O'Day 26 - Didn't sell, but now what?

Jun 2, 2020
O'day 19 Cape Cod
I have a small O'day 19 for which I drop the mast. The principals should be the same here though. I use an electric winch that is mounted in the bed of the truck, which makes it need two people, but if you set up a winch system on your boat that should work as well. I also used to have a Chrysler 26 which I used one of the winches on the boat. The gin pole is important to make it so that you can fully lower the mast without losing leverage. The side stays will not help you keep the mast from swaying sideways as they loosen as you lower the mast. What is needed is a bridle. The bridal must have a center point that is at the same height as the pivot pin at the bottom of the mast. It must also be the same distance between the front and back of the boat. To do this you need an upside down 'Y' of low stretch line or cable that connects to the foot rails of the boat such that when it is pulled up by a halyard that the junction of the 'Y' is exactly at the point described above. Then when you lower the mast it should keep it from going from side to side. In my system, I have metal 'O' rings as that junction point. I use the halyard to pull both sides up together connecting both ends that get raised with another "O' ring. The challenge is to get the bridle tight enough. So if you can build some sort of leverage into the system to pull it very tight, yet be able to loosen it to get it undone that would be important on a longer mast like yours. If you can use cables it is much better than rope, but then you might not be able to set up the system with the mast already raised if you don't use a halyard. I agree with others that you need to be able to stop part way and check all lines for anything catching on a cleat or what ever. Good luck.... and get one other assistant if you can. Don't rely on the stays to keep it from swaying off in one direction or the other.
Sep 25, 2008
Oday 25 Gibraltar
This is how I do it on the trailer. On the water, at a dock, I use a 5:1 block and tackle attached to the stemhead. A 3:1or 4:1would work lowering the mast and the tail taken back to a primary winch. Raising the mast, 4:1 or 5:1 is preferred. I can't imagine doing it by myself.
Aug 10, 2020
Catalina C25 3559 Rocky Mount
Not the same boat, but I have lowered and raised my catalina 25 on the water by myself. I used the boom for leverage and a line running from my grab handles to the boom back to the opposite grab handle to help support every thing (think shrouds but on the boom) i used my mainsheet and a length of rope as an extension so i could control it from the foredeck as my sheet neared it's end. It worked well enough. I lowered the mast onto a 2x6 across the pulpit. It was easy enough and only took about 30 minutes of work after staring at it and thinking for awhile.

Next time I will probably figure out an easier way, and control side to side movement better. (There was some fancy rope work and 2x4 positioning about 70% down as the mast wanted to bow vs drop straight down.)

The mast doesn't weigh all that much, just take your time and study it all out. It's easier than one would think.