We’ve been fighting leaks in the boat since we purchased it more than two years ago, and despite liberal doses of silicone and several vinyl mast boots, the cabin top area around the mast still leaks like a sieve.
We were looking at spending $150 on a molded rubber solution that came with mixed reviews from our friends who had attempted it. Then, several cruisers recommended a much simpler and cheaper solution.
Wax toilet ring. They were $1.50 each at Home Depot. We bought two just to make sure we had enough to get around the entire mast. After tax our total expenditure was $3.23.
First we removed the worthless white West Marine universal mast boot. Even with that boot on there is still a waterfall in our salon when it rains. Underneath the boot there was basically just a huge gap between the mast and the deck with several rubber spacers poked into the hole.
I just started squishing wax into every nook and cranny.
I may have gone a little overboard, and I went a ways up the mast with the wax. It was messy, but in the end there is no way water is getting through.
After cleaning off my hands I put the white boot back on to seal it up and keep wax from getting everywhere.
And to ensure that our boat looked beautiful, as well as being dry, I also sewed her a Sunbrella mast boot to cover everything.
The boot is just a simple strip of canvas with a drawstring at the top and bottom. I will be listing it in the shop just in case someone wants one. Just include your boat color and mast circumference, and I can stitch one up for you.