Need help in preparation for unstepping my mast. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 38 Old 03-02-2011 Thread Starter
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Need help in preparation for unstepping my mast.

I will be having my mast pulled next Tuesday, and could use some ideas on preparation leading up to it. I have removed all hardware, running rigging, booms, etc. and all that remains is the mast connected to the boat by the standing rigging. I have ensured all of the turnbuckles are turning.

When the yard comes with the crane next Tuesday, I am to have the whole thing ready to be pulled (DIY, no yard help de-rigging to save $$). If my assumptions are correct, all that will need to take place once the crane is supporting the mast is to remove the clevis and cotter pins at the base of each stay/shroud, is this correct? Also, does it matter where you disconnect the rigging...as in should I release the pins from the attachments on the chainplates, or the swaged fitting on the wire itself? Or does it not matter at all?

Just trying to make sure all my bases are covered.

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post #2 of 38 Old 03-02-2011
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You don't say why you are pulling the stick. However, I would recommend that you mark all your turnbuckles to facilitate tuning when you put the mast back up. A wrap of electrical tape on the thread top and bottom works well for this.
Have the cotter pins straightened and ready to pull.
I would take the turnbuckles off with the cables.

If the mast is keel stepped, you could just about take everything loose. At least have the lower shrouds off.

Make sure that you have all the electrical disconnected unless it's in the mast. Sometimes you have to lift the mast up a few inches to access the wires.

If it's keel stepped, take the mast boot and wedges out ahead of time.

Have the furling line removed or coiled up and tied to the furler.
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post #3 of 38 Old 03-02-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks! It is a deck stepped mast.

I'm removing it for a complete overhaul of the standing rigging, mast electronics & wiring, mast painting, repair of core beneath mast step, compression post replacement.....the list goes on.

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post #4 of 38 Old 03-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beersmith View Post
Thanks! It is a deck stepped mast.

I'm removing it for a complete overhaul of the standing rigging, mast electronics & wiring, mast painting, repair of core beneath mast step, compression post replacement.....the list goes on.

In that case, it's rather important that you mark the turnbuckles before you loosen them so that the new shrouds and stays can be made the right length.
Good luck.
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post #5 of 38 Old 03-02-2011
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I unstepped my mast with an A-frame that I built.

When you say "remove clevis and cotter pins", it sounds like you're asking whether you need to disassemble the entire shroud/deck attachment hardware. That seems like overkill to me for the purpose of getting your mast down. Once you have the rings or whatever out of the studs, you will be rotating the turnbuckle (NOT the shroud's swaged stud) to disconnect the shroud from the deck. Regardless if whether the shroud stud or the deck stud comes out of the turnbuckle first, you're done at that point. No sense wasting valuable crane time to get everything else off.

Because of the arrangement of my A-frame, I did undid the forestay last. I undid the lowers before undoing the uppers, mostly out of fear.

Something I did not do but would recommend. Label each piece of standing rigging before you undo them. Also, once all the pieces are off, tie them securely to the mast. Otherwise it's like Cthulhu means The Terminator on your deck.

I also have a deck-stepped mast. When pulling the mast, instead of removing it from the boat right away, I lowered it onto a 4-in-high block placed right next to the mast step, so that I could unplug the wires that went into the mast.

Have you figured out where you're going to put the mast once it's down? I did my unstepping at the dock and basically rested the mast on the bow and stern pulpits, lashed down so that it wouldn't roll or slide off. I lowered it so that the masthead was sticking off at the stern, which happened to be end easily accessed from the dock, which was great because I needed to do work at the masthead and could do it standing on the dock. Also, the mast, despite being pretty stiff, sagged in the middle; since I was going to be leaving it down for a couple of weeks, I arrange for some support in the middle.

That's all I can remember.

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post #6 of 38 Old 03-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
When you say "remove clevis and cotter pins", it sounds like you're asking whether you need to disassemble the entire shroud/deck attachment hardware. That seems like overkill to me for the purpose of getting your mast down. Once you have the rings or whatever out of the studs, you will be rotating the turnbuckle (NOT the shroud's swaged stud) to disconnect the shroud from the deck. Regardless if whether the shroud stud or the deck stud comes out of the turnbuckle first, you're done at that point. No sense wasting valuable crane time to get everything else off.

The reason for marking and removing the turnbuckles with the shrouds and stays is so that the Pin to Pin measurement can be accurately reestablished by whoever is making up the new rigging.
If the old rigging was all the perfect length. Meaning that the turnbuckles were not turned down or opened up too far, then the new rigging can be made up by just duplicating each piece using the Pin to end-of-stud measurement.
If the turnbuckles are going to be replaced or if some of the pieces were a little too long or too short, you need an accurate Pin to Pin.
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Good point; I wasn't replacing my rigging when I did my unstepping. Still, if you're at all pressed for time, it seems it's something you can do after the fact.

What exactly is the measurement you're describing? Is it the distance between the two threaded studs inside the turnbuckle?

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post #8 of 38 Old 03-02-2011
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Having a spare person to hold the base of the mast, and a couple of bungy cords to secure all your shrouds to the rig is also nice.
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post #9 of 38 Old 03-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
What exactly is the measurement you're describing? Is it the distance between the two threaded studs inside the turnbuckle?
"Pin to Pin" refers to the distance from the pin holding the top of the shroud / stay to the mast to the pin holding the bottom of the turnbuckle to the chainplate. The entire removable length of rigging, in other words.

That's why it's normal not to unscrew the turnbuckle all the way, but only far enough to take the weight off the pin holding the turnbuckle to the chainplate, and then remove that pin, leaving the turnbuckle hanging from the shroud. That's also a lot quicker than unscrewing the turnbuckle all the way off while the crane operator holds the mast in place. Then, if you've used tape or paint to mark how far in the turnbuckles were screwed it's just a matter of turning them back in to the same point, and you can get a measurement that enables new rigging to be made. After all, not much point knowing the exact length of the 'wire' for a shroud if your new turnbuckle is a different length from the old one.

Richard
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post #10 of 38 Old 03-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickinnocal View Post
"Pin to Pin" refers to the distance from the pin holding the top of the shroud / stay to the mast to the pin holding the bottom of the turnbuckle to the chainplate. The entire removable length of rigging, in other words.

That's why it's normal not to unscrew the turnbuckle all the way, but only far enough to take the weight off the pin holding the turnbuckle to the chainplate, and then remove that pin, leaving the turnbuckle hanging from the shroud. That's also a lot quicker than unscrewing the turnbuckle all the way off while the crane operator holds the mast in place. Then, if you've used tape or paint to mark how far in the turnbuckles were screwed it's just a matter of turning them back in to the same point, and you can get a measurement that enables new rigging to be made. After all, not much point knowing the exact length of the 'wire' for a shroud if your new turnbuckle is a different length from the old one.

Richard

Exactly.
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