Originally Posted by knothead
I would recommend first easing all the turnbuckles a few turns just to take the strain off. Then you will have no problem removing shrouds either in pairs or singly. Halyards aren't really necessary, but they sure can't hurt. Sometimes, you can hook the shrouds back up temporarily to the rail too. Just don't load em up.
You must be speaking of a keel stepped mast. Certainly a deck stepped mast will have to have something holding it up. On a deck stepped mast are halyards OK while the chainplates are rebed. My upper and lower both go to the same place and i need to rebed but am nervous about taking the shrouds loose
You notice that I only recommended "easing"
all the turnbuckles.
You only "disconnect"
them when you are ready and only, as I mentioned, singly or in pairs. One on each side at a time.
Sorry, I thought that was clear.
Since we are only talking about shrouds, not stays here, there is no problem removing both upper shrouds at the same time. Or both Aft lowers. Or the starboard aft lower and the port forward lower.
You get the idea. Whether it's keel stepped or deck stepped, it makes no difference. As long as you have a couple of shrouds on each side holding the mast up, you're OK.
The reason for easing the turnbuckles initially is simply to keep the mast more or less in column when you remove a shroud or two.
I've had both uppers off and been hanging from a bosun's chair from the main halyard with both shrouds coiled and tied to the chair and about 20 lbs of tools while hanging from the main halyard. Lots of times.
Although I usually, as mentioned, only take one of each off and duplicate it twice when making new shrouds.
The point is, if you could take the mast and lay it on saw horses, you could support it in the middle and walk all the way out to the end and it wouldn't break. It's going to bounce like heck, but it's not going to break.
Just like being up the mast on a Freedom or one of those freestanding Hunters. It's disconcerting, but hardly dangerous.
And we aren't even talking about going aloft here. Just replacing chainplates.