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post #13 of Old 12-13-2008
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I took down the 35 foot, 100 lb mast on my Etap 26 a few weeks ago, by myself. I made an A frame from two 2x4s joined at the top by a large T hinge, about $20 total. I stood it on the bow of the boat, tied the bottom ends of the 2x4s to the toe rail. I used a 5/8" dock line from a shackle on the stem fitting where the jib attaches to a shackle in a bolt hole on the T hinge. That line takes all the load. I used two ratchet straps to pull the A frame aft slightly, making a tripod of lines keeping it solidly in place. I then used my whisker pole to hook a line over the spreaders. I attached my mainsheet to the bolt hole on the side facing the mast, using a shackle. Then I hooked it to the line over the spreaders. I disconnected the stays and pushed the mast over towards the stern. I just payed out the mainsheet until the mast was resting on a pair of crossed 2x4s at the stern. I then hooked the mainsheet to the mast directly under the A-frame, lifted the mast, and walked the mast forward until it would sit on the bow pulpit. The boat was in the water!
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