Mast Support


Jun 9, 2020
Macgregor 26D Brookings
How do you figure pine or Douglas Fir would be better than Black Locust? Do you know about black locust?

The wood is extremely hard, being one of the hardest woods in Northern America with a Janka hardness test of 1,700 lbf (7,560 N).[26] It is very resistant to rot, and durable, making it prized for furniture, flooring, paneling, fence posts, and small watercraft. Black Locust is a highly durable, organic wood product, that does not require chemical treatment to preserve its beauty for 50+ years.[27] Wet, newly cut planks have an offensive odor which disappears with seasoning. Black locust is still in use in some rustic handrail systems. In the Netherlands and some other parts of Europe, black locust is one of the most rot-resistant local trees, and projects have started to limit the use of tropical wood by promoting this tree and creating plantations. Flavonoids in the heartwood allow the wood to last over 100 years in soil.[28]

Yes it may cost about $8/foot, but for the mast step on a boat it is well worth that cost compared to the cost of pine followed by the cost of the preservatives needed, then the need to replace in any case. Use black locust on your boat and it will last longer than you.
Chill dude I'm not slighting your choice of wood lol. O.P. doesn't sound like he's interested in sourcing hardwood. He wants a quick n dirty fix it now option. What I suggested would serve him just fine, even if it isn't the "ideal" choice.
Oct 19, 2017
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
2x4 lumber has gotten smaller over the years. In my youth it was nearly 2x4. Desire for profits have seen it shrink because for most framing use it matters not.
This is true, but...
" ...Size standards, maximum moisture content, and nomenclature were agreed upon only as recently as 1964. The nominal 2x4 thus became the actual 1½ x 3½, imperceptibly, a fraction of an inch at a time. It was a 34 percent reduction in actual volume; as those in the trade would say, it’s “selling air.” "
Harvard Design Magazine: Nominal Versus Actual: A History of the 2x4

There's a lumber mill not to far from here, I can go and buy a 2x4 from them and it will measure roughly 2" x 4", but it will not have the moulded surface and quarter round corners of a Georgia Pacific 2x4. If I were to kiln dry such a rough-cut board, then flatten it on a jointer and run it through a plainer until the saw marks were gone, straighten the and make parallel the edges, I would have a finished board much closer to 1.5" x 3.5" than 2" x 4". Rough lumber is cheaper, but it is hard on the hands and just off the sawmill, it isn't very consistent.

I have notice, the last time I was at the lumber store, that they are now selling 2x3s. It would really tick me off if I was working a job and I ordered a truck load of 2x4s and some new yard guy accidently loaded a truck full of 2x3s. They look very similar and at Lowes and Home Depot, they make no effort to distinguish them except for a little inconspicuous sign and a bar code at one end.

-Will (Dragonfly)
Jan 10, 2011
Macgregor 25 Lake Lanier
The wood I used on the mast support was an old 2 x 4. It was 1.75" x 4". I grew up in California and tore down houses and barns with my father. I no longer have any of the real old wood. It kept shrinking as we built houses. This piece must have come from an old building. The last mast support lasted 20 years. I think this piece will last for a while again.
I did need to adjust the rig. When the mast support is solid the short shrouds needed to be extended.
"Sailing with Porpoise" has been in the Gulf of Mexico pulling "Porpoise"(dingy/canoe) behind. We are once again in Aqualand Marina on Lake Lanier.
I have a new dock space. The last dock was destroyed by the hurricane.
I have noticed several MacGregor 25 boats on my dock. Is there a way to find the owners?

I have half of the cushions redone and am working on the rest. Any day that the weather is too rough I am improving the boat. Since I live in Hotlanta I have movable plug in fans throughout the boat and cockpit. They are on 6' extension cords and run off the main battery. I am still trying to find a way to lash the fans instead of letting them just sit on their feet.
I plan to try to build a mist setup for the cockpit.

Black Locust is a great idea.


Sep 11, 2015
Merit 22- Oregon lakes
"I have noticed several MacGregor 25 boats on my dock. Is there a way to find the owners?"

hang out on the dock next to a pile of black locust boards with a case of beer sitting on top. owners will come from miles around within minutes :laugh: