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23.5 mast stepping

Jun 2, 2004
2,914
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
I agree it must’ve been shortened. I have nowhere near that much line.

Is the second one I posted the factory mainsheet? It seems light weight.

The one with the cam cleats and the heavier line is the main sheet

When you say you have two, do you use one for mast stepping and the other as your mainsheet?
exactly
 
Jun 2, 2004
605
Hunter 23.5 Calgary, Canada
I then used a two pulley set up that was in a pile of stuff that came with the boat. However, it’s design gives me much less mechanical advantage. That may be why I’m having to pull so much harder.
Right, a two-pully system would be impossible.
 
Jun 2, 2004
2,914
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
I researched (ad nauseam) how to step the mast before attempting it the first time. I’m using a factory crutch attached to the stern, a gin pole, the job halyard, a block and tackle, and two stabilizing cables (one on each side of the mast). My wife and I hooked it all up and with big smiles on our faces I began to pull on the block and tackle that was attached to the eye in the anchor locker in the bow. The mast didn’t budge. We picked up the mast out of the crutch to make sure nothing was binding. Everything was free. I pulled with more force and still nothing. We stopped to research more before forcing anything.

I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t simply a matter of needing more force and with it being my first time me being afraid to apply it. I pulled with enough force that I would’ve dragged a pick up tire across dry grass if there were a rope tied to it. How much force should I be applying when I pull on the block and tackle? (I realize it may be hard to describe.)

I live in Niceville and would be happy to talk you through it.
Our number is listed, give me a call.
 
Apr 27, 2010
1,117
Hunter 23 Lake Wallenpaupack
The rig with the spring loaded cam cleats is almost certainly your mainsheet, and the one where the line jams into a V-groove in the block is your vang. At least, based on my H23 setup. As has been noted, you will need a setup like these to get 4:1 advantage. When I bought my boat, which lacks any factory setup for raising the mast, the PO had rigged a separate 4:1 system using some blocks, not sure where he got them. Neither had a becket for the line, so he drilled out one of the sheave pins and installed a shackle in its place to attach the line. It has enough line so that when the mast is down and the blocks are far apart, the line can go along the deck back to the jib winch plus maybe 5 ft extra. That is nice, as it makes it easy to use the winch to help pull it up, and there's a cleat right there if you need to stop in the middle (like to unjam the shrouds when they catch on something not if, when ;) ).
That said, it may not be inexpensive to fashion a second setup just for stepping. In your case, both the vang and mainsheet seem to be too short to use at all. I can't tell from your photos if the pins in the becket are removable or not, as I can see the line has a spliced eye on the becket. If the pin is removable, you could buy enough line to (at minimum) reach from the anchor locker eye to the upright gin pole, plus extra to tail it. If it were me, I'd spend the extra $20 or so to make it long enough to go aft and around the jib winch and on the cleat. That would likely be a hassle when used as the sheet, as it'd be very long. You could live with that, or if the becket pin is removable, put the shorter line back on to use as a sheet. Or, I suppose you could attach the soft eye to the becket with a shackle if the pin is fixed. You would not need a spliced eye on the line used to do the mast raising - a well tied bowline would be enough, which could be slipped through the shackle. Less convenient that a separate set of hardware just for mast raising, but the line and shackle would not cost as much as new set of blocks.
 
Sep 25, 2018
181
Catalina Capri 22 Capri EXPO 14.2 1282 Serenity Too Stony Point
I videoed the PO stepping the mast when I bought a 23.5 some 12 years ago. I was quite easy but for the first pull. The boat had no crutch. Made one from plumbing supplies, PO used a 2X4. The 23.5 came with side stays and gin pole. Just take the main sheet and attache it the the anchor locker and one side of the gin pole. Used the topping lift on the other side. Never had help. Once the mast is up about 5 feet, the pull is manageable. The last time I took down the mast, I needed help to keep the mast from crashing onto the crutch. I guess the years caught up to me. I was 60 when i got the boat. Now 72 and my upper body strength has gone. I invite those young 60 yr old's to help me now. Got a Capri 22 this year and had to fabricate side stays and a gin pole to raise the mast. Same problem with first pull. But those youngsters seemed to do OK as I watched. Buy them lunch and feed them beer and they work like teenagers.
 
