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Old 08-25-2007
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mast up - solo!

I was told you could get the hang of raising the Newport 17 mast solo, so I figured why learn to do it any other way? It is a simple 3 stayed affair. I hooked up the side stays (which are also a little aft of the mast) as shown in the instructions and walked up to raise and hold as it shows the first person doing. Then I stepped up and took the forestay in one hand, held the mast in the other and spread my arms wide as I worked toward the bow. When I reached the limit, I just stepped forward pulling down on the forestay and hooked it. No help, no fancy devices; just me and the rigging...

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Old 08-25-2007
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What sort of jib does your new boat have? Hanked on, or roller furling? I got a bit spooked trying to wrestle the wire-luff jib onto the furling spool solo, esp. in forward or side winds. Since my Bucc18 is a fractional rig and has a big honkin' bow eye just forward of the jib/stay attachment, I've begun using a safety forestay for mast stepping. Just a 1/4" line from the cockpit, over a cheek block at mast top, and down to that big eye. I pull on it as I walk the mast upright, cleat it off at mast base, then attach & tension the jib in a leisurely manner. For now, I'm leaving the cord on as a redundant forestay; could also use it to hoist the spinny. Should I ever grow cajones big enuf to try that.

(Given how today's sailing went, that may be awhile.... Suffice to say 35+ winds and singlehanded Buccaneers do not mix.)
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Old 08-25-2007
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No furler; that would make it more "interesting" for sure. My boat will supposedly handle a fair amount of wind, but I don't want to try 35+ just yet. Mine is sort of like yours if you had a half dozen bags of concrete and a sewer grate on the floor...

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Old 08-25-2007
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Dunno about concrete, but for awhile there a sewer grate might have come in handy. "In a wetsuit, no one can see you pee...." Wasn't even moving fast enuf for the bailers to help clean up. Heh.

Would have been fine had the wind not spiked while I was trying to set and trim the sails. Started dragging the mushroom anchor. Couldn't get the jib to unfurl properly. Eventually beached and walked it back to launch. The upside of a light boat -- you can drag it in seven inches of water! She's a wee bit tender with one aboard, our Buccaneer. Sail surfers on shore had little wind meters & clocked it at 38 mph. When I left home my wind turbine was still, so it was under 7.

"As discretion is the better part of valor, so is cowardice the better part of discretion." Terry Pratchett, IIRC. In those winds, you may find even bare poles tough to handle. I parked tail to windward when lowering the mast, and left the trailer on the ball hitch for stability. One stumble or gust and that mast becomes a meat cleaver.
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The concrete and sewer grate comment was referencing my hard ballast (about 300#) and swing keel. With the keel up, I draw under a foot, but it wouldn't be as easy to drag around as the Bucc. I single handed a Bucc a few weeks ago in light wind; nice sporty boat. I had the kids with me and they enjoyed it, but it just wasn't the all around family boat I need.

I know what you mean on the meat cleaver. Taking it down solo actually made me more nervous than putting it up.
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