yes there are several Santorins (probably only sloops) that have a main mast with a backing aluminum bar (inside the mast) at the front bottom, and bolted with 4 stainless steel bolts (with SS and nylon washers).
It happened once that one of the first Santorins (sloop but not the one our unknown writer talks about) came back from its maiden cruising navigation with the front bottom part of the main mast collapsed. The aluminum had suffered too much compression and showed slight wrinkles.
The vessel was not showing grounding signs, and no evidence of a bad mast setting (installing the mastfoot not flat on deck, but too much on the front edge) was found.
The cause was probably the vessel beating in strong winds and choppy seas, AND a too thin skin at the bottom of the extrusion. Why only at the bottom?
For those who are not familiar with aluminum extrusion process, and to make it short:
In the aluminum factory, the aluminum alloy, warmed up (but not melting, otherwise this is cast aluminum), is pushed through a matrix with the shape of the mast's profile.
This "tube" is then rolling on roller bars and "strechted" to make it "straight" and not twisted or curved.
During the stretching process, it is possible that the thickness of the aluminum shows too thin areas, or too much curve, or too much twist. The extrusion is thus rejected and recycled.
The faulty mast was probably made of an extrusion that "escaped" the checking process.
So, AMEL decided to install a piece of aluminum of about 50 cm length, 2cm thickness, with the shape of the curved front face of the mast, inside the mast, stepped on the mast's sole, and bolted with 4 S/S bolts.
I cannot tell how many Santorins were treated by AMEL like this. However, this may concern the Santorins sloop with masts of the same batch. AMEL had extrusions made by 20 or 30 units, so this may affect only the Santorins sloops delivered with masts of the same batch.
This means maybe only 7 or 8 Santorins sloops of 1990/1991.
Why only sloops? Because the compression is higher with a sloop as there is more sail area on the mast than on a kectch main mast.
I'm sure AMEL did the right thing when they (Captain Amel and Jacques Carteau) decided to make this reinforcement system.
Just like when AMEL decided to make a recall on all the AMEL 54 main masts...
Now, for those who own a Santorin sloop and read this post, I'm sure you will have a close look at your mast foot !!
Like Craig, I can't wait to know who set this question... I may give him a lot more answers about the whole vessel (this is called a survey).
And this is definitely the right behavior on this forum.
No bolts on my sloop mast foot. SN 24 1990
Kitchen Magic Refacers, Inc
I agree with Eric. Contact Olivier Beaute gmail.com>
I also agree with Craig...I do not believe those bolts are original.