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How Long Is a V222 mast? What length to make a gin pole?

Discussion in 'Ask A Macgregor Owner' started by Todd Atchison, May 21, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Todd Atchison

    Todd Atchison

    Joined Jan 25, 2017
    47 posts, 10 likes
    Macgregor V222
    US Kentucky Lake
    I'm making a gin pole to assist in raising my mast. First, I measure the V222 mast as right at 24 feet. What length do I need to make my gin pole for maximum mechanical advantage?
     


  2. topcat0399

    topcat0399

    Joined Aug 22, 2011
    985 posts, 67 likes
    MacGregor Venture V224
    US Cheeseland
    That is a short mast and is very light.

    The mechanical advantage comes from the winch, the pole just holds the line up for you.

    My gin pole is 6 feet with a much heavier mast, yours could easily be shorter.
     


  3. Timethief

    Timethief

    Joined Feb 28, 2018
    25 posts, 5 likes
    MacGregor 25
    US Orlando
    My next gin pole is going to be mounted on the mast (it will double as a spinnaker pole), so I have decided I likely won't use a winch on it. Thus I figure that I can always use a double or triple blocks, and get my mechanical advantage that way.

    Like Topcat said, make it a convenient height - 6' sounds perfect. And take a look at how Tatzsue did his. Don't do like my PO did and attach the winch line to the deck - attach it to the mast and make the deck line fixed. So much nicer when the pole and winch stay in a convenient spot, and the mast is the only moving part! My winch is like 8" off the deck when the mast is up (part of the reason I am making a new one).

    Great job on your refit, by the way!

    Good luck!

    -Peter
     


  4. Freedom77

    Freedom77

    Joined Jul 29, 2010
    1,285 posts, 15 likes
    Macgregor 76 V-25 #928
    US Lake Mead, Nevada
    Hi Timethief: Spinnaker pole s/b length of "J" dimension. Measure from base of mast to forestay fitting on deck. 10 ft/ +/-. why is winch so High?
     


  5. Timethief

    Timethief

    Joined Feb 28, 2018
    25 posts, 5 likes
    MacGregor 25
    US Orlando
    The gin pole I have currently is about 7-8' long, and the cable connection points are at the end of the pole - just the way the PO did it. You're right that a spinnaker pole would be 10' or so, but the cable connection points would not necessarily need to be at the end of the pole.

    I envision putting an eye bolt with matching eye cap about 6' up on the pole. This would get me a "gin pole" of 6', and ensure I don't have any weird offset pull from the lines. Then I would still have the ability to use the full length of the pole attached to the spinnaker or the jib.

    Plus it could be conveniently there, stored up against the mast, just waiting for whichever use is needed. Also, one less thing to set up when it is time to rig/derig the mast (the boat is trailered quite a bit).

    Please feel free to let me know if there is something I have not considered in my plan! Better to find out now before I build it all!

    -Peter
     


  6. Sumner

    Sumner

    Joined Jan 31, 2009
    5,098 posts, 180 likes
    Macgregor 26S/Endeavour 37 .
    US Utah's Canyon Country
    [​IMG]
    I use a whisker pole a lot running and wonder if it would work well if attached to the bottom of the mast.
    [​IMG]
    There is a track running up and down the mast with a car that allows you to position the whisker pole at whatever height works best. You can see the track above the bottom arrow above. Also the pole is adjustable in length and I don't always have it out at the same length so the adjustment in length is a nice feature also.

    The boat came with the pole and the track. Here is a link to a pole alone ....

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Tel...ksjbAhUMvlMKHdZJAFQQ_AUICigB&biw=1163&bih=536

    I think a $140 investment in this case would be well worth it. After having one I'd spend that if I didn't have one,

    Sumner
    ========================================================================
    1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
    Endeavour 37 Mods...

