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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-03-2011
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Off Boat Mast Storage

I need some advice concerning the proper storage of a mast.
My local marina (very nice people) pulled my boat in the fall for winter storage. Because their hoist cannot accommodate a boat with the mast up they are required to step the mast in order to remove the boat from the water. They charge for this service. They also charge to store the mast if you cannot store it on deck.
I was caught a little short handed this fall and because they needed to get the boat out I gave them permission to step the mast and store it for me.

Yesterday the snow had subsided enough for me to take a road trip and check out the boat and mast.

I was surprised to find that the mast (approx. 35') had been left on two saw horses. with the spreader lying in the dirt. I wasn't very happy about this and before I go and start complaining to the marina I thought I would ask here if it is acceptable to store a mast with a saw horse at both ends and no support in-between.
Any comments or suggestions here would be appreciated.
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Old 01-03-2011
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that should not be an issue just don't let it roll all the way over on it's side. you can roll it back a bit to get the spreader off the ground. i would not go vertical on your box/oval section if you have an external sail track. also if your spreaders are horz. you stand chance of some one hitting it and causing damage. up here in the N.E. many yards do it that way, even with wooden masts!
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Old 01-03-2011
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Shouldn't be a problem, I have stored mine that way for years. I like to put a third sawhorse under the middle to keep the mast from bowing.
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Old 01-03-2011
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Well, there in lies my question. You say it's not a problem and you have done it this way for years but then you say you support the middle. They didn't and the thing has been sitting there for over two months. I think what I am looking for is some sort of standard method. Something like "you should support your mast every 6'" or something like that.
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Old 01-03-2011
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I used to repair aluminum street light poles. A car would knock them down and the base would be cracked, and when the 30-40 pole smacked into the ground it would often bend. I would straighten them and weld up the cracked bases, and put them back up. You would not believe how far I would have to overbend them in the reverse direction to straighten them! I'd tie one end down with a truck, the other with a forklift, and pull up in the middle of the bend with our crane. So unless something crashes into your mast, it really is unlikely it will get bent sitting on saw horses.

Gary H. Lucas
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Old 01-05-2011
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I am not sure if there is a standard but about every ten feet seems to make sense, especially if ice and snow is a potential in the area. The ten foot rule is a good standard for boat stands. Having said that I doubt much, if any, damage has occurred, considering that the mast probably has a slight rake to it when stepped.
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