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04-06-2014 03:47 PM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

Just an update to my post a while back... ended up borrowing a bosun chair from a neighbor, and used the jib/main halyards to go up the stick (lost my spinnaker halyard). The boat was tied off to the dock so it didn't move much, and it was a calm day. I pretty much just pulled the main halyard while a helper pulled in the slack around a winch and through a cam cleat, and up I went.
07-06-2013 03:50 AM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

Ladder? Now where is the fun in that? I guess I could combine the two options and put on a harness attached to the halyard as a backup safety in case the ladder falls or I lose my balance. And here I go overcomplicating things again.

See, now I have three options. I still have to check the heights and see if there is a flat, safe place to put the base of a ladder but that could definitely work as well (at least for the initial inspection to determine the problem).
07-05-2013 08:18 PM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

Uhh.. tip it over with the main halyard.
07-05-2013 04:35 PM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

SunnyD have you considered making a "test harness"? You'd need compatible connectors and a length of wire. With the mast lowered you could plug one end in to the base on the boat, the other end into the base at the mast. then you can test all day long from the comfort of ground level.
07-05-2013 04:22 PM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

Originally Posted by SunnnyD View Post
Hello all, I have been an avid reader of the forum, but this is my first post, so forgive me if I botched this thread!

So I purchased a 1978 Laguna Windrose 22' sailboat about a year ago, and it has been kept in a slip on KY Lake. During my last sail, I noticed that the white light on the front of the mast (running light) was out, and I suspect that the bulb burned out based on the fact that the light on the top of the mast (anchor light) is working fine and it appears that they share the same wiring at the mast step. What I am trying to figure out is if it is safe to go up the mast in a bosun's chair on a mast that is bolted on at the deck to check/fix/replace the bulb and/or fixture or if I should just take down the mast and do it that way.

My concern is that when you take down the mast, you have to unhook the wiring and I might not be able to test it until I put the mast back up (so if my fix doesn't work, I will have to do it all over again).

Of note, I am in good shape (mid 30's) and or slip is pretty calm and protected but it would be my first time going up a mast.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!


Why not just use a ladder? Your mast is 25' tall. The steaming light should be located 1/2 way up...12-13' off the deck. Get an extension ladder and get r dun! I replace my steaming light this way. Lash the top of the ladder to the mast for stability.
07-05-2013 12:06 PM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

Hudsonian, so true; I should have thought of that earlier; I am sure that there is a common bulb in all of the fixtures, but it is definitely something that I need to check into further.. Regardless,I am not sure that the other folks on my dock would be happy about me leaving my mast laying across the pier while I run to the hardware store for a bulb so a quick trip up before doing the full replacement might be just the thing lest I have to take it down and put it back up twice which is probably not completely necessary.
07-05-2013 12:03 PM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

Denise, I appreciate your comments and the link. I do know how to drop the mast (at least I know how it is described in the manual), but I was just seeing what my options were and taking into consideration the safety concerns and the logistics/time involved with dropping the mast vs. going up it, I think that I have a good plan. I am a fairly novice sailor and I like the idea of gaining the experience of going up but I don't want to do it at risk of injury or equipment damages for something that is certainly not an emergency. Cheers,

07-05-2013 11:10 AM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

You don't need to go to the masthead to work on the steaming light. If it's only 10 or 12 feet above the deck you probably climb or shinny up ( e.g., gooseneck, spinnaker pole bale, etc) Unless you can identify the light model you'll probably need to make at least two trips. One to remove the bulb and a second to replace it.
07-05-2013 10:30 AM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

SunnyD, I'm guessing you don't know how to drop and raise the mast. It's really not difficult but as in most things it is all about preparation.
You may want to join the trailer sailor's forums also. In this video notice that the stays on each side are in place? the keep the whole works from swinging out of control as the mast is raised.
07-05-2013 03:02 AM
Re: Going up the mast on a trailerable sailboat?

All great points; again, thanks for the detailed input; although it sounds pretty innocuous the way you put it Dubbinchris, if the two weights were to "change places," would be a pretty major disaster for me. I think I am convinced. Seeing that it is a trailerable boat, I suppose that the experience of taking down the mast is probably just as (if not more) important than the experience of going up it in this case.
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