Thank you for those excellent replies.
Ok if I understand correctly
The mast pin doesnt actually do anything ‘structurally’- it is there for alignment. The fact that mine is effectively supporting the weight of the mast is wrong. Bigal..youre correct, when I remove the pin the mast drops 5mm or so allowing the plug to settle on the track!
However this may be a result of a drop in the hull structure beneath the mast track. This could be why there are signs of wear as the mast plug has sat snug against the bottom securing trak bolt some time in the past. It could have been however that the previous owner sailed without the mast pin in. What would be most likely?
To remedy I think I will
Take down mast. Examine structure for obvious ‘drop’ in the structure beneath the track and around the front of the centerbaord casing. (How easy is this to diagnose?..Will it be obvious? Would it be ruinous to ignore for a little while so I can enjoy some sailing?). Bramble.. I will check to see if I need to do any work strengthening the centry board casing area. If it looks as if it is damaged maybe I will take up on your offer of some pics as I am certain they would be most helpful
Remove mast plug, take apart clean renew bits and replace.. I will follow Swiebertje advice as I cannot afford to replace as yet!
With the mast down, having already measured for the required packing, remove the track and refix with delrin packing ( builders window packers any good?)
Swiebertje I read your other post and that is most informative. I can fix properly with some 5 x 60 stainless wood screws.
I then can allow for fore and aft adjustment to align the holes in the tabernacle with those in the mast.
thanks Dave Barker..can you pointme in the right direction for any of those tuning guides? I havent the foggiest about mast rake or tension, but will certainly be looking it up.
Many thanks Tim