Leave mast up or take down for winter - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-28-2011 Thread Starter
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Leave mast up or take down for winter

Hello - I'm taking my SJ21 out of the water this weekend for the winter. What's the opinion here on what is better for the boat: Leave the mast up or take her down? It's pretty easy for two people to take her down and rest on the bow pulpit, but I was wondering if it's less wear and tear just to leave the mast up for the winter. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Doug

edit: The harbormaster encouraged us to leave it up...

Last edited by rundugrun; 10-28-2011 at 01:18 PM. Reason: clarity
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-28-2011
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Taking the mast down makes it easier to cover the boat for the winter, but it’s not necessary (unless you might be concerned with exposure to high winds that could knock the boat over). I pull my mast for the winter every 3-4 years so we can make a close inspection of fittings, sheeve boxes, etc. It is a good idea to replace all the running rigging in the mast with “messenger lines” to prevent un-necessary wear on the rigging.

PS. If the boat is stored in the water, the harbor masters suggestion is a good one as it should reduce/slow down the rolling action of the boat when the seas get up.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-28-2011
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I have an SJ 21 also, I'm leaving my mast up, this year I'm rigging a boom tent also to try to keep pine needles out of the cockpit and shed some rain and snow, I'll still cover the cockpit as well. Covering it this weekend, I usually throw some RV antifreeze in the bilges in case water gets in there. So far so good.

GG
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-28-2011
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I'm with billyruffn - preventative maintenance all the way.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post

PS. If the boat is stored in the water, the harbor masters suggestion is a good one as it should reduce/slow down the rolling action of the boat when the seas get up.
Why would that be the case? (leaving the mast up) Wouldn't removing the mast lower the center of gravity and increase the righting movement? That would reduce rolling action.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-29-2011
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The boat does not move in a craddle the same as it does in the water therefore the forces on the mast step and cabin top are much greater in heavy winds and temperature drops. For the small effort it takes , take it down and dont stress the boat. I am also in Canada so the temp gets very cold and fiberglass along with it
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
.....I pull my mast for the winter every 3-4 years so we can make a close inspection of fittings, sheeve boxes, etc.......
Same here. It's just flat out easier to spring commission without having to re-step and, more importantly, re-tune the rig to get back on the water. Maybe just a tweak or two. Albeit, an SJ21 would not be as tough.

The big downside to leaving the stick in, if you have a keel stepped mast, is it will allow water down the mast and into the bilge, which can then freeze and ruin bilge switches, etc. Trust me, you can't add enough antifreeze to prevent it.

I'm installing a garboard plug for the first time this year.


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post #8 of 14 Old 10-29-2011
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Pulling the mast will reduce the load on the chainplates and, thereby, reduce the stress at the chainplate deck joint. With the mast down you'll be able to pull and inspect the chainplates and recaulk the joint. You'll be able to polish and wax the mast. It's amazing how much it improves the appearance of the boat.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-29-2011
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post

PS. If the boat is stored in the water, the harbor masters suggestion is a good one as it should reduce/slow down the rolling action of the boat when the seas get up.

Why would that be the case? (leaving the mast up) Wouldn't removing the mast lower the center of gravity and increase the righting movement? That would reduce rolling action.
It would slow the roll, just like having a pendulum with a long arm vs short arm.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-29-2011
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If you don't have to pay to take the mast down, I would. It is a lot easier to cover with the mast down.
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