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wzhannig 04-16-2007 12:39 PM

Mast Question
Hi there, I am new to sailing and just bought a 27 catalina. I had it shipped to my location so the mast was stepped. I put the mast back up myself with a crane. My question is should I have the mast tuned by someone who knows what they are doing? I have been told different things by people and not sure what to do. One person told me to tighten the turnbuckles until they are taut and this should be fine. Another told me to hire someone who knows what they are doing to "tune it". Any advise would be great. Also, the boat is in southern calif - san pedro and I want to hire someone to give me lessons. Anyone know of any reputable teachers there?.

sailingdog 04-16-2007 12:58 PM


I would definitely hire a professional rigger to tune the mast and rigging for you, and be present when he/she is doing it, and ask them what they are doing and why. Since this boat is new to you, but not new from the sounds of it, they can also do an inspection of the rigging. You'll have to ask someone else about a good resource in your area, as I know little about the So. Cal region, since I am allergic to earthquakes... ;)

sailingfool 04-16-2007 04:05 PM

54 Attachment(s)
SD offers good advice about rigging inspection if you have not had that done. As to tuning, I personally dont think there's a lot to tune in a C27 rig, you should go at it yourself. See if there are instructions in a manual for the boat, or do some googling for instructions:

Mast Tuning

A Mast Tuning Guide - The Light Version


sailaway21 04-16-2007 11:07 PM

Pick up a Loos guage and do her yourself. It's not rocket science and, with your lessons, will make you aware of the stresses imparted to the rig under varying conditions. And, you'll probably end up knowing more than 50% of your dock mates! Check out the articles and forums on here as suggested.

ps don't be scared, ya gotta really work at it to break something while alongside the dock. That is, unless you're Portugese!(G)

sailingdog 04-16-2007 11:13 PM


Since this boat is new to her, or so I am led to believe... I think having a rigger go over the rig is probably a wise thing to do. She can also learn about how to inspect the rigging and how to use a Loos Tension gauge properly.

While, I agree it isn't rocket science... the rigging on this boat is essentially an unknown quantity and doing a proper full inspection and tuning of the rig may save some serious problems later on.

Sailormann 04-17-2007 01:59 AM

There isn't a whole lot to it really, but it depends on your level of confidence and how risk averse you are. Certainly the easiest thing to do is to hire someone, and watch and ask questions while they do it.

If you are more of a learn-by-doing person, then grab a book and a gauge and have at it. Do some online research to determine whether or not your mast is supposed to set with some rake or not. I am not sure how many spreaders the C27 has - I am assuming it's not a diamond spreader rig 'cause they're a little more complicated - but basically you want the stays and shrouds to be tight enough to hold the mast in place, but not so tight that they stress the hull unduly. If you get the fore and aft too tight, you will bend your boat, and if you get the side to side uneven, you're going to have a bent mast and it will sail a little strangely...

Depends on how deep your pockets are and how much patience you have...

tenuki 04-17-2007 02:42 AM

I second SD, find a rigger who does smaller boats, buy a loos gauge before the survey (make sure you get the right one for your gauge rigging), then tell the rigger you want a rigging survey and are also willing to pay the extra couple hours or so to have him/her explain it to you enough so you can keep it in tune and also take it on a short sail to verify that it's in tune.

A good resource for finding a rigger who knows and works on smaller boats in your area would be your local J24 racers. In fact, you should probably crew on some of their boats anyway just to find out what crazy people do when they sail, but that is another topic.

sailingdog 04-17-2007 05:58 AM


While that's great for a boat that is a known quantity... having at the rig, not knowing if the forestay swages are sound or not is probably not the best idea in the world. A rigging survey and tuning isn't all that expensive to get, and the amount it might save you is well worth it IMHO. It also means that instead of her guessing on how tight the rigging should be, she is starting with it all properly set, and then has a baseline for her own work later on.

sailortjk1 04-17-2007 09:14 AM

It might seem a bit challenging and bit intimidating for the first timer.<O:p</O:p
If you have help, someone with knowledge of what they are doing, you might consider doing it yourself. <O:p</O:p
But if you have any reservations at all about your abilities to properly set and inspect your rig, get a professional. Next season you'll be the expert and I'm sure you will be doing the tuning yourself. But the first time........ you may want to solicit an expert's services. <O:p</O:p<O:p</O:p

sailingfool 04-17-2007 10:20 AM

Loos Guage
54 Attachment(s)
I personally dont think a Loos guage is much use with boats other than one designs, who do rely on them. The first issue is I doubt Louise is going to find tension settings for a C27 anywhere. My CS36T comes with a three inch thick owners manual, including several pages on rig tuning, but no tension settings that I recall - per the instructions, just sail up wind and tune... The several times a yard set up our mast, no one carried one around.

If you have figured it out and it works for you, that's great, but hands on testing gives you a direct and accurate answer at no cost...maybe I'm getting to be an old fuddy-duddy... but that's a different thread.

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