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Problems with Stepping the mast on my 1998 Hunter 240

Jan 6, 2021
Hunter 240 Charlotte Harbor
I purchased a 1998, 240 last week and am having issues stepping the mast. I purchased it from an elderly gentleman, the boat is in fantastic shape but the seller didn't provide much guidance or any manuals. I Down loaded the owners manual and have been following the steps. My problem; when I move the mast aft from the travel configuration, the base of the mast lands about 5 inches to port of the mast step casting, I can sort of force the mast base into the casting but the holes don't line up close enough to insert the step pin. moving aft and attempting to push the mast a little in any direction doesn't have an effect on the mast base, because it seems the mast struts keep the mast base from moving left or right in any meaningful way.

I noticed the locking nut on the port strut was a couple turns above the strut, not snug, like the starboard strut locking nut.
Has anyone experienced similar problems or can help with suggestions?

My thoughts were to disconnect the struts from the deck, place the mast into the step casting, install the pin, then adjust the struts and reattach them to the deck. Is this a good idea?
Feb 18, 2011
Hunter 240 Cave Run Lake, KY
Welcome to the forum! Did you try tightening up that loose nut and see if that pulls it over at all? Also check that the mast crutch is oriented so the arm/roller is on the port side of the pole- if it is to starboard it would push the base of the mast to port. Your idea of loosening or disconnecting the struts is certainly worth a try- just reattach before attempting to raise the mast. One of the struts may have gotten bent a little. Also in case you have not already been told, before you raise the mast secure the turnbuckles in the full vertical position on the U-bolts or they will bind and the t-bolts will bend. I use bungee cords attached to the lifelines to keep them up.
Once you get it working it is a great system for raising the mast.
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Likes: Melstrom
Jan 6, 2021
Hunter 240 Charlotte Harbor
Thank you very much for your suggestions. The issue was, as you mentioned, the mast crutch was in installed with the rollers to starboard. As soon as I lifted the mast and twisted it to port, the base of the mast and pin holes aligned perfectly in the step. I looked through my downloads to see where I missed it and couldn't find any mention. For such an easy and sensible fix, it could have gotten ugly. Thank You again Caverun!
Jan 6, 2021
Hunter 240 Charlotte Harbor
Thank you for the offers and advice. I'm a little hesitant to put my number out there. How does one send a private message?
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
I finally received a phone call today from the poster. It is great I will. Be working with a veteran but sadly raising the mast today he lost it breaking the mast. I will be helping him as I know who to go to get him fixed up