A-frame for unstepping mast - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-23-2016 Thread Starter
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A-frame for unstepping mast

I am interested in renting/borrowing/using the A-frame described on this page: Dropping an Alberg 30 Mast . I've searched the site for contact information and found none, other than an email to G. Dinwiddie that went unanswered. Would it be possible to borrow this from the association to unstep the mast of my Whitby 25? I will do whatever it takes to reimburse association members. I live about 8 miles up the Severn from Annapolis.

1964 Whitby 25
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-23-2016
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Re: A-frame for unstepping mast

Willy

First of all, I saw your thread about the bulkhead and mast support problems. I am really sorry to hear that you are going through that. I also want to commend you for trying to repair the problem rather than trash the boat. The Continental 25's (AKA Walton 25, AKA Whitby 25- I suspect that your boat is actually a Walton 25 since George Walton was in Annapolis, and he was the driving force behind the masthead rig and doghouse) were really wonderful boats and it would be a shame to see one of these gems destroyed. The repair will be a PIA in that it will be time consuming to do, but it should be very doable and not all that expensive.

In terms of removing your mast, I seem to recall that you keep her on the Magothy. There should be any number of yards on the Magothy with small cranes or sheer legs who could pull your stick. (If not someone like Muller Marine in Eastport can do it quite cheaply, and they might be able to store the spar there as well.) It should be pretty inexpensive to do and a lot safer than trying to do it with sheer legs.

Plan B might be to find someone with a large gaff rigged boat and pull your mast with a block and tackle off of their gaff.

But if you are committed to dropping the mast yourself using the sheer legs route, you should be able to construct a simple sheer legs using all thread, a box of wood screws, four 2 x 6 x 16's which Home Depot says costs $10.00-$11.00 each. (you might do slightly better with 18 foot long legs which would require that you buy two 2 x 8 x 18's and two 2 x 6 x 16's) That is probably cheaper than trying to ship a sheer legs from where ever that one is located.


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Last edited by Jeff_H; 03-23-2016 at 11:03 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-23-2016
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Re: A-frame for unstepping mast

If you don't have a hinged mast step for your boat, then the above might work well for you. Also consider looking up an arrangement for a J/80 gin pole system. It's basically using an old mast with a 3 stayed rig and a lifting strop. They do it because the J/80 is a keel stepped mast. It still requires 3 people of course.

However, if you have a hinged mast step, then dropping the mast is actually pretty trivial, and the A-frame height can be significantly lower. You need an aft mast support that allows the mast to clear the coach roof when lowered though. Some use the "Mast Upper" on gudgeons, others use a set of saw horses on the cockpit seats... whatever gets it to clear.

I dont' know the Whitby 25, so I can't tell if it's hinged step or not... but hopefully this shot of my unstepping of my 25 footers mast (30 feet high) will help if it is.

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post #4 of 13 Old 03-23-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: A-frame for unstepping mast

Thanks, gentlemen. The mast isn't hinged, so it needs to be pulled up to be unstepped. I rigged an A-frame from 2X4's last year, but chickened out, it seemed too dodgy. I'll try the 2X6 route instead to make an A-frame, if my prayers for the already made one don't get answered.

Quotes I got in Annapolis and around the area were in the $300 range. I'm on the Severn, and neither Smith's nor Absolute would agree to pull the mast for me, so I'd have to do a fair amount of motoring and then spend some money I'd rather keep for other things.

I, too, feel this boat is worth saving. If there were dozens around, I'd probably feel different. If I were on the West Coast, where there are plenty of folkboats, I'd also just find another one to sail.

1964 Whitby 25
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-23-2016
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Re: A-frame for unstepping mast

I've used trees and bridges to pull sticks! You could hire a bucket truck if it's out of the water....Dale
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-23-2016
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Re: A-frame for unstepping mast

that was going to be my next suggestion.. get a bucket truck with a winch.

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post #7 of 13 Old 03-24-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: A-frame for unstepping mast

Here's the thing in action, being used to step the mast:

1964 Whitby 25
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-24-2016
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Re: A-frame for unstepping mast

The boat in the picture is LinGin. LinGin is owned by Tim Williams. I spoke with him this morning and he is supposed to be emailing me the contact who knows where the sheer legs are located. That might this easier.

Jeff
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-25-2016
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Re: A-frame for unstepping mast

Somewhere in your efforts you might use a 12volt winch connected to someone's batteries. (I have done this with helpers). (Also a bridge or Tree).
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-27-2016
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Re: A-frame for unstepping mast

Hey Will,
Like we talked about today, lemme know when you get your lifting rig and I'll come and help.
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