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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-08-2003
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masthead position

I just purchased a columbia 8.3 and once in the water found that the mast is forward about a foot in comparison to the Ericson which stands strait up and down next to mine. I adjusted the stays... Forw and Aft and she moved a little but I don''t want to turn them all the way out. Could it be that when they were replaced that they were put in the wronge positions? Where can I find out or fig the correct length of the stays? Thank you. Shane
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Old 05-09-2003
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masthead position

All boats are designed with a specific amount of rake to their masts which usually results in the mast raking slightly aft. The actual correct amount of rake is unique to each design and some times to each boat within that design. You can tell absolutely nothing about the proper amount of rake for your Columbia 8.3 by looking at an Ericson in the next slip.

When you change the rake of the mast on a boat, you actually change the sailing characteristics of the boat. Raking the mast forward of its correct position reduces weather helm and eventually ends up with lee helm (a potentially very dangerous situation). Raking a mast too far foward also reduces the abilty of the boat to point upwind. Raking the mast too far also rotates the mast on its mast step and increases the likelihood of damage to the mast end.

SO my best advice is to put the mast rake back where it was and sail the boat for a while. If the boat exhibits too much weather helm then the mast needs to be raked a little forward. If you have lee helm then rake the mast a little more aft, but don''t arbitrarily alter the rake of your mast just because it looks better to your eye.

Jeff
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Old 07-04-2007
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Start by being sure the vessel is loaded correctly, in calm water, waterline paralell to the water. Be aware that on a small boat, the weight of a couple of people can change the trim noticably.
I would suggest to hang a weight from the main halyard as a pendulum. You can then see exactly how the mast is situated. Under no circumstances should the masthead be forward of plumb (vertical). Vertical is a good starting point, a little aft rake may be desirable. You can also use the halyard as a reference to see if the mast is tuned properly. Visually check that the intermediates are holding each mast section in column and not putting a bend in the mast.

If the mast was installed by yard hands and not a professional rigger, anything could be possible. Also a professional rigger usually has access to stay and shroud design specs.
Dave
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Old 07-04-2007
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It is a really bad idea to compare the rigging on two completely different boats. You might want to contact the Columbia Owner's Association, and get the numbers from another Columbia 8.3 or one of the other users on this site might have those numbers. However, even that isn't a guarantee of the numbers being accurate... since your boat may have had its mast replaced at some point in its life.... and may have had the rigging replaced at that time.

I hope you marked the stays before adjusting them. If so, put them back, and sail the boat for a few weeks. If you notice a problem—excessive weather or lee helm, problems tacking, etc... then you might want to re-visit the rigging. If not... leave the rigging the way it is.
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Old 07-04-2007
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Uhhh...guys...this is a 4 year old thread.
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Old 07-04-2007
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Damn... didn't check the dates... My bad....
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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