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post #2 of Old 04-11-2001
Jeff_H's Avatar
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Lowering a deck stepped mast.

It is not too difficult to lower a mast that is on a tabernacle. I have raised and lowered Laser 28 masts (and my folkboat mast) on a number of occasions. (The Laser mast is much taller than yours but also is lighter so I am not sure how they compare.) I typically start out by acturately measuring the chainplate clevis pin to upper clevis pin dimension on all of the turnbuckles. On most masthead rig boats you need to undo the forward lower shrouds to be able to lower the mast. On the Laser 3 people can raise a mast relatively easily. The two hardest times occur when the mast is less than 30 degrees back from vertical since you have very little leverage andwhen it is nearly horizontal and again you are limited in leverage by the distance from the mast step to the transom. To help with the first challenge I like to take a long line and attach it to my halyard and have one person on a winch maintaining resistance. It is also helpful have a long "crutch" that someone can use to support the end of the mast when it is horizontal. I used one that was long enough that I could partially raise the mast with it. I would push the mast up until I could jamb one end of the crutch in the ground. That held the mast end until we were all in place for the lift to vertical.

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