OT sailing canoe mast step

Rick L

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Just a simple first timer's question for my 1928 OTCA. When does the mast step get installed? Prior to recanvasing? Or after canvas and before keel or after the keel is on?

The last makes the most sense to me as far a strength goes running the stews through the keel, but also seem the most prone to leakage.

Over all the project has gone well and has been fun, one rib I questioned the need to replace answered the question for me by cracking when I was rolling the canoe back and forth applying and rinsing the oxalic acid. Better now than after canvasing :cool:

Almost done sanding, then on goes the linseed oil.

Mast Step


I took a mast step out of a 1964 vintage Old Town and installed it in my OT Guide. The mast step was secured through the keel. Machine screws were driven through holes in the keel, canvas, planking and ribs into nuts in the step itself.

This is all done after canvassing and after the keel is on - essentially the canoe is done and you need to drill holes in it! The keel is bedded, I bedded the machine screws, the heads of the machine screws were countersunk and fit tightly into the keel and I painted over the heads. It does not leak and I doubt it will.

There has been some discussion on mast steps before. Some installations use wood screws through the step into the keel. Use the search function.
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