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  #21  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
Greg,

Yup! That is what I am up to for my I-28. It looks simple enough. I have the tabernacle scale mockup ready to take to the fabricator. The boat is stored adjacent to the fabricator's and they think it a great idea! Ha! They have offered to hand carry the mast across the lot and weld on the cheek plates on for me. They want to see it work. Me too! I am a little anxious about doing it the first time but what can go wrong if I measure everything correctly and follow Ed's instructions. If things go as planned the "first time" will be a stepping. We will lift the mast onto the boat and start with it down. I am designing a crutch to support the bow rail and the mast when it gets lowered (and raised). I don't have the bow pulpit "extension the Nor'd Sea 27 does so the weight distribution I need to plan for is a concern. I am working on a roller that will make bringing the mast aft easier. Perhaps a roller that captures the base, too. When you remove the pin at the tabernacle, what kind of upward force do you experience at the base of your mast while it is sitting on the bow rail? I am expecting to have to "capture" the base of mine. Calculations next. I should be able to build a simple aluminum crutch with a couple of struts intersecting the bow rail and extending a couple of feet forward and a little higher. I like the idea of carrying it a bit higher than you do.

Thanks for the videos. How did you get the boat back on the trailer?

Down
Down,

When you get down to it, it is simple. Like a LOT of the jobs I learned on our boat, the work up to it, metal & physical, is harder than the job itself. At least it seems that way to me.

Our mast does not have a foot welded to it. The mast step on deck has an elongated hole on each side in it for the bolt. As the mast goes forward, the loosened bolt slides up a bit in the mount. The forward bottom of the mast also has a rounded area to it. One thing that we have to watch out for is that once the mast is lowered, (or as you prep for raising) is that as it's base is ready for the bolt to go in, the top of the mast is far forward and tends to drop, so I have to hold the base down. Sit on it and then put the bolt through the sides of the mount and the mast base.

I made a board that fits across our bow pulpit with a large trailer roller in it. Once the mast is down sitting on it' it's easy to just allow the base to rise up a bit (under control) and roll it back. I then support it on the bow pulpit (without the roller) forward, on the boom gallows aft and I use one of the wood 4x4s trailer chucks, that I special cut to to mount where the mast step is and it supports the middle of the mast for transport.

As chicken as I am, I had the mast raised for me the first time to make sure everything fits and is secure. Lowering is then easy and setting up the 4 part bridal is easy, and if not taken apart, the correct size for the raising.

If you need any close up photos, just ask and the next time I go to the boat I will snap a couple.

Greg
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  #22  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys05 View Post
SHNOOL:

I like this system, especially since your boat and mine are nearly the same size, with my mast maybe a bit heavier. A couple questions: Do you have the bottom of the A-frame secured to the boat? I'd be concerned with it slipping out under load, but perhaps the cross member just pushes up against the cabin? Are you just attaching the tackle to the spinnaker bracket on the mast? Do you have any lateral support for the mast, or are you just relying on the fact that the A-frame won't swing side to side to keep the mast centered as it goes up/down?

Thanks!

Brandon
I used the exact same system on the S2 7.9, got my buddy to do it with his... He and his father modified the support behind the boat to use the gudgeons to put a mast-upper on them.... the key is to get the mast raised a bit at the stern. Catalina direct sells a "mast-upper" that has pins that drop right into your gudgeons.... and the device extends from road height to I believe 6-8 feet above the gudgeons.. I used that device on my Capri 22, but a friend of mine has used it on his Oday 26 (MUCH heavier than the S2).

if you look close I tied off the bottom corners of the A-frame to the stanchions. since the A-frame remains fixed, I tilt it a bit towards the stern, so the tendency is to kick out forward, so tying off to the stanchions (from behind), stabilizes it right away... and there is NO slipping then. If you worry about the deck scratching (and you should), you can put carpet on the bottom corners of the A-frame. Mine is a 3 stay rig, 2 lowers, 1 upper... and i leave the aft lowers connected, and the upper.. but the forward lowers are free (as per catalina 25 suggested manual).. You have to be a LITTLE more careful with the S2 rig, because the spreaders are swept more, and there are only 1 set of lowers nearly in line with the uppers.
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Last edited by SHNOOL; 11-06-2013 at 08:31 PM.
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  #23  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

