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post #3 of Old 02-02-2002
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Can someone tell me how to unstep an O''''Day 25?

Doubtless you''ve already done it as it''s 2/3/02 at this writing! But please check the website for a wealth of info on this CAN do it youself if you have one or two strong people assisting. But if you are not handy or really have no experience, I''d suggest getting professional help from your marina.

Note that the mast goes down TOWARDS the bow, pivoting on the FORE pin of the tabernacle. You can lower it by using the main halyard let out and properly belayed to its mast cleat. (Halyard must be in good shape--don''t use a rope-to-wire halyard unless you are absolutely sure of its condition, for fear the splice or the nicopress on the shackle could give way) The shackle on the end of the main halyard is then connected to the top block of the mainsheet block and tackle assembly, with the bottom of the camcleat block connected to a bridle (a half inch dockline will do) that you attach to the stern cleats. Adjust the bridle so that the camcleat block will be about 2 feet away from the stern chainplate when the sheet/halyard assembly is drawn tight to form the new backstay. Haul in all the way on the mainsheet until the two blocks almost touch. Adjust this with the length of main halyard. You will then lower the mast by loosening and expanding the mainsheet. The lower shrouds are disconnected and the uppers are loosened to provide some flexibility to the rig.

WARNING! Before doing any of this, be sure to secure the boat dockside very well and ensure you have room off the bow to lower the mast. Lower the centerboard and the OB motor to provide as much stability as you can for the boat. Disconnect any wiring leading to the mast. Clear the decks of EVERYTHING. Tape some padding to center of bow pulpit to avoid scratching. Remove the boom, secure the topping lift to base of the mast. Remove foresail from the roller furler if there is one. If furler has an aluminum foil you must disconnect it just before lowering. Provide a safety line by connecting the jib halyard to the bow pulpit to support the front of the mast if you unhook the furler. I also reccommend doing this with a plastic flexible foil as well to prevent any problems. If there is no furler, then leave the headstay connected. DEFINITELY leave the kids at home! Don''t move about the boat unnecessarily while lowering or raising. Only attempt this process with no wind--in a calm--and with a lot of think-it-thru, step-by-step planning and NEVER do it by yourself.

Connect the mainsheet to the end of the main halyard securely and draw it snug to tension the sheet-halyard assembly. Be sure you are supporting the mast, as this assembly is now in effect an expandable backstay. Then unhook the back stay, secure it to the mast. You have gone critical at this point. Remember to have the jib halyard hooked to the pulpit for front mast support when you disconnect the roller furler. Then remove ONLY the REAR pin from the tabernacle. Lower the mast slowly , feeding the mainsheet out thru the camcleat SLOWLY. Have your one or two helpers on the foredeck steadying and supporting the mast, ensuring it comes down absolutely on boat''s centerline, gathering the furler and feeding it aft. Lower mast gently to rest on the bow pulpit. You have now passed critical step. Relax! While someone weights the mast(by sitting on the mast) close to the tabernacle, release the FRONT pin from the tabernacle. Use heavy pliers to knock the pin out. You may have to slightly nudge the mast to one side or other to get it out. Then lift, feed mast off the bow pulpit, and walk the mast back to the stern and tie down.(One person at either end and one on the middle.) A boat cushion on top of the main hatch helps here. Disconnect the shrouds and the headstay, securing all the standing rigging to the mast.

I''ve done it this way, raising and lowering it since my OD25 was new in 1976. My wife is my only helper. Kids were locked below or had a babysitter. She controls the mainsheet block and tackle assembly while I''m on the foredeck providing the brawn and guidance. The mast comes down easier than it goes up. In raising mast, all steps are reversed and you start with the mainsheet/halyard assembly extended as far as the mainsheet allows. It is hard at first to pull up the mainsheet/halyard assembly, until an angle between mast and horizontal is developed; this is where brawn comes in: you must lift mast to this point. Just think it thru and take it slowly. O''Day reccommends using a special mast raising device, using the boom to provide leverage, and using the topping lift as part of the rig. But I don''t trust the strength of the topping lift, and I''ve just never had any trouble doing it this way. So I hope this helps.
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