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Mast/Deck Tie Down

In case anyone is interested...

On my boat there was a deck tie down consisting of a turn buckle connected from an eye bolt on the underside of the deck to a fitting on the front of the mast.  I noticed the fitting on the mast was starting to be pulled up in the mast.  I had also heard that one boat had this fitting tear out.

I drilled a hole completely through the mast step immediately in front of the mast into the bilge and installed an eye bolt.  I was able to access the underside of the mast step (the front of the mast step is open in the bilge) using my prehensile arm through an access hole under the small wooden floor outside the head.  I was able to fit a large washer and a couple of nuts onto the threaded end of the eye bolt.

I used a length of dyneema to join the end of the turn buckle to the eye bolt at the front of the mast step eliminating the mast fitting.  It has worked out well and avoids mast fitting issues.

How much tension should be on the mast/deck tie down?


Hey Gerry can you take a picture of your setup.  Our fitting on the mast pulled out the other day.  So you remove it when you take the mast out or leave it there all the time?  How do you tension it, hand tight before you tension the mast shrouds.

I won't be back to the boat for a few days but will take a picture then.

There's not much to be seen.  The eye bolt/turn buckle connected to the underside of the deck forward of the mast (as the boat came from the factory) is still there.

I installed a new eye bolt forward of the mast through the raised lip of the adjustable black mast step shoe and the mast support underneath it.  As mentioned in my original post, I was able to access the bottom of this eye bolt by removing the small piece of wooden flooring beside the head door in the forward cabin.

Notice that the eye bolt in the mast step prevents adjustment of the mast step shoe.  I leave the mast step shoe in the most aft position per the class tuning guide.

I connected the turn buckle on the deck eye bolt to the floor eye bolt with a length of dyneema.  I hand tighten the dyneema using the turn buckle prior to adjusting the mast shrouds.

No part of the deck tie down is connected to the mast. I've been disconnecting the dyneema prior to removing the mast so it doesn't get in the way but I suppose it's not necessary.


Thanks Gerry, I'm not a fan of having stuff like the deck tie down attached to the mast.

I've attached three pictures of my modified deck tie down:

1.  The dyneema connection to the original deck eye bolt/turn buckle.

2.  The dyneema connection to the new eye bolt installed in the mast step shoe.

3.  The original mast deck tie down fitting showing how far the fitting had been pulled vertically up the carbon fibre mast.  This fitting was soon going to fail.

Uploaded files:
  • IMG_2102.jpg
  • IMG_2105.jpg
  • IMG_2106.jpg

Great work Gerry I assume you installed the eye bolt when the mast was out of the boat?

Yes, I installed the eye bolt in the mast step when the mast was out of the boat.  There's very little space between the mast and the front of mast step shoe.  The hole being drilled needs to be vertical.  I used a drill press for the hole in the shoe and then used the shoe as a guide for the hole in the actual step.

As mentioned previously, I removed the small wooden floor panel outside the head to gain access to the underside of the mast step.  There was already a hole under the floor panel and the front of the mast step is open.  I was able to reach under the mast step to install a large washer and a couple of nuts on the eye bolt.

Thanks Gerry very helpful


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