I use a gin pole with ratchet straps for baby stays. Aluminum tubing was expensive and trickier to mount, so I went with a 2x4. Not sure this would work as well with a boat of your size, but maybe you can get some ideas from my pictures:









Some later upgrades:

If you want something to mount in gudgeons, I found some gate hinges that fit perfectly, so I upgraded my homemade mast-stepper with them. But I didn't want to be stressing the gudgeons all winter, so for longer-term storage I use a sawhorse in the cockpit and remove the mast-stepper. Also, I found that the rubber trailer roller was depositing black rubber along my sail track, so I replaced it with a polyurethane one. And I glued/screwed a 2x3 stiffening stud to the mast stepper to minimize vibration:









Here's some video of it all in action (looks like Facebook won't let you embed stuff any more):

2012 Video

2011 Video
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Last edited by TakeFive; 11-08-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
I used the exact same system on the S2 7.9, got my buddy to do it with his... He and his father modified the support behind the boat to use the gudgeons to put a mast-upper on them.... the key is to get the mast raised a bit at the stern. Catalina direct sells a "mast-upper" that has pins that drop right into your gudgeons.... and the device extends from road height to I believe 6-8 feet above the gudgeons.. I used that device on my Capri 22, but a friend of mine has used it on his Oday 26 (MUCH heavier than the S2).

if you look close I tied off the bottom corners of the A-frame to the stanchions. since the A-frame remains fixed, I tilt it a bit towards the stern, so the tendency is to kick out forward, so tying off to the stanchions (from behind), stabilizes it right away... and there is NO slipping then. If you worry about the deck scratching (and you should), you can put carpet on the bottom corners of the A-frame. Mine is a 3 stay rig, 2 lowers, 1 upper... and i leave the aft lowers connected, and the upper.. but the forward lowers are free (as per catalina 25 suggested manual).. You have to be a LITTLE more careful with the S2 rig, because the spreaders are swept more, and there are only 1 set of lowers nearly in line with the uppers.
Awesome, Thanks! You used the spinnaker pole bracket on the S2's mast as the lift point as well? I may modify the design just a bit, but I think that this is the direction I'm going to go, I like it a LOT better than the jerry-rigged spinnaker pole method I've used up to now, and it seems like it is easier and safer.
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  #25  
Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

Rhys05, yes used the spin pole ring on the S2 to raise the mast.. the key is to get the ring as high up as possible.... My buddy has a T-track on his mast, so we put it at like 6 feet high (highest point).... it worked fine.

You could also attach above the spreaders with a bridle, however you must make the bridle large enough so that once the mast is up, you can untie the bridle from the ground. This doesn't help much for lowering though... an alternative might be to install a fixed ring at a reachable height when the mast is up... but I guess you could swag a line around and above the spreaders with a little effort too.

By the way, TakeFive's system was what my fellow club-mate used (almost identical) for his Oday 26 mast, the gin pole and some temporary baby stays. The Oday 26 mast is about 100lbs. He used a light trailer winch for the crank, and frankly I was impressed by it's ease of use, and functionality... He prefers it's use because of the requirement for connecting his roller furler drum (which requires a fairly forward leaning mast to get connected apparently).
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Last edited by SHNOOL; 11-07-2013 at 10:16 AM.
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  #26  
Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

SHNOOL:

My mast is the class mast, so the spinnaker ring is in a fixed position, I'll have to look and see how high is is above the step, but it appears to be in about the same (relative) position as on your boat. Am I correct in assuming that the S2 mast is ~30 lbs heavier than yours? About the same as that Oday, at ~100 lbs? We'll see what I end up with, I was originally going to go with something like TakeFive's system, but then I was intrigued by the A-frame designs. We shall see. Right now I have been using the spinnaker topping lift halyard as the lift point, it seems to work okay, but it is a bit high so the tension in the line has to be pretty high before the lifting component is enough to move the mast, I'd like to try to minimize the line tensions as much as possible. ...off to do some trig and engineering!
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  #27  
Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys05 View Post
...Right now I have been using the spinnaker topping lift halyard as the lift point, it seems to work okay, but it is a bit high so the tension in the line has to be pretty high before the lifting component is enough to move the mast, I'd like to try to minimize the line tensions as much as possible. ...off to do some trig and engineering!
You might not see it in the pics or videos, but I have two connection points to hold the mast up. I have a spare jib halyard that connects the top of the mast to the end of the gin pole, and a second line that connects to a homemade harness that goes halfway up the mast (just under the spreaders) and down to the end of the gin pole. On my boat, some people use the former and some people use the latter. (Catalina changed their instructions on how to do this at some point.) I chose to use both for redundancy, and also to minimize flexing and vibration of the mast.
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  #28  
Old 11-08-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

Rhys05, yes the fixed ring is high enough I believe it's about 6 feet from the deck or about 4 from the base of the mast... Yes the S2 mast is about 30lbs heavier than the Capri 25... yet about the same height (which is really where all the "problem" is)... It may be 100lbs, but it takes roughly 300-400lbs of force to get it started in lifting, an extra set of hands to get it started in the upward direction is helpful, but ideally the A-frame has to handle the weight, so you're better off not letting slack occur in the raising process, or it could BOUNCE and induce excess stress 2-3 times the load... the amount of initial "grunt" goes down substantially depending on how high up the aft end of the mast starts. Therefore the "initial" setting for the mast should be well above horizontal... Ideally it'd be the maximum comfortable height for one person standing on the cockpit seats to lift the mast and set it down into the support... therefore mine is about 6-7 feet off the cockpit seat... Lifting just the 1 end too, is not a lot of effort... as you put the pin into the bottom of the mast first THEN lift the mast up to the highest setting on the aft mast support (which ideally is at or behind the center of grav, which if you note in my picture, the support angles OUT off the stern to well behind the boat, I've tied it off to the stern cleats, and locked it into my stern pulpit, it never moves).

I should note that I've raised and lowered the mast 2 times myself now... if you look at the pictures closely, you'll see some are from spring some are from fall, both from this year.

This is a good investment... but building your own (like TakeFive)... works too! Catalina Direct: Mastup Mast Stepper CP-14.2, C-15, C-16.5, CP-18, C-22, CP-22, C-25, C-250
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Last edited by SHNOOL; 11-08-2013 at 12:57 PM.
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  #29  
Old 11-08-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post

This is a good investment... but building your own (like TakeFive)... works too! Catalina Direct: Mastup Mast Stepper CP-14.2, C-15, C-16.5, CP-18, C-22, CP-22, C-25, C-250
Yep, I've actually already got something almost exactly like that that the PO made, works okay, except for trying to raise it up while the mast is sitting on it. I end up lifting the mast while my wife lifts the "mast upper" up and tries to get a pin in a hole. Need to figure out a better way to get it working than that.. Yes, definitely know about the initial few degrees of tilt is the hardest, definitely the part that is currently making us feel that it is a three person, rather than one or two person job. (One to pull the mainsheet attached to the spin pole, and two to stand on the cabin top to "hoof" it up. It works..but is less than ideal for if/when the wife and I want to take the boat elsewhere to go cruising, hence my search for a better engineered solution to make it easier and safer to do ourselves without an extra person.
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Old 11-08-2013
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Re: Solo Mast Stepping System

Hobie 33's all came with a bridle system that has dual sidestays and uses the spin pole as a gin pole..the H33 website has a PDF of the manual with the whole system described. I can raise n lower without assistance..
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