    MacGregor 26-S Mods...
    Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
     


  7. Timethief

    Timethief

    Joined Feb 28, 2018
    25 posts, 5 likes
    MacGregor 25
    US Orlando
    Ah, Sumner! Leave it to you to take my little $50 project, and vastly improve it to the tune of $200-300! I really hadn't considered the track idea - I did have some musings of a pair of rings on the mast - one at the base and one a few feet up - but I love that as long as the track is long enough, it's infinitely flexible! And then the adjustable pole is brilliant - even makes storage simpler on the mast.

    Is your whisker pole stout enough to act as a gin pole? Is that your whisker pole in the picture, or your gin pole (looks like it is attached to the tabernacle)?

    Thanks for the ideas - greatly improves where I was going with it!

    -Peter
     


  8. Sumner

    Sumner

    Joined Jan 31, 2009
    5,098 posts, 180 likes
    Macgregor 26S/Endeavour 37 .
    US Utah's Canyon Country
    That is the gin pole and I don't leave it there while sailing as it would be in the way of the whisker pole.
    [​IMG]
    The whisker pole looks like the one above. I broke one end on ours and had to make another one so the one above is a picture off the net. The track and whisker pole came with the boat along with the gin pole and mast raising gear....

    http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/macgregor/rigging-2.html

    I don't use near all the length of the mast track. One could make this stuff and maybe at first tie the one end to the mast to try and find a good height that works with most situations and put one fitting there. The whisker pole is lighter than the gin pole and ....
    [​IMG]
    ... are not interchangeable in my situation.

    Good luck,

    Sumner
    ===============================================================================
    1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
    Endeavour 37 Mods...
    MacGregor 26-S Mods...
    Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
     


  9. Todd Atchison

    Todd Atchison

    Joined Jan 25, 2017
    47 posts, 10 likes
    Macgregor V222
    US Kentucky Lake
    Let me first say, thanks for all the great advice. Let me also say, that this could be potentially the most important and dangerous mod one can make. I've had some near misses in the past and still carry an injury from an illfated attempt to raise the mast on our Thistle. That being said, I'm determined to make the process for our Venture 222 both safer and something Molly and I can do solo.

    Over the weekend, I used a bent spar from one of our Sunfish projects to make a gin pole. I also used an old aluminum crutch to construct the 'V" or base. See below:

    IMG_5652.JPG

    I cut the disgaurded spar to about 7 feet (seemed like a good length based on all your input). I then added the modified crutch pieces. I trimed the longer pieces so just the V remained.

    IMG_5659.JPG

    I then used the Jib halyard and attched it to the end where I placed to stainless loops, simply inserting one end and using an overhand knot, the halyard made a "loop" so in essence couldn't move, it was just a doubled line with an overhand knot, so I didn't need to leave anything "on top" on the mast.

    FullSizeRender-4.jpg

    On the same end, I attached another stainless loop and added a small block, facing the oppisite way of the loop that held the halyard. I used a small stainless clip to attach another small block to the forestay deck plate.

    To make a long story short even longer, everything worked well. That is until we loaded it up and the mast began to drift to the side. After a couple of attempts we gave up deciding that we need a fourth person to keep the mast strait. We stopped before any MAJOR damage occured, It did howver, flex the step plate and caused one of the three bolts to pull through the fiberglass slightly. I've removed the step plate and am planning to beef up the area where it attaches on deck with a little more resin and fiberglass cloth. All that being said here are my questions:

    1. I've straitend the step plate, does it need to be perfect or can I reuse the exsisting one? How much give to I have there?

    2. Has anyone ever "beefed up" that area? What about adding a 1/4" wood plate at the base? I could then add another under it in the cabin of the same size (slightly bigger than the step base) and pin it in place with some stainless bolts with washers and nuts.

    I appriciate everyone's comments and advise. This is a big deal and a dropped mast could send my entire project to the dump, so extra care and advise from the pros in much apprciated.

    Cheers
     


  10. Timethief

    Timethief

    Joined Feb 28, 2018
    25 posts, 5 likes
    MacGregor 25
    US Orlando
    Not a pro, so take the advice with a grain of salt!

