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sentientpat 12-19-2009 02:57 PM

stepping(raising) mast w/o crane
I have a 28' boat, about a 34' mast. Only have about a 4' draft, so lots of ramps work. Handbook has details of using boom/mainsheet to create triangle to raise mast. I've always used ginpoles/cranes. Is it as sketchy as it appears to use boom/mainsheet ?

Faster 12-19-2009 03:14 PM

Depends on how your mast step is designed. If it's meant to act as a hinge and can take the loads of lowering the mast, then your only real worry is making sure the mast doesn't try to shear off to one side or the other.

If it's not a proper hinge then controlling the butt end can be a real problem, but perhaps do-able with a few bodies around to help.

Izzy1414 12-19-2009 03:30 PM

As Faster eludes to, we need a little more information. Is the mast step designed as a hinge? Sounds like your handbook describes using the boom as a gin pole. Am I wrong?

tommays 12-19-2009 03:53 PM

My J24 and Cal 29 have the same length mast at 35'

J24s done it a hundred times piece of cake even on a windy day with boat wakes

Cal 29 i am not even thinking about unless i spend about 300 to 400 hundred dollars on a Heavy Duty lifting setup as its HEAVY

sentientpat 12-19-2009 06:03 PM

My step has an elongated hole that the bolt can travel about 4" vert. Not really a hinge, but a fixed point with some play(vertically). Mast weighs about 75+ lbs(rough guess). What is a "heavy duty lifting setup"? H'book suggests using boom (attached at gooseneck) to raise point of effort ( 10' ) and increase leverage( a little ).

TQA 12-19-2009 08:05 PM

I have been a member of a team of 6 who did this on a 30 footer with a pretty big stick. One each side with mast head ropes, two pulling it up with the SPI pole as a gin pole and one restraniing things.

Team member 6?? Worry bead duty.

tommays 12-19-2009 10:58 PM

On the J24 the mast is keel stepped so it has to be raised and then lowered 3' through the deck

We setup a 20' Gin Pole on deck that can do the 19' lift require to stand the mast UP straight and keep control of it with no WORRY duty :)

wind_magic 12-20-2009 02:48 AM

I think the hinge step that everyone is talking about is called a tabernacle.

Edit, by the way, I have heard of people using bridges to raise and lower their mast.

Izzy1414 12-20-2009 04:10 AM


I safely step my similar sized mast singlehanded without the aid of outside structures. I use a gin pole, the jib halyard, my vang tackle and some custom side guys that I made out of nylon 3 braid rope to counter the side shear Faster mentions. Takes me about 30 minutes from the time I pull up to the launch. If you would like, I'll take some pictures or try to draw some. Let me know. :)

Maverick1958 12-20-2009 05:10 AM

I don't know anything about stepping a mast thought I will be learning soon as I have a hinged mast on the boat I am restoring. My main reason for wrighting is to tell Izzy that the Dickens comnent is about the funniest thing I have heard in a long time!

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