Winter storage..mast up or down - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-29-2004
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Winter storage..mast up or down

I''m new to sailboats so I have no opinion on this yet.

I just had a conversation with a couple friends at work and the topic came up...it seems there are two schools of thought with regard to whether it''s better to store a sailboat with the mast up or down over the winter period (northern states, very cold). One friend says "mast down" due to the differing expansion/contraction rates of aluminum & stainless..he doesn''t like a "lose" mast (due to cold) blowing in the wind without good support. The other says "mast up", he''s never had any problems & it''s less expensive.

Is there a right & wrong way?
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Old 03-29-2004
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Winter storage..mast up or down

It''s spring...I''d put the mast up!
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Old 03-30-2004
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Winter storage..mast up or down

I store mine with the mast down only for the simple fact it would be rather difficult to tow home with it up. 99% of the boats at our marina leave their''s up. They only seem to be down if the owner has the boat shrink-wrapped. Again, if it wasn''t for towing, mine would be up.
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Old 03-30-2004
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Winter storage..mast up or down

Generally, if you are willing to pay for it, it is best to take the rig down. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1. Leaving it up can cause stresses on the hull 2. Make it alot easier to inspect/maintain the rig, wiring, bulbs, etc if you have it down. A good compromising is to take it down every other year.
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Old 03-30-2004
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Winter storage..mast up or down

I have done mine both ways, and will always take mine down now. I find that the extra cost is worth it. I can seal the boat better even without shrink wrap, also the ability to inspect the rig, the lights the masthead means you actually do that rather than saying you should. Here it costs an extra $150 but I will pay it each year. I think there is some pressure from yards to leave the masts up, because, even though they get extra cash, it is quite a bit more work in a very busy time each year. My 2 cents.
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Old 10-01-2009
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It is extra work to take the mast down but the main reason to do it is that the whole rig was designed to be on the boat in the water. On shore the boat does not "give" (read "heel") in the gusts and generally strong winds of a winter storm.

If you need a graphic example of what high initial stability (being on shore is the ultimate in initial stability) does for increasing standing rigging sizes look at a catamaran....
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Old 10-01-2009
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We wet store ours. I haven't seen any difference between storing it with the sticks up or down. That said, pulling the sticks and storing them inside will extend the life of the Awlgrip.

If a boat is so fragile that there'd be issues between leaving the stick up or down while on the hard, there's bigger problems.
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Old 10-01-2009
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Even though this thread is over 5 years old(!), it may be of interest to those making decisions on winter storage.
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Old 10-05-2009
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on the other hand...

From what I understand the second reason to take your mast down is that in northern climes the freeze-thaw cycle with water in the little tiny cracks and crevices of the metal fittings is bad for them in the long term.

So many boats are stored with their masts up - on the hard here - I wonder if it is a myth?

Here being Nova Scotia which is not widely advertised but is Gaelic for - "Too many freeze-thaw cycles to count".

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Old 09-16-2010
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Thanks for the info on the subject!
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