How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 27 Old 12-13-2013 Thread Starter
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How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

I plan to take my 43 foot mast down to re-rig the boat and to paint the mast. Would like to move the mast to my house for the work. House is about 5 miles from the boat.

How do you move a 40 foot mast that might weigh 300 lbs without hiring a semi?
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post #2 of 27 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

I guess you could get a 20 ft trailer build a stand and have the mast positioned both over your trailer and over the roof of you truck, that would be about 30-35 feet and move it at 3am with a chase vehicle so nobody notices.

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Re: How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

Masts quite a bit longer and heavier are moved around here on full sized PU trucks with heavy racks. Standard building contractor sort mostly, that have a forward cross bar extended over the cab.

Lashed down and with a flag on each end, I'd do the 5 miles no problem.

If you're concerned, have friends in vehicles in front and back, with flashers on.

This is how my 50' heavy spruce spar is moved to storage, down a highway, 5 miles away.

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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Re: How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

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Masts quite a bit longer and heavier are moved around here on full sized PU trucks with heavy racks. Standard building contractor sort mostly, that have a forward cross bar extended over the cab.

Lashed down and with a flag on each end, I'd do the 5 miles no problem.

If you're concerned, have friends in vehicles in front and back, with flashers on.

This is how my 50' heavy spruce spar is moved to storage, down a highway, 5 miles away.
I could probably arrange the pick-up with rack as you describe. I was concerned about the long overhangs maybe permanently bending the mast. Is that a valid concern?
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Re: How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

Four things:
1. I just posted in Low buck projects on how to build a 60' inclosed tarp space in my back yard to do the same for my mast 12 years ago.

2. If you have spreader lights, I used washer machine SS braided water connectors as wiring conduit from the mast to the lights. I have done this twice in the last 38 years and holds up great.

3. I think your mast is more like 150 to 200 lbs, my 42' mast I could pick by myself. Built in 1969, I would assume newer masts would be lighter.

4. I had more like a 20 mile hike home. I don't think it is legal keep in mind, I believe short of hiring someone to move it for you or hiring a police escort or having the proper trailer to carry... Traveling at 4 am, I used a friends pickup truck with a rack that extended over the cab, about 20' long support, then strapped a 40' aluminum ladder to the rack and the mast to the ladder. About 10' of overhang over the truck length front and back, not too bad. On the return trip I used a car carrier trailer, the ladder and a ropes with a center pole to hold the ends up like bridge supports. Again, at 4 am. No issues.

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post #6 of 27 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

Do you have access to a truck with a front bumper mounted pipe rack? You might be able to move the mast without warping it if the overhangs are ten feet or less. The more important thing is to check to see if you need trip permits and flag cars (you will probably need two). I know this because I got a ticket when I moved my mast from the boat yard to the marina (less than two miles) and an Oakland Ca. motorcycle cop happened to spot me.

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Re: How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

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Do you have access to a truck with a front bumper mounted pipe rack? You might be able to move the mast without warping it if the overhangs are ten feet or less. The more important thing is to check to see if you need trip permits and flag cars (you will probably need two). I know this because I got a ticket when I moved my mast from the boat yard to the marina (less than two miles) and an Oakland Ca. motorcycle cop happened to spot me.
Did you get a ticket? I'd have to check with some local contractors to see what trucks they have.

The other option I could look into is the canoe clubs here. That have some nice long trailers for the outrigger canoes. I could donate some money to the club in return form moving my mast.
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Re: How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

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I could probably arrange the pick-up with rack as you describe. I was concerned about the long overhangs maybe permanently bending the mast. Is that a valid concern?
With a full sized lumber carrying rack, the support of the spar should be plenty. You'll go slowly and limit bouncing. I've never heard of a problem with several feet longer overhangs. Some boat movers and storers have the rack extended forward to the bumber, with uprights welded for 3 stations. On full sized PU's, I've seen spars at least 60' long going down the road.

Around here with so many boats stored inland, masts on trucks are pretty common. I'm sure it's not legal, but in Maine, we do things like this, and then apologize, if you get caught.

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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Re: How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

You bet! This was in the early 1980's when $175 really ment something. I tried to reason with the cop, but being a "yacht" owner in Oakland, enough said.

George B
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Re: How Do You Move a Mast Over the Road

Here is how I transported my (wood) 40' main and slightly smaller mizzen. There are two turntables, one on the trailer support and one on the lumber rack padded with carpet. The masts were solidly strapped to the trailer support and loosely strapped down to the lumber rack. this allowed for some fore and aft movement as the vehicle made corners. The trailer is 12'.

In the 200 mile move we passed several highway cops and didn't get a second look from them.



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Last edited by SOVT; 12-13-2013 at 06:28 PM.
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