Rebedding Mast Step on 1980 O’day 23?

Discussion in 'Ask An Oday Owner' started by Chart Guthrie, Mar 15, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Chart Guthrie

    Chart Guthrie

    Joined Aug 12, 2011
    9 posts, 2 likes
    ODay Ospray & 23
    US Calverton
    This past summer, I noticed cracks in the ceiling of my cabin around the bolts for the mast step, with some indication of water coming in (see photos). There are no cracks in the deck surface and the deck still feels solid (no soft spots). I’m thinking that I need to remove the mast step, drill out the holes and fill with epoxy, then redrill the holes for the mast step and rebed it with butyl tape. I’ve read the Marine How To article on rebedding deck hardware with butyl tape ( ), which is very helpful. However, not having ever done this before, I’m apprehensive about taking on this project, so any advice or direction that you can provide would be helpful.

    The compression post in the cabin appears sound, so I don’t think that I have to do anything with it. However, as you can see from the photos three of the nuts on mast step bolts are easily accessible, while the 4th is directly above the port bulkhead and cannot be accessed without cutting away or taking out the port bulkhead. Suggestions on the best method to access this nut would be appreciated.

    Lady Day inside cabin under mast step.jpg Lady Day Inside Cabin closeup.jpg
    Some other questions that I have are:

    1) What diameter of bit should I use to drill out the holes for the mast step bolts?

    2) What is the best type of bit for drilling fiberglass?
    3) What is the best epoxy to refill the holes?

    On a related matter, the lifeline stanchion on the starboard side just forward of the mast is bent and I think is leaking into the cabin. I would like to rebed it also, but the inside plate for the stanchion is nowhere to be seen. Has anyone with an O’day 23 or similar boat rebed the stanchions and if so, how did you find the plate on the inside? I asked Rudy about this and he suggested attacking the inside with a Dremel tool.

    Any advice that you can offer will be welcome.


  2. Scott On Eagles Wings

    Scott On Eagles Wings

    Joined Jan 22, 2007
    267 posts, 4 likes
    Oday 23
    US Cedar Creek Marina Bayville NJ
    With a jack and some blocking you can very gently lift the cabin top off of the compression post to acces the fourth nut.
    I was able to reach all my stantion bolts by pulling back the headliner to access those nuts. Simply glued back with some contact cement when I was done.

  3. rschuss


    Joined Sep 29, 2015
    36 posts, 6 likes
    Oday 222
    US Lake N ockamixon, pa
    I just now removed the step of my 222 to see why it was leaking. It seems that water was getting in because there is a depression under the step and the bedding was thin. I laid out a layer of Butyl tape edges tight together and used 1/4 20 bolts to replace the Phillips head screws. After placing the bolts into the step, wrap the bolt with butyl tape, under the step. The tape is sticky, so be careful with it. You could redrill the mounting holes and use a filled epoxy. I didn't think that was necessary for me.
    At my step, I find that the pins that attach the mast foot and mast step are too tight and don't allow the mast to move slightly in the step. Something has to move when the furling jib is cranked down, or when the back-stay is cranked down. Please not the step. So I drilled oversize holes in step and the mast foot to allow for slight movement of the mast. Fingers crossed.
    Put tape over the holes before drilling, to prevent chipping of the gel-coat. Most any high-speed drill will work.

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