Dropping a deck-stepped mast

Searush

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Ask a friend, have a ladder handy. Will it pivot on the foot? Mine always have & it makes a huge difference, you (or perhaps your pal) can use the forestay (extended) to control the rate of descent.
 

Ubergeekian

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Dropping the stick - deliberately - is pencilled in for Sunday. I've done this before on a handful of boats, but there's always something new.

Single spreader, masthead, cap shrouds, twin lowers, fore and backstays.

So what tips would you offer?

Buy a replacement for the bottle screw you are going to bend in advance.

<Shudders at the memory. Memories, dammit.>
 

VicS

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Its putting it back up when bottle screws get bent.

I have stopped taking my mast down and putting it back up again myself.. No point when the yard makes no extra charge on top of hauling out and launching!


When I was doing it I used to stand all the bottle screws up with bits of light shock cord tied to the guard rails. That way they don't snag on the U bolts and therefore don't get bent.
 

Fantasie 19

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Well after this year I'm a huge fan of A frames.. appreciate you may have used one before many time and excuse the following if it's teaching granny to suck eggs, but my experience is recent and may be of use.... :eek:

...I made the A frame as tall as will fit just inside my pushpit for maximum leverage....

..I just lashed the legs onto two cleats just in front of where the forestays meet the deck - not too tight they couldn't act as a hinge, not too loose that the legs would shift....

...deploy it with the eye of the eyebolt (used an eye bolt to hinge the two lumps of 3x2 I use for the frame) facing down as it means the tackle will run more smoothly (lesson learnt previously! )

...I used my jib halyard to the eyebolt... you could use the forestay itself but mine has roller furling so I wanted to keep the foils out of the way....

...depending on how big your mast is (and I have a small boat - mast is approx 22 feet) I used my mainsheet as the hauling tackle - gave me 4 to 1...

...if the mainsheet isn't long enough, just put in a small piece of line to connect it to the A frame so it is long enough (lesson learnt).....

...when connecting everything up, have the mainframe angled towards the mast slightly as that gives clearance on the foredeck when the mast is upright....

...I had one other guy just checking the stays were all clear, and steadying the mast - he didn't have to do any lifting - I managed to do it all myself on the mainsheet. Once the mast was up he then braced it while I disconnected A frame and re-attached forestay....

...I was dead chuffed, which is why I've spent this amount of time telling you about something you're probably already aware of, but you did ask... :D

PS. if you connect everything up on land it's one less thing to do afloat, and the boat is nice and stable...
 

ProDave

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You don't say where the boat is, but I step my mast while the boat is on the trailer. That way I can use the trailer's winch, over the bow roller, to pull the mast up, or let it down, with the winch strop hooked to the forestay.

You need a crutch to rest the back end of the mast in when it's lowered. Mine is a simple affair made of two bits of wood.
 

Alfie168

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An A frame or a pole over which you take the forestay rope is important as once the mast gets past a certain angle you have no purchase on it and down it goes....unless you have someone on the cabin top to walk the mast down...assuming its not too heavy a mast. The A frame and/or second bod are also useful to support the mast laterally, which can really mess up your tabernacle and do lots of other damage if it swings to one side.

Its always a procedure with 'moments', but my technique must be improving as my son, who never gives his dad a compliment if he can help it said "Well that was drama free" the last time we lowered the mast. This hasn't always been the case.

My A frame is one of those Compass ones, and its a bit overkill for my boat, but works well enough. Some small yachts have an A frame built in which looks very convenient compared with my set-up.

Tim
 

VicS

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Well after this year I'm a huge fan of A frames.. appreciate you may have used one before many time and excuse the following if it's teaching granny to suck eggs, but my experience is recent and may be of use.... :eek:

...I made the A frame as tall as will fit just inside my pushpit for maximum leverage....

..I just lashed the legs onto two cleats just in front of where the forestays meet the deck - not too tight they couldn't act as a hinge, not too loose that the legs would shift....

...deploy it with the eye of the eyebolt (used an eye bolt to hinge the two lumps of 3x2 I use for the frame) facing down as it means the tackle will run more smoothly (lesson learnt previously! )

...I used my jib halyard to the eyebolt... you could use the forestay itself but mine has roller furling so I wanted to keep the foils out of the way....

