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taking the mast down

Jan 11, 2014
4,776
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
The mast is between 80 and 100 lbs looking at known weights of masts on comparable vessels
The bare mast may weigh only 100 #, but you have to add the weight of the standing rigging, the spreaders, the running rigging, any wiring, and if you have roller furling add that weight.

My first boat was 22 ft. with a mast of about 25 ft. I put that mast up once and down once without a gin pole. It was much easier and safer to pay the marina a few bucks and have it done in 10 minutes instead of several hours.

With my current boat, we were just getting ready to put the mast up (a 55' mast) when the yard worker ran his fingernail along the upper shroud and found a cracked wire. Of course it was the Thursday afternoon before a long Independence Day weekend and the nearest rigging shop was 3 hours away.
 
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Jan 15, 2012
95
Ericson 28/2 Port Kent
I raise and lower my 40ft. mast, twice every year, alone. I have invested about $1000.00 in gear and that again in design and construction hours to allow me to do this. Regardless it is dangerous and I always do it far away from anyone or anything that might get hurt. I do it because I like to stick to my tight schedule and don't like waiting around for someone else to do a sloppy job. Have the yard do it and get on with it. The price is fair.
 

MitchM

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Jan 20, 2005
791
Nauticat 321 pilothouse 32 Erie PA
as a group we used to raise and drop the masts each season on 3 30 ft catalinas and a 1980 seafarer using a gin pole and 4 fellow owners . it was not a job for the faint of heart. we had a custom fitting made to run under the mast spreaders to the block on the gin pole. we installed two temporary rope handles, one at mast foot, one tied to mast top to control the mast swing . we had a man on each rope handle, 1 guy on the gin pole crank and one guy as captain making sure no one else was gonna screw up. . it took us about 3 hours on a calm wind day. this was not a job for tyros.
 
Sep 24, 2018
700
O'Day 25 Chicago
For my trailer sailor I rigged up an ATV winch to raise and lower the mast. I still assist it by hand to help keep that immense amount of stress of of the mast step screws. I've also thought about attaching a line from the mast to the back of my truck and slowly pulling it up. This would obviously require a hand or two on deck.

I know someone with a Catalina 27 Tall Mast that uses an A frame he built to lower and raise his mast. It's got padded feet to protect and grip the cabin top and I believe there's a bow roller on the top. So long as the wind isnt blowing too hard and there's a couple of hands to assist, he has no problem stepping it in the marina. I'm told everyone is amazed at how easy it is
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,776
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
I know someone with a Catalina 27 Tall Mast that uses an A frame he built to lower and raise his mast. It's got padded feet to protect and grip the cabin top and I believe there's a bow roller on the top. So long as the wind isnt blowing too hard and there's a couple of hands to assist, he has no problem stepping it in the marina. I'm told everyone is amazed at how easy it is
Stepping a deck stepped mast on a boat is not technically challenging, especially if the boat has a hinged tabernacle or mast step. There are 2 critical issues, 1) stabilizing the mast athwartship so that it doesn't come crashing down over the side and 2) getting the angle of the line lifting the mast so that the force exerted on the line is more vertical than horizontal.

On smaller boats, the mast can be muscled up high enough to achieve the right angle or on larger boats the spin pole can be used to change the angle or an A-Frame on the foredeck.

Still, I'd much rather have the yard pick the mast up with a shore based gin pole or a crane. It is faster, easier, and safer.
 
Sep 24, 2018
700
O'Day 25 Chicago
Stepping a deck stepped mast on a boat is not technically challenging, especially if the boat has a hinged tabernacle or mast step. There are 2 critical issues, 1) stabilizing the mast athwartship so that it doesn't come crashing down over the side and 2) getting the angle of the line lifting the mast so that the force exerted on the line is more vertical than horizontal.

On smaller boats, the mast can be muscled up high enough to achieve the right angle or on larger boats the spin pole can be used to change the angle or an A-Frame on the foredeck.

