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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-12-2007
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dropping the mast

hi, i want to check all the rigging and fixtures on my boat- its an older boat and i want to make sure nothing is fractured or wearing down. should i drop the mast and do a complete job? how big of a job is taking down the mast and putting it back up again and getting everything back the way it should be? or is this only a job for the 'experts'?
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Old 05-12-2007
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Mrkeith-

really depends on the boat. Boats with deck-stepped mast are generally easier to drop the mast on... and those with keel-stepped masts generally take much more work. I can drop the mast on my boat by myself anytime I want... but on most boats you will need a bit more help.

Generally, the rigging that needs the closest inspection are the lowermost swages, since they tend to break first, due to the way the water flows down into them and the fact that they're much more exposed to salt water.

If you inspect the wire and lower swages, and anything looks a bit off... then dropping the mast and doing a full inspection is probably a good idea.
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Old 05-12-2007
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If you have no idea how long it's been since someone took the mast down to check everything out, then just do it. You haven't supplied enough info on how hard of a job it will be -- size of boat and deck or keel stepped info would be helpful. While the mast itself may not weigh an inordinate amount, it's very unwieldy. Taking it down yourself even with plenty of help may prove to be an adventure. At least check with a marina on how much they would charge to do it and go from there. If you do take it down, check everything conceivable and replace anything that even looks doubtful. Also, take lots of pictures for later reference. Those do come in handy, believe me!
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Old 05-12-2007
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If you have a tabernacle mast this is the procedure. We do it every time we go out because we happen to park on the wrong side of the bridge.
1. First you need a very long mainsheet line coming off the end of the boom. A six to one tackle is recommended.
2. A good backstay cable is recommended because the weight of the mast will be on this cable.
Next you must release any lines, vang, rope clutches etc. which may hang up during the lowering process.
Now loosen your shrouds (on the sides of the mast. They do not have to be disconnected unless they are too far behind the mast to lower it.
Disconnect your back stay and attach it to the end of the boom with the mainsheet line taught.
Have someone go forward and pull on the forestay as line is let out from the mainsheet tackle. Pulling on the forestay starts the weight to move forward. Continue to let out line until the mast is low enough for your needs. Pay special attention to the boom so that it does not move to the side. Another person could hold it for this part of the process. If you intend to leave the mast down for some time, two lines can be attached to the end of the boom and tied off to the stern corners. To raise the mast just reverse the process. If you have dropped it all of the way down it may be necessary to get someone to lift up on the end of the mast as you pull in the mainsheet tackle.
This process takes my wife and I about fifteen minutes on our 30 ft Cal. I hope it is helpful to someone.
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Old 05-12-2007
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The way you say that makes me want to see the top of my mast. it can't be that easy is it? Do you do this with the boat in the water. Would a couple rough waves make the mast hard to control and possibly loose it to one side or the other? Not to be negative but if it was that easy wouldn't alot more people be changing that bulb? What is a tabernacle mast? I am still relativly knew and hadn't heard that one?
Sailor mitch,
Could i do that with the P-27?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackytdunaway
Sailor mitch,
Could i do that with the P-27?
Jacky -- Someone on the P-27 email list trailors their 27 all over. I think the last time was to Mexico? Anyway, send the list an inquiry and no doubt that owner will speak up. To trailor the boat like that, I am pretty sure he converted the bottom of the mast to some sort of tabernacle arrangement to make unstepping and re-stepping the mast a lot easier.
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