Hey, PJ -- The flange your mast rests on extends only about one inch into the bottom of the mast. When I took mine down I put a heavy-duty mat/towel on the cabin top to protect it. With the stays loosened you can lift the mast straight off the flange, then the may will protect the boat as it "hinges" forward or aft. Be sure to disconnect the mast light wiring before you start taking it down too far, or it'll probably snap loose at some point. Make sense? Once it's loose you can follow Kenny's procedure (smarter) or my "muscle it" procedure (quicker) that we described back on the Columbia 22 list. Just go to "messages" and search the word "mast." Have fun and let us know how it goes. It's only scary the first time. :-) -Bob, C-22 #319 "First Draft"