    From what I have been told, the tabernacle (which I presume you mean when you say step plate) doesn't need to be perfectly shaped. It is just there to keep the base of the mast on one place, and that the real support is done by the stays and shrouds. It makes sense to me.

    As far as beefing up the deck below the tabernacle, I have been contemplating that in my refit, but have yet to do anything with that. I would be leery of using wood in that application especially on deck - wood rot, and all that. Plus, how much strength would a piece of 1/4" wood add? My thought was to add a piece of 1/8" aluminum or stainless plate above the compression post in the cabin. It would be attached by the three tabernacle bolts, and provide a bit larger support area to the deck, but strictly speaking, I don't think it is necessary, especially if the gin pole is attached to either the mast or the tabernacle. If the gin pole is resting on the deck (my current pole has a T at the end, so it sits on the deck with a line to make sure it stays at the tabernacle - which works, but is also the reason I started looking into making a new one that has a different contact point, and maybe does double duty).

    With regards to the sway you experienced - yep, that can do serious damage, either to the boat, you, others, other boats, etc. Major issue! On my boat, I have a pair of baby stays attached to the mast at about 7', and running to deck fittings that are directly outboard of the tabernacle. As I understand it, these were standard fittings on the 25 (really, just a couple of eye straps in the right spot), not certain on the 22. Easy enough to add! Mine are attached using some 1/4" dyneema with trigger snap fittings. They stay on the mast (when sailing, obviously not attached at the deck, but tied at the mast base with a shock cord) so far permanently. When raising or lowering the mast, they allow the mast to swing 2'-3' either side of center - yep, when I set this up, I raised the mast half way and swung it both ways for a bit to test it out. When the mast gets high enough, the shrouds take over, and the swing range is less - basically zero with the mast all the way up.

    Ken (Tsatzsue) posted a great picture of his set up:
    [​IMG]
    The orange straps are the baby stays - he has a really nice system setup there.

    Not certain if you are using the forward line or the jib halyard to raise the actual mast - it looks like the forward line is run back to a winch. If you are using the forward line, that means that the gin pole is rotating along with the mast. If the gin pole is shorter than the length from the tabernacle to the bow block, then there will come a point when the gin pole will be pulled from the tabernacle forward toward the block. Technically, no big deal, because the pole no longer needs to stand (the two lines are aligned, thus the pulling of the forward line goes directly to the halyard (via the eye in the gin pole), and the mast is basically standing, but it will be disconcerting when it happens the first time (and another reason I am redoing my gin pole system!). It is another reason Ken's system is better than mine - the gin pole never moves, and his winch (pole mounted) stays in the perfect spot to crank on it.

    For what its worth, I raise and lower my mast by myself - in some ways it is easier than when people "help" me with it. Biggest challenge is watching the shrouds and making sure they don't hang up on anything on the way up - down is no big deal, just land it in the cradle! Definitely don't need 4 people!

    Didn't mean to be so long winded! Sorry!

    On a separate note - Sumner, I hate you! Can I have your boat, PLEASE....???? You're making me rethink the whole gin pole double duty thing. Did you make the base straps for the gin pole? Or did you find them someplace? Great system.

    Todd, stay safe and good luck!!!


    -Peter
     


  11. topcat0399

    topcat0399

    Joined Aug 22, 2011
    985 posts, 67 likes
    MacGregor Venture V224
    US Cheeseland
    [QUOTE="

    On the same end, I attached another stainless loop and added a small block, facing the oppisite way of the loop that held the halyard. I used a small stainless clip to attach another small block to the forestay deck plate.

    To make a long story short even longer, everything worked well. That is until we loaded it up and the mast began to drift to the side. After a couple of attempts we gave up deciding that we need a fourth person to keep the mast strait. We stopped before any MAJOR damage occured, It did howver, flex the step plate and caused one of the three bolts to pull through the fiberglass slightly. I've removed the step plate and am planning to beef up the area where it attaches on deck with a little more resin and fiberglass cloth. All that being said here are my questions:

    1. I've straitend the step plate, does it need to be perfect or can I reuse the exsisting one? How much give to I have there?