...depending on how big your mast is (and I have a small boat - mast is approx 22 feet) I used my mainsheet as the hauling tackle - gave me 4 to 1...

...if the mainsheet isn't long enough, just put in a small piece of line to connect it to the A frame so it is long enough (lesson learnt).....

...when connecting everything up, have the mainframe angled towards the mast slightly as that gives clearance on the foredeck when the mast is upright....

...I had one other guy just checking the stays were all clear, and steadying the mast - he didn't have to do any lifting - I managed to do it all myself on the mainsheet. Once the mast was up he then braced it while I disconnected A frame and re-attached forestay....

...I was dead chuffed, which is why I've spent this amount of time telling you about something you're probably already aware of, but you did ask... :D

PS. if you connect everything up on land it's one less thing to do afloat, and the boat is nice and stable...

Almost exactly how I used to do it.

My A frame is a bit lighter (2x2" I think).
Feet padded with carpet rest against a the beam on which the mast step is mounted so no lashing to anything required

Apex joined with metal plates, so its a fixed not a folding frame and it has the crossbar of the A as well. It's about 7'6" tall but just fits into the back of large estate car or easily onto a roof rack

Two eye bolts. One either side.

I do attach the forestay incl reefing spar to the apex ... that then takes care of the spar.

Main sheet just like you to the underside eye bolt and stem head.

Doable single handed but nice to have someone on hand for when rigging gets caught on something.
 

Lakesailor

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An A frame or a pole over which you take the forestay rope is important as once the mast gets past a certain angle you have no purchase on it and down it goes....
You can run the line under the bow roller and back to a winch. I used the winch on the mast.(It's made off to the froredeck bollard in this pic)

12mast%20being%20lowered.jpg


13mast%20fully%20lowered.jpg

If it's not pivoted at the foot make a crane to lift the mast vertically.

Mastcrane09.jpg
 
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DownWest

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Lakey, it is not just the good advice, but you always remember to take such good pix of the event. But depressing for us mere mortals. One time I did some big sticks in a boat, gave my 35mm to friend's wife to record it. At the crucial moment, she dropped it in the oggin...
A
 

yoda

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For me two boats of similar or larger size, one on either side, and a halyard from each. Very simple to do, easy to control and much less risk of damage. You also get 2 helpers thrown in for free!

Yoda
 

Ergonomist

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I recently removed the 28ft ft keel-stepped wooden mast from my boat while it was on the mud ay low tide using an old 20ft spar I happened to have handy and a Mirror dinghy mainsheet. The spar was stuck in the mud resting against the side of the boat and supported by two lines to bow and stern, having previously attached the main sheet to the top. The other end of the maisheet tackle was then tied to the mast about 5ft above the deck. The strain was taken on the mainsheet while the shrouds were released, and then the mast was carefully lifted clear of the deck and lowered.
Too simple perhaps !!
 
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KREW2

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Dropping the stick - deliberately - is pencilled in for Sunday. I've done this before on a handful of boats, but there's always something new.

Single spreader, masthead, cap shrouds, twin lowers, fore and backstays.

So what tips would you offer?

:)

Is this with a crane?
 
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Is this with a crane?

No. I'm seeking to avoid a £125 charge for use of a crane, on top of a £152 charge for a 'lift to transport'. The beggars would also want £55 to move the boat 200m. around to the hoist berth.

I'll certainly drop the mast myself and move the boat under own power. If I had a licence for a helium lifting dirigible, I'd do the hoist myself, too!

:D
 

William_H

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Dropping mast

Make up an A frame crutch to attach at the transom to drop the mast into. This should be as high as you can make it while still being able to lift the weight of the dropped mast out of the crutch.
When the mast is dropped into the crutch disconnect the foot of the mast then slide the mast forward to sit on or under the pulpit where it is stowed top on the crutch bottom on the pulpit. Or if necessary have a lower crutch for storage.
Make sure you have plenty of length on your lowering tackle and use an A frame or crutch or is it gin pole at the front. As in Lakey's photos. Have someone guide the mast to stop sideways swing as said.
good luck olewill
 
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