No leaks down the exterior of the mast below the partners. Period. That’s what Waterboot promises and what it delivers.
The Waterboot is computer cut to your measurements (based on their instructions) from a durable, lightweight, 100% UV resistant, rubbery material with a Velcro closure. You fit the boot around the mast, close the Velcro, and then run a bead of silicone around the top and along the Velcro closure, filling any voids. Waterboot suggests that you might also wish to use self-amalgamating tape or a stainless steel hose clamp around the top of the boot. We use a hose clamp and with this setup we have absolutely no leaking down the mast into the boat.
We purchased our last Waterboot when we installed the new Hall Spars mast in 2006, not because the old boot had failed but because the mast shape was different and the Waterboot needs to fit snugly to work. After six years the Waterboot is still in great condition. Do note, however, that, being of the belt and suspenders persuasion, we cover the Waterboot with a custom-made (by yours truly) Sunbrella cover to further protect it from UV damage and nicks or cuts.
Does anyone else have experience with the Waterboot or any other type of mast boot? Please leave a comment.