What windsurfing equipment can you get for $3? There used to be only one answer: a downhaul line (though I hope you're going for the better stuff) but the Peconic Puffin has discovered another item worthy of your gear bag: the drinking glass cleaner (sometimes sold as a fluted glass cleaner or bottle washer.) It's a round bit of foam rubber on the end of a plastic handle. What do you do with it? You shove it up your mast.
What it does: Wipes clean (or at least pushes up the inside of the mast) sand, mud or grit that will grind against and stick to your extension or mast ferrule.
Good question: Shouldn't I take the mast down to the water and rinse it out properly?
Equally Good answer (says the editor:) Of course you should. So should I. But if I'm rigging a few hundred yards from the beach, that may not be practical. This is a great short term solution (be sure to clean the mast later.)
Also note: If you've just a small amount of grit, sand, mud or whatever in your mast, it usually will stick to and come out with the foam rubber head.
Another question: Will it work with RDMs?
Advanced mast cleaning tool stuff: After using one for a year or so, I became concerned that one day I might leave the foam rubber head stuck up the mast. I pulled the thing apart and found the construction illustrated in the photo, and have since added a plastic cable tie to ensure I don't end up with my head stuck up my mast.