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davemchine 04-23-2012 01:25 PM

baby stays
I have an early 80's catalina 22 that I keep on a local lake during the summers. Raising the lowering the sail tends to be a little bit nerve wracking. I have the crutch for the back of the boat which allows me to raise that portion of the mast. I then bolt it to the deck and attach the trailer winch about six feet up the mast and start cranking. This works fine but the mast tends to sway right and left and is difficult to remain stable. I have read that I can use "baby stays" to solve this problem but I do not understand how to use them or where to purchase them. Can someone help me? Thanks.

Jeff_H 04-23-2012 01:28 PM

Re: baby stays
I assume that you mean "Raising and lowering the Masttends to be a little bit nerve wracking". I don't think that you mean baby stays either. I assume that you mean attaching tempoaray lower shrouds which would run from the chainplates at the deck to below the spreaders.

davemchine 04-23-2012 02:00 PM

Re: baby stays
I only have the summers to sail and I mostly sail by myself or with a friend. No marina and no other sailers around. So my terminology is most certainly not going to be exact. Any advice you can offer to minimize the swaying of the mast as it is raised would be appreciated. Thanks.

RichH 04-23-2012 02:28 PM

Re: baby stays
What will help you is a 'swing up or hinged tabernacle' at the base of the mast:

This is essentially a 'hinge' thats bolted to the coachroof top and to which you 'bolt' the mast base/butt before raising. The 'hinge' then provides more 'stability' during the raising process.

Also do websearch for 'gin pole' an 'arm' thats attached perpendicular to the mast during the raising process which mathematically lowers the amount of force needed on the 'forestay' and the mast when raising/lowering.

The use a of 'mast hinged-tabernacle' and a 'gin pole' will make mast raising lowering easier and safer ... and 'quicker' too.

Try this website for 'trailer sailors' for more detailed info: Trailer Sailors -

saildork 04-23-2012 05:22 PM

Re: baby stays
Dave, In addition to the advise from Rich on the Sailboat Owners site, you will find many examples of mast-raising solutions for the Catalina 22 on Youtube. Also, I would encourage you to join the C22 National Sailing Association. Lots of good info and very knowledgeable C22 sailors there, eager to help.

That said, I too sail a C22, and I use a homemade gin pole (using an 8' 2X4 with a notch cut into the inboard end to fit against the mast. (I actually added a second, short, 12" section of 2X4, also notched, to the inboard end for strength. I secure it to the mast with a ratcheting tie-down strap.) I then attach the jib halyard to an eyebolt at the top side of the forward end of the 2X4 gin pole, and my boom vang between the stem-fitting at the bow of the boat and another eyebolt at the underside of the gin pole, also at the forward end of the pole. I stand on the cabintop guiding the mast with my right hand while hauling on the vang with my left. I raise the mast high enough to hold it on my shoulder and continue to guide the mast up with my right hand, pausing to haul on the vang. Eventually, the mast gets to a point where I can just push it up with one hand. But I use two!:eek:

I continue with the vang until I have all lines fairly taut. At this point, I can move forward and attach the forestay to its fitting. Lowering the rig is this process in reverse.

Some C22 sailors use a system of home-made lateral props from the handrails to a point on the mast 4 - 6 feet above the deck, or other similar system of guy wires to help steady the mast side to side. There are many variations on this theme, all of which work quite well.

When raising the mast, be sure that the shroud, backstay, etc. are not binding or catching on protruding parts of the boat. If you are hauling on the vang and meeting great resistance, you're caught on something. STOP HAULING!!! Find the offending line/hardware, free it, and then proceed.

I'll look for some pictures on my computer, but I'm not sure I have any. Hope this helps.:)

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