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Aug 18, 2019
30
Hunter 23.5 Dania Beach, Florida
I videoed the PO stepping the mast when I bought a 23.5 some 12 years ago. I was quite easy but for the first pull. The boat had no crutch. Made one from plumbing supplies, PO used a 2X4. The 23.5 came with side stays and gin pole. Just take the main sheet and attache it the the anchor locker and one side of the gin pole. Used the topping lift on the other side. Never had help. Once the mast is up about 5 feet, the pull is manageable. The last time I took down the mast, I needed help to keep the mast from crashing onto the crutch. I guess the years caught up to me. I was 60 when i got the boat. Now 72 and my upper body strength has gone. I invite those young 60 yr old's to help me now. Got a Capri 22 this year and had to fabricate side stays and a gin pole to raise the mast. Same problem with first pull. But those youngsters seemed to do OK as I watched. Buy them lunch and feed them beer and they work like teenagers.
^^^^^^^^ This helped a lot. A second person lifting the mast a little for the first pull helps immensely. Without it, I just feel like I’m forcing something. Thanks for the advice!
 

Dfed

.
Jul 19, 2016
15
Hunter 23.5 Augusta
...... Hmmm, now that I think of it I might pull on the last loop of mainsheet (the loop that exits the cleat at the bottom), between the two blocks, while using the other hand to gather up the slack on the other side of the cleat. This bypasses the friction of that last sheeve and the cleat. Nevermind if that doesn't make sense...lol.
.....
I just dropped and raised the mast this weekend and found myself doing the same thing.

A couple more key points - remember that the pole inserted into the base of the mast serves only to change the angle of the jib halyard. It is not a lever. You should be getting straight line tension from the mainsheet block through the (wire rope) eyes to the jib halyard.
Also, spec length for the mainsheet is 40 feet.
 
Jun 8, 2004
7,767
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Bill 1972,

Send me your phone number and location so we can talk in a private message. I designed that system

Crazy Dave
 
May 24, 2016
2
hunter 25.5 kirkwood marina,
I'm not very strong (6ft tall at 145 lbs) , and on my H23.5 I can lift the mast with one arm and my body "weight" leaning aft to help. The first bit of raising is by far the hardest, so it helps if there is a person at the stern to help lift the mast the first foot or so (as high as her arms will reach) above the mast crutch. Hmmm, now that I think of it I might pull on the last loop of mainsheet (the loop that exits the cleat at the bottom), between the two blocks, while using the other hand to gather up the slack on the other side of the cleat. This bypasses the friction of that last sheeve and the cleat. Nevermind if that doesn't make sense...lol.
You should use the mainsheet as the "block and tackle". It's a 4-to-1 purchase. The end with the cleat is attached to the U-bolt in the anchor well.
When everything is attached and the gin pole is inserted into the hole, harden the mainsheet and jib halyard (that's attached to the gin pole) such that when both are snug the gin pole is angled aft about 10 degrees. If it's vertical or foreward, the two ends of the mainsheet will be touching before the mast is fully raised enough to pin the forestay.

IMPORTANT: as the mast gets near vertical and the shrouds start to snug, have somebody checking the T-bolts that attach the shrouds to the U-bolts ("chainplates") on the rub rails. They will bind and bend if you don't help them remain vertical. I had to replace all 4 of mine (the previous owner hadn't heard this advice). The white plastic boots that go over the turnbuckles can help keep them upright, but don't rely on that. Keep checking as the mast goes up.

On my boat, I can't get the forestay pin in without opening the forestay turnbuckle to the very last threads, then re-tightening afterwards. I asked about that here years ago and nobody else had this issue. Maybe my shrouds are too tight (too much rake?) but my mast rarely comes down so I didn't ever revisit the tuning of my rig.
Much simpler to get two guys to help and step the mast easily. I can almost do thisalone but easier with a helper.
 
Jun 8, 2004
7,767
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Mainsheet was a little short for the 23.5 and 240. I use to order longer lines so you could winch up the mast. Use to have my 10 year old winch up the mast on a 26 on TV. The early 23.5 did not have winches on the cabin top. Therefore the last post for a longer mainsheet is suggested. The first part of raising the mast From the aft mast carrier is the hardest and with someone’s help lightly pushing up takes a lot of tension off