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Old 08-09-2010
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how to drop a mast on a soling?

Hello to all.

I've just purchased a soling and before I can get the boat moved to her new home I need to drop the mast for road transport.

the mast does not pivot, can anybody advise on techniques/tips?
any advise gratefully received
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Old 08-09-2010
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If the mast doesn't pivot, you'll need a crane to unstep or re-step the mast.

Another option is to raft the soling up to two other sailboats, preferably larger than the Soling, and use halyards from their masts to hoist and lower the Soling's mast.
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Old 08-09-2010
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okey dokey, thank you for that

unfortunately neither of those options are available to me at the boat's current location.

WHen re-rigging the boat there is a crane at the boat yard where she will be launched, but that will come as part of stage two!

so far the best option I have thought of is to climb atop of a telegraph pole and secure myself using climbing harness then hold the top of the mast whilst it is lifted from the base. then lower the mast with a couple of lengths of rope in a 'V' formation.

A somewhat 'heath robinson' approach for sure but so far (due to location) may be the only way forwards, or downwards should I say...!
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Hiring a bucket truck for a couple hours might make far more sense and be far safer.
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Old 08-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
Hello to all.

I've just purchased a soling and before I can get the boat moved to her new home I need to drop the mast for road transport.

the mast does not pivot, can anybody advise on techniques/tips?
any advise gratefully received
Is you can find a bridge with the right hight and wait for a calm day that might work. It will still be a risky operation. Better to use a crane.
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If I can avoid the hire of a crane I would like to, that said given the water level right now I may not have a choice...

unfortunately the boats previous caretaker has neglected the trailer so much that it is beyond economical repair.

I have to either borrow/hire a similar trailer or use the existing trailer as little more than a cradle and but boat and trailer onto a car recovery transporter truck and then transport it.

as for dropping the mast;

I had wondered about attaching two rope to the top in a 'V' formation to lower the mast and then lash the sheets and control lines together beneath the deck to act as a kind of stopper then pad the whole bottom end of the mast with lots of fabric to prevent damage..

if the rope beneath deck were lashed together that would almost act as a crude pivot. if sufficiently padded that should provide enough protection for the deck whilst the mast is lowered by the two lowering ropes attached to the top of the mast.

The bridge idea is something I wouldnt have thought of but the only bridge nearby is at the mouth of a rather large river (with a current) so that might make life move difficult.

that said... if the top of the mast was somehow secured to the bridge and then the boat moved away... then the mast would then pivot from the bridge rather than the deck and could possibly be lifted off more easily from there. hmmm...?

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-20-2010
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If you can get the soling under a taller tree than your mast, and setup a block and tackle im sure it would work... Good luck
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There are many different ways that people accomplish this on surprisingly large boats, it really comes down to how mechanically inclined you are and how daring you are. Am I correct in thinking that a soling has a keel stepped mast, it has been a while since I have looked at one?

The simplest method is to gather a few friends and carefully pull it up. This is one of the least controlled and more prone to failure methods. It is amazing how hard to control the top of the mast it is even on a small boat. Personally, I would not try this method but I am positive that someone has successfully done it.

Other methods generally involve some form of a pick point higher than the CG of the mast. A commonly used one is rafting three boats together and taking out the center boat's mast.

Another variation on it that was also mentioned above is finding a bridge or dock gangway to do it from. I have done this and have several friends who do it on a regular basis. As long as you are not breaking the law, have a good place to belay to on the bridge, can tie the boat off well under it and there is adequate water, this works just fine. There is a story which may or may not be legend about some people in Beverly failing to read the train schedule properly while doing this... You mention having the boat move away from the bridge in one of your comments, I would not do this as the mast needs to be lifted straight up. You want to control as many variables as possible.

Another one is to go find a pier that has a lifting boom on it. Many commercials piers have them and also some public piers have them. This is very straightforward and the same as using a crane.

It is up to you to make a judgment call as to what is safe. It is amazing how hard to handle a mast is. Breaking your mast or worse, hitting a person with it isn't worth a few saved dollars but it can be done for free safely with some thought.
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Old 10-20-2010
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I am not familiar with a Soling...but I sail a Catalina 27 which is similar in size and there is a mast lowering video on on youtube on how to do this... you may be able to gather some info from this video.
YouTube - Dropping the Mast
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Old 10-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccary View Post
I am not familiar with a Soling...but I sail a Catalina 27 which is similar in size and there is a mast lowering video on on youtube on how to do this... you may be able to gather some info from this video.
YouTube - Dropping the Mast
Well that looked pretty easy, I have a similar boat but the mast weighs much, much more than 75lbs. No idea what a Soling mast weighs but a Hunter 27 mast weighs at least 175lbs. It's massive, and I'm very surprised a Catalina 27 mast weighs so little.
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