    2. Has anyone ever "beefed up" that area? What about adding a 1/4" wood plate at the base? I could then add another under it in the cabin of the same size (slightly bigger than the step base) and pin it in place with some stainless bolts with washers and nuts.

    I appriciate everyone's comments and advise. This is a big deal and a dropped mast could send my entire project to the dump, so extra care and advise from the pros in much apprciated.

    Cheers[/QUOTE]


    You can hammer your tabernacle back into shape as mentioned above. Many of us have done so. Just try and get the bottom flat.
    If you wrench your tabernacle around manipulating the mast there is a good chance you might get leaks under the tabernacle. If the cored deck wasn't properly potted, you can easily end up with a wet core under your mast. Mine is now solid fiberglass under the mast foot and for a foot or so in all directions. My tabernacle doesn't move anymore at all.

    Also mentioned above is advice for using baby stays. Good advice, I use them all the time. Since I have provided a way for the baby stays to have the same pivot point as the mast foot, my baby stays never go slack going up or down.

    Directly under the mast step inside above the compression post I have installed 1/4 aluminum plate that is drilled thru the tabernacle thru the deck and thru the plate. Had to shorten the compression post a bit of course.

    You have chosen a moving gin pole design, as I once did. I have since changed to a stationary pole with a winch on it. I can use it while on the water safely and alone.

    Me - I have spent the past week rebuild my 45 year old Venture rudder......oh this will only take a few hours........right! NOT!

    Enjoy your old boat.
     


  12. Todd Atchison

    Todd Atchison

    Joined Jan 25, 2017
    47 posts, 10 likes
    Macgregor V222
    US Kentucky Lake
    Good news. I work in broadcast TV and the engineers here said I could use the "big vice" in the engineering shop to press this back into shape.

    IMG_5672.JPG

    Though after hearing eveyones thoughts, it doesn't seem like it needs much.

    IMG_5673.JPG
     


  13. DrJudyB

    DrJudyB

    Joined Jun 25, 2004
    178 posts, 108 likes
    Corsair F24 Mk1
    003 US San Francisco Bay, CA
    I've designed and built a couple of mast raising systems over the years. If you have to raise the mast in a side wind, it's important to keep the mast from a) rotating along its axis and b) swaying laterally. A bridle attached to the end of the gin pole controls mast rotation. Another bridle attached to the mast will prevent the mast from swaying laterally. Systems that have bridles for both the mast and the gin pole are safer, and prevent damage to the mast step.

    The most important point to remember is that pivot point for the bridles must line up with the pin on the mast step.

    My current system is this one one.


    Here's a vid of an older system I built that’s very similar to the Macgregor system, with the winch on the gin pole. The first version I used rope, but I subsequently changed to wires for control the side sway better.
     


    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018 at 2:33 PM
    Todd Atchison likes this.
  14. Timethief

    Timethief

    Joined Feb 28, 2018
    25 posts, 5 likes
    MacGregor 25
    US Orlando
    Todd, if the "big vice" (I want to know how much time you get when caught by Vice!) doesn't get it satisfactorily laid flat (yeah, I know, bad pun), keep in the back of your mind that the replacement tabernacle (where you can atone for all your sins, I'm sure) (I'm on a roll!) is only $39! Plus a handling fee, I'll bet!
    http://shop.bwyachts.com/product-p/3439-1v0.htm

    Personally, I'd probably just replace it. And get one of those plates that sits beneath the tabernacle with wings for blocks to attach to!

    I think I am going to try to be quiet now....!

    -Peter
     


  15. Timethief

    Timethief

    Joined Feb 28, 2018
    25 posts, 5 likes
    MacGregor 25
    US Orlando
    A Halyard Organizing Plate! That's the ticket...!
    [​IMG]
    These guys didn't have a price, nor did I find one in a quick search, but they're out there!

