Furler/forward lowers are too short - SailNet Community

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Old 06-16-2009
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Furler/forward lowers are too short

Last year I rebuilt the mast step and the base of the mast compression post in the keel sump of my 1975 Catalina 27. In the process of removing the compression post I had to lift the cabintop with a jack. When I finished the step it was a little raised up from the rest of the deck. The end result was that the mast step was tilted forward a bit and the step was raised up. The rigger who raised my mast last year added a D shackle at the base of the backstay because it was too short after my repair, but the mast remained tilted forward.

This year I fabricated a shim to level the mast step. It didnt really work, and the mast is still slightly raked forward. I believe this is because I have raised the whole mast step and the backstay has been lengthened, but the furler has not been lengthened.

The furler is a harken mkIII. I believe I can adjust it to lengthen it but I am not sure. I suspect that the amount it can be lengthened is not enough, however. Also, the forward lower turnbuckles are extended to the maximum.

The upshot of this is, to rake the mast back, I will need to extend the forward lowers and the forestay. What is the best way to achieve this? Would D shackles be safe? If so, what diameter? I do not want this mast to come down while daysailing with the wife and kids! Thanks.
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Why not remove the shim and properly repair your previous repair, where you screwed it up in the first place.
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Why not remove the shim and properly repair your previous repair, where you screwed it up in the first place.
Yeah, what he said.

Jim
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Old 06-17-2009
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ajf10,

The other replies don't offer much in the way of answers to your questions and to a certain extent they are correct in that the ultimate solution lies in correction of what you did, but your looking for help now that doesn't involve a multi thousand dollar yard bill and several weeks of the boat out of the water, so here goes.

Yes there is some adjustment in the turnbuckle in the furler. The manual for our unit is available online from Harken and it has complete details in it that will (assuming it was installed correctly) allow you to figure out approximately how much adjustment is left by looking at and measuring the threads exposed on the bottom. You will have to read the install instructions and understand them to be able to make this estimation, the part, where they discuss the reference mark on the threads and minumum thread engagement are key. Harken has great tech support and will assist you in interpretation if you ask (Neil Evans has saved my butt more than once). There is also a section on adding an extension tang if necessary. As to lengthing the spreaders, again there are extension tangs available for doining this, they can be order from places like Rigging Only in Mass. or Defender in Conn.. The important thing about that is pin diameter, all tangs are engineered to that spec and the load it can handle, so if you maintain the diameter you should be alright. D-rings and shackles are not a good idea on stays and shrouds except in an emerency. All this said, it is not a good idea to sail a boat with the rig tilted forward.

SoC
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Eye jaw toggles are often used to lengthen standing rigging.
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Thanks to those of you who offered helpful replies
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you really have three seperate issue albeit they ar part of the same.
you should have toggles on all your rigging anyway, compensate for movement in the wire.
If this is not enough then add an extender to your forestay.
It should be possible to remove the mast at the dock. you will need the assistance of the boats either side of you, use their winches and create a fall using the main and spinnaker halyards attched to the spreaders. The Cal 25 fleet in Annapolis does this regularly to change out sheaves etc. three people and a morning and the mast will be back in place.
as to the lowers if you really want to do a "proper" job then its not a hard thing to purchase a length of wire make them up to the same size and put norseman or staylok terminals on both ends. THe first terminal will take you about an hour the rest about 15 minutes each. Do this while the mast is down and all your problems can be sorted out without a yard bill in a good work day.
hope this helps
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Old 06-17-2009
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Another thing to think about, there's a good possibility that all your standing rigging is due replacement anyhow - this may be the time to do it and get the lengths correct for your proper configuration... you'll have peace of mind and your insurance company might rest easier too. I'd expect you could have it done by a rigger for around $1k, or do as RhosynMor suggests with the terminals for much less.
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While you may not consider some of the replies "helpful"... I'd point out that by bastardizing the cabin top the way you have, you've probably also caused some other unintended problems that may or may not show up for a while. The center of effort is higher, the center of gravity is higher, the shrouds and stays are going to have to be longer, the angles to the tangs and chainplates have changed marginally.... etc. Restoring the mast step and cabintop to its original configure removes all of these other changes to the boat.


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Thanks to those of you who offered helpful replies
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Well I would like to point out that the way I "bastardized" the cabin top was to repair the rotting hunk of wood in the keel sump that the mast step was resting on, and and to repair the cabin top under the mast step which was leaking profusely, consisted of totally rotten plywood under the skin, and which was sunken in due to the rot. It is now completely solid from the base of the keel sump to the mast step, and the trade off is I raised the cabin top maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch, and changed the pitch slightly.

Did it occur to you that it is expensive and time consuming to drop the mast, redo the repair, and then raise the mast again? Not all of us have access to willing riggers who are always available. And furthermore, it is quite frankly not an easy task to get the cabin top exactly at the right level, particularly while the boat is on the hard and the actual level of the boat cannot be accurately assessed. Actually, it would be no easier on the water when the boat is constantly in motion.

If raising the center of effort 1/4 to 1/2 inch causes a catastrophe for my daysailer, then I will buy you a case of beer. I am willing to take that risk.
You seem to be quite the perfectionist with a big bug up your you know what. This is not a multimillion dollar megayacht. This is my leaky old weekend project that I enjoy working on and learning while I do it. Why don't you let those with constructive and REALISTIC input reply.
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