I removed the mast step plate because I had some bad cracking going on around the base and I glad I did too the mounting bolts had notches worn into them and were rusted pretty bad.
I went out and got some stainless to replace them.
This is the cracking around the mast plate:
I used a Dremel tool to channel out the cracks with a small diamond bit
Then I filled the channels with Marine Tex Epoxy Putty
Then a good sanding
The paint I got from West Marine is Super white compared to the old gel coat. I don't really like it but the repair is covered and protected from the elements.