    -Peter
     


  16. DrJudyB

    DrJudyB

    Joined Jun 25, 2004
    178 posts, 108 likes
    Corsair F24 Mk1
    003 US San Francisco Bay, CA
    I'd recommend that you don't put a a backing plate under the mast on the inside of the cabin, fastened with bolts and washers. It wont stop the mast from falling, and it will cause severe damage to the roof, the tabernacle or the mast itself.

    You can't build the mast step strong enough to prevent any and all damage. I recommend you design your project so that you choose in advance where you want the "weakest zone" to be if you drop the mast. If the mast falls for any reason, you want the tabernacle to pull out with minimal damage to the cabintop and mast. It's the cheapest component of the system.

    Think of the fasteners between the tabernacle and the cabin top as the preferred place to have a failure. It's better to let the hinge pull up and out from the cabin trop, if the mast comes down for any reason (not just during raising or lowering)
     


    Todd Atchison likes this.
  17. Todd Atchison

    Todd Atchison

    Joined Jan 25, 2017
    47 posts, 10 likes
    Macgregor V222
    US Kentucky Lake
    Here is the turnbuckle after I spent some time with it in the the vice. I think it turned out pretty good.

    IMG_5676.JPG
     


  18. Timethief

    Timethief

    Joined Feb 28, 2018
    25 posts, 5 likes
    MacGregor 25
    US Orlando
    That came out way better than I thought it was going to! Nice job! Now get some baby stays! lol
     


    Todd Atchison likes this.
  19. Todd Atchison

    Todd Atchison

    Joined Jan 25, 2017
    47 posts, 10 likes
    Macgregor V222
    US Kentucky Lake
    It did indeed. Now a bit of cloth and resin, re-seat and try again with baby stays of course. This tread helped me understand the need for the mast to "rip through" the top of the cabin when it fails. Minimum damage and besides it really only prevents the mast for moving side to side once in place. That makes complete sense.

    The new cloth and resin will only stiffen the area slightly and provide a little fiberglass where one of the three bolts came through. I'll post some before pics soon.
    As for the babystays. So I see you and others using racheting tie downs. So this allows the mast to go up and the strap to move freely through the rachet, stopping when downward pressure is applied? Or am I completly crazy or over complicating it? Or does one adjust the tension manually as the mast goes up?

    Thanks for your help and interest.

    Todd
     


  20. Timethief

    Timethief

    Joined Feb 28, 2018
    25 posts, 5 likes
    MacGregor 25
    US Orlando
    Personally, I use 1/4" dyneema line - so a fixed length, very little slack in the line, just enough to make it easy to use the trigger snap cleat/hook. The PO on my boat used a pair of ratcheting straps, so he could tighten them a bit when attached. Personally, I'd prefer to just clip them on and not really think about them - I am good with the couple of feet the mast can sway. Ken (Tsatzsue) used straps - at least in that picture. Its really just personal preference.

    As for their function, once set (tightened - either for up or down) they don't move and nothing slides thru. If the deck connection is directly outboard of the tabernacle, then you can think of each side of the mast as a right angle triangle (base is the distance between mast and outboard tiedown, height is the mast, hypotenuse is the line between the mast and tiedown point). Initially, the triangle is laying down sideways, and as you raise it, none of the dimensions change. As a result, the mast can't swing off the centerline axis (or in my case, it can swing about 2' either way because the line is not completely taut - advantage of using ratcheting straps).

    Its a ridiculously simple and elegant solution that yep, you are overthinking! The real requirement is for the deck tiedown point to be directly outboard the tabernacle, or the whole right triangle thing doesn't work, and the "hypotenuse" will change dimensions, thus making you adjust the line as you raise. My PO did that (he was using the stanchion base as his tiedown point, and thus had to make adjustments) - I wasn't a fan! Especially since the 25 had the eye strap already attached in the right spot!

    Literally, once you do it and set it up, you'll wonder why you were worried about it.

    Good luck!


    -Peter
     



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