Lowering a deck stepped mast. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-11-2001 Thread Starter
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Lowering a deck stepped mast.

My Contest 30s mast is in a tabernacle. The mast would go down to the stern. How many people do I need to do this? Do I need to loosen the side stays? Would I need a boom horizontally foward on the mast for leverage? She is still on jack stands but as a halyard blew out I wanted to take care of it before launch. Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-11-2001
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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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post #3 of 3 Old 04-17-2001
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Lowering a deck stepped mast.

I raise and lower the mast on my O''Day 26 every year. Your mast is probably significantly heavier than mine. I always use a crutch as Jeff has suggested. I tie off the jib halyard and attach a looong boom vang to the halyard and the stem head and lower away. At some point the guy on the vang cleats it off and the stretch in the line finishes lowering the mast. You''ll know when you reach the point. On my boat 2 people can accomplish this feat with little trouble, a furler requires one more body. Your boat being on jack stands would make me nervous but only because I have no experience with boats on stands. I think if you can find 3 more good strong assisstants it''s a doable deed. I normally don''t have to loosen shrouds, I think that depends on the rig.
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