Still, I'd much rather have the yard pick the mast up with a shore based gin pole or a crane. It is faster, easier, and safer.
I totally agree. This A frame was done properly. I can't remember if he used a gin pole but he did change the angle somehow
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,296
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Stepping a deck stepped mast on a boat is not technically challenging, especially if the boat has a hinged tabernacle
While this is a possible, a hinged tabernacle may not be reinforced to handle any twisting forces. Caution is advised. Rigging the mast gin pole to raise the mast in line and prevent it from leaning either port/starboard is essential to not ripping the tabernacle out.
 
Aug 22, 2011
1,106
MacGregor Venture V224 Cheeseland
My mast is every bit as heavy as his is and I raise and lower the mast on the water regularly by my self.
The main sheet and back stay tackle make excellent adjustable baby stays. Here it is half up. Just sayin...

IMG_20180803_190406.jpg
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,296
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Topcat. You are addressing the issue I suggest as needed. You have a couple of significant blocks and tackle to maintain balance. Should one of those blocks blow out it will become a challenge...

It is all about the geometry.
 
Mar 1, 2012
1,963
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
on both my boats I use gin poles, and add baby stays to stabilize side to side. With a 4 part tackle onto the jib halyard. On the 21 I can do it alone, raise or lower, in about 15 minutes, quite easily.

On the 25, with it's 28 foot wooden mast and a socket to sit the end into, no bolt thru, It takes at least three people to do it safely. Oh, and it lowers forward, so some one on the dock stands by to take the mast head, often from a ladder.
 
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Jan 19, 2010
373
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
Vidalia, welcome aboard. The club that I'm part of has a crane that we use to step and unstep masts. I am the lead person for the crane ops. so I can speak with some authority. You need a person for the head stay, a person for the back stay, a person for the butt of the mast and in. PERFECT WORLD one from each set of shrouds. That's 5 on the deck of a 26 ft boat. In a cradle you can tie control lines onto the shrouds and stays and control them from the ground. This same action can happen at a slip if it isn't too wide. So you'll need a crew... not your brother in law who hates to sail, and not someone who reads SAIL in the dentist's office.
Now, it sounds as if you haven't done this before or at least have little experience with this boat. Rough lessons could be in your future.
Take the advise you've been given. Bite the bullet and have the yard take care of it. Another crucial element of this evolution is the securing of the mast for road transport. Good luck !
 
Mar 2, 2019
79
Oday 25 Enigma Milwaukee
I regularily drop and raise the mast of our Oday 25 by myself . It's a tree trunk . I can drop the mast with the boat in the water . It is far easier and safer to do it when the boat is on the trailer . The system we use can be easily adapted to any deck stepped boat. The important part of our system is we can stop in either direction to attend to errand side stays . Also important is we have a system to keep the mast from swinging off center . Total cost was less than $50.00
If you aren't willing to do many of the neccesary boat owner tasks that lay ahead ,boat ownership can get expensive .
 
Sep 24, 2018
700
O'Day 25 Chicago
The important part of our system is we can stop in either direction to attend to errand side stays . Also important is we have a system to keep the mast from swinging off center . Total cost was less than $50.00
Is there any chance you could share your design?
 
Mar 1, 2012
1,963
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
Is there any chance you could share your design?
First- Hi Tim- welcome back home. Here's pictures of the rig I use

The gin pole
Mast end- fork that straddles mast and has a bolt thru it
ginpole mast.jpg


The outer end- Jib halyard hooks to upper fitting, 4 part tackle to lower
ginpole end.jpg


Baby stays
babystays.jpg


Mast attachment

babystay-mast.jpg
babystay-mast.jpg


deck attachment
babystay-deck.jpg


And the hoisting tackle- this attaches to fore deck cleat, and the fall can be led back to the cockpit. It has a cam cleat
so can be stopped at any point

hoisting tackle.jpg


and the mast crutch it lands in. It has a roller so the mast can be easily rolled into place
mast-crutch.jpg


This iis all on the 21 footer. The 25 is much more difficult, and takes at least three to do it safely
 
Dec 31, 2016
283
Beneteau Oceanis 351 Charlottetown
It's not the weight of the mast as much as the length you have to worry about . Standing beside it with nothing holding it up but a couple of people can be un nerving and then you have a wind or breeze come up. Nope, not for me, too much risk for a few bucks saved, we use a crane for our 351 and used our club crane for our old San Juan.