how to install a mast plug?


Western Minnesota
United States

Has anyone installed a mast plug? I have an older boat and the original mast plug just kind of fell apart.  So I bought a replacement .  It fits in about a half inch before I meet resistance.  Should I pound in with a rubber mallet?  Sand to fit?  And then afterwards, should I seal with silicone? Epoxy?  What do you think?

Thank you .

The winches on my mast are the older type. I have to remove the old wire that looks to be a small hole thru the take up drum and then a larger hole that holds the nico press sleeve and wire. So I am thinking that I need to drill the nico press sleeve out first then drill out the wire? It is just been in to long to try to pull it out (since 1964).Has any one have any ideas how to remove the old wire and nico press sleeve? thanks

oops sorry new to forum after many years away I put this in wrong area sorry!


FS5516's picture

The best way is to get a good pair of diagonal pliers to cut the halyard. If you can't get the wire/nicro press out of the center of the drum, you could use a flat head screwdriver and a hammer to tap it out. You may need to wiggle the halyard abit to loosen it as you tap it out. Eventually you should be able to use a long nosed pliers to reach into the drum and pull it the rest of the way.

I ended up doing the install of the mast plug and here is what I learned. [Maybe someone else will have to do this down the road and can refer to this post for some help.]  

The most important part of the installation is that the bottom mast plug needs to clear the fitting on the deck that receives the mast, about 1 3/4 inch (if I remember right). Ideally, you can just tap it in with a rubber mallet (tapered end first) and make sure you have that clearance. If, however, you have a mast that has a sleeve added (to eliminate I think the mast bulging out at the bottom), then the rivets that hold in that sleeve will get in your way of pounding that plug in far enough.  In that case you can saw the plug (very easy, it is just a soft epoxy) into a thin enough slice that it will create the clearance you need.  

I finished it off with some caulk filler to seal and I think it will serve the life of the boat will.