My Etap 26 has a pivoting mast step, which also houses the gearing for the lifting keel. My mast is 37 feet tall, and I took it down using an A frame strapped to the toe rail on the bow. I tossed a sling over the spreaders and hooked my 4 part main sheet to the top of the A-frame and sling, then disconnected the forestay and lowered away. My boat was in the water at the time too. Once the mast was down I put the sling on the foot of the mast and hoisted it a bit, then went to the stern and lifted that end as I walked it back towards the bow.
Two issues. My main sheet was too short to lower all the way down in one step. I had to tie off and reset the main sheet so the mast would come all the way down. My 4 to 1 main sheet was a little light for the job, a 6 to 1 would have been better. When I put the mast back up though I am going to use a hand worm gear winch that I bought to pull trees back up after a windstorm. It is much more powerful and has 20 foot stroke.
Gary H. Lucas