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particlepood 10-19-2008 04:52 AM

steppng a mast on a 23 o'day pop top
If you are familiar with the O'Day 23 pop top and probably others of this vintage have a mast which travels through the cabin roof to a mount on fitting of the cabin floor. There maybe more technical terms for this set up but it's the best description I have at this time.
I've asked this question a few times but the answers I have gotten were mostly from Cat/etal owners without the four foot mast leg that drops down through the cabin. Their info has been very valuable as well as certainly morally and technically helpful but this vessel offers some challenges not found on most boats of it's vintage.
I would like to be able to use O'Day as a trailerable boat as I do with my runabout. I am not sure what a slip costs in the rest of the country but in Boston you can buy a condo for the price of a seasonal mooring never mind a slip but I want a boat not a another piece of over taxed real estate.
Back to the question, does anyone have a trick to raise a mast of this particular craft? Sorry for the long winded question but I wanted to make it as thorough as possible.
cheers to you all,

CrazyRu 10-19-2008 05:36 AM

So what the problem, besides being mad on real estate? Build the A-frame, then lift the mast.
Something like this
Telescopic Mast Derrick - Rigging / Ropes - Mast Lift Derrick - Compass Watersports Ltd.

fullkeel7 10-19-2008 11:42 PM

I don't know Particle, the 'A' frame idea sounds good for an occassional mast rigging for a bigger boat. I would think as a frequent way of raising and lowering the mast (plus the transport of said A frame) would be a real PITA. The keel stepped mast is more complicated than a deck stepped in terms of regular transport/rigging everytime you want to use the boat. It would be VERY nice to have the boat at home after each sail, but I see no easy solution...maybe someone else will come up with an idea.

Personally, I would make up my mind and pick a primary sailing area. Then find a marina or storage at water's edge and dry sail it on the trailer (rig up). Then just hook up to the trailer and launch. It'll cost more than home storage, but would be a good option and a lot less hassle to rig every time. Good luck.

VASailor10 10-20-2008 12:13 AM

I have a Catalina 22 and I have this deal that i bought with the boat its a 6 foot steel pole with an open block at the top. It is attached to the fore part of the trailer and when raising the mast I have my genoa halyard fed through and attached to the trailer winch belt. One person helps raise the mast and steady it while the other winches in the halyard and up goes the mast.

However, I make it sound easier than it is. Frankly put raising the mast is a bitch. Especially if you have a furler. If you have a furler, it is very difficult or atleast I find it difficult since the stay always wants to go back in to the furler. You need atleast 2 people to raise a mast and three would be best. Take great care that your aluminium (im assuming) mast step does not get damaged as you raise.

Good Luck,


CrazyRu 10-20-2008 12:38 AM

Transport? We are talking about 23 ft boat. What is a length of the mast? It is 27-28 ft at most. It shouldn’t weight more than 50 lbs. Beach catamaran sailors step such masts solo for a day sail.

Go to Home deport. Buy 2 2x4 longest they have, I guess it would be 8 ft, longer is better. Buy 1(one) bolt and two washers. Make X-frame with very short V on top and long legs. Buy cheapest ropes they have.
Total investment – 30 backs. At most.
Now, Lash legs of X-frame to the toerail. Lift the X-frame so it stand-up with top V directly above a hole in cabin top for a mast. Use ropes as shrouds to keep X frame in place. Lift and rest a mast on top “V” of X frame. It’s 50 lbs, one person should be able to lift one end. Use mainsheet to position mast and lower it into hole. Voila…

Honestly speaking, one person should be able just slide the mast into hole without any help of additional devices on 23 ft boat. I believe it is exactly a reason why it is keel stepped mast. It makes much easier to step without assistance. Just slide it into hole; cabin top will support it in up position so you can walk around and connect shrouds and stays….
Besides, boat documentation should provide very detailed instruction how to do it with least effort.
There is very active O-day owners association, they should have all answers

VASailor10 10-20-2008 11:38 AM

Yeah I thought the same thing. However, it is not the weight of the mast that makes it difficult but the length. It is hard for a 6 foot man to weild a 50pound 30 foot pole. I don't know maybe my mast step makes it more difficult. It would be alot easier if I just simply had a hole to put the mast into.


tommays 10-20-2008 01:00 PM

As and example on a J24 with 34'6" mast

On a J24 we use a 19'+ gin pole setup on deck stablized in a tripod fashion with 2 cables going aft and one on the bow

For lifting gear we setup and old boom vang with 3:1 purshase to be able to make the lift buy hand

The J24 requires about 3' of lift to get the mast off the step and clear of the hull so it can be let down and layed flat

When you are putting one back up you need the FULL 19' of lift if you going to have the bridle anywere near the balance point of the mast

I would think with your cabin it may be more like 5' to get the mast clear of the hull

In general there is nothing fast about doing a keel steped mast

My home made pole is in two sections to keep the lenth down to 12' when it is in transport

shadypark 01-11-2009 12:31 AM

Thanks CrazyRu. I have been digging around for this information and your link was exactly what i was looking for.

particlepood 05-03-2009 03:01 AM

Hello everyone,
I want to give you all a belated thank you for all the opinions and possible solutions.
I pulled the old 23 pop top out today and set about doing a dry run at rigging her. After a couple of attempts at muscling mast in place with my son we quickly came to the conclusion it wasn't going to work without trashing something. Believe it or not we pulled up beside the house (thankfully we a single story ranch) and I hoisted the masthead using the mainsheet while my son guided it up to me. When we had enough clearance I lowered the mast while he guided it into place.
While this worked it still wasn't easy. One thing is for sure the furler is as good as gone as soon as I can have a forestay set up.
Cheers and good sailing this summer,

particlepood 05-03-2009 03:05 AM

Oh ya came home from work and discovered my wife went ahead and got her kitchen anyway.

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