mast connection


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
almost ready to sail but was wondering if mast was supposed to be keyed to step or partner to prevent turning of mast. I wish i had thought of this before i epoxied mast step into bottom of canoe i am sure there is a way that i will keep mast from turning but is it a real concern.
The earliest wooden Old Town mast steps were round as shown at which were later replaced with square ones as shown at and their fiberglass ones were round as shown at so this is not a big concern. I regularly sail all three of these and have never had a problem from a mast turning in the step.

Yep, it's generally not a problem either way. Masts that have been squared-off on the bottom obviously don't turn and usually work fine. On the other hand, there are thousands of Sunfish sailboats out there with round masts in a round hole and nothing to keep them from turning a bit on use, and they also work fine. About the only non-stayed mast where it makes much difference at all are sprit-rigs. In that case, we often encourage the mast to turn as needed when sailing and tacking as it tends to keep the tension on the snotter and sprit (and thus their ability to peak-up the sail) consistent from tack to tack. Even in this case, it's not absolutely required, but it usually performs a bit better.