My experience in a bit of a blow and a choppy sea (North Kent Coast) is that with deck and step support there is a lot of flex and damage incurred to the mast. I’m thinking of putting lateral pads on the mast rather than the deck to protect the soft wood of the mast and some kind of fixed step.
Did you use a wire jib halyard ? if so what mast sheave boxes did you use? I’ve found replacement Holt ones at Marinestore, since my original holt ones are very coroded.