i have noticed recently, that some new masts (gun, prolimit...) do not have a plug that prevents water from entering teh mast, whereas some masts still have it.
What are your experiences with masts with or without plug?
Does water drain from the mast quick enough not to disturb waterstart and other mamoeure where additional weight in the mast might bother you.
A lot of masts like that, remember all the Top parts, you have seen comming out from the Bottom...
In fact water never come in from the bottom except if the board is upside down.
No problem for me with those masts
If the top of top section doesn't have a plug of some kind, you run a very high risk of sand and/or dirt getting in and jamming the ferrule such that the two sections of the mast freeze up. Yet, I've had masts where the bottom section is free from plugs, thereby allowing the top to be inserted in the bottom (like pictured in Papounet's first photo above), and never had a problem.
An even larger problem, if you don't have the top section of your mast plugged both top and bottom, is that the mast fills with water making uphauling/waterstarting pretty much impossible (you are at the wrong end of the lever).
So, by overall importance, here's my take on the value of plugs:
Top plug in the top section "Criticallly important.
Bottom plug (above the ferrule) in the top section: Pretty important
Top Plug on the bottom section (inside the ferrule) : very important
Bottom plug above the mast base in the bottom section: not important at all.
The mast base works as a "plug" of sorts, and as suggested, unless you turn your board over for some reason, in the water, there's no way for water to get into the bottom of the mast.
AND any water that gets into the lower section of the mast can run out the bottom if you do not have it solidly plugged.
Hope this helps,
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