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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Newbie Needs Mast Unstepping Advice
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Thread: Newbie Needs Mast Unstepping Advice Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-17-2007 04:08 PM
jimmiebuchanan
Success! Thanks for the help.

Everything went really well with the mast stepping and unstepping. I used a lot of the advice given to me on this thread. Thanks.
08-15-2007 12:29 PM
Lancer28 Jimmie, I can step my mast up and down with me and my old dad to help guide it (he actually doesn't do much).

I attach the main halyard to the toping lift at the boom, then the boom attaches to a 6:1 purchase with a built in cam cleat to stop the line. This is about 10' fully extended. If I can remember properly, the second after the 6:1is a Harken 10:1 and then it clips into the rear toe rail.

Make sure everything is straight! if you try to step or unstep off of the center line, you'll have a mast in the drink.

The danger zone is before the mast reaches about 45 degrees up. That is where the forces are the worst on your tackle and gin pole or boom.

For going down, I remove my backstay tensioner and one of the three (the aft most) side shrouds, then carefully nudge the mast until it starts taking up line in the tackle setups. I can take photos if you'd like.

Going up, I attach the forestay, the front two shrouds, get the backstay ready, clip the boom into the mast gooseneck, attach the halyard to the boom and the purchases to the boom, clip in to the toe rail, and it is little more than pulling the lines (I use the 10:1 first to take the heavy stuff, then the 6:1 for the longer distance after I cross 45 degrees and run out of line on the 10.)

Once the mast is up, my helper holds the tackle lines while I clip in the backstay tensioner and two extra side lines. If you have only one stay coming off of your shroud, it is likely you can leave the three (front port and starboard) all attached while you lift. If your boat is one of those strange ones that step from the front, you'll need to invest in a gin pole system.

I hope this helps, mast stepping is like the #1 hardest thing and scariest thing to do for a new owner. Drop me a pm if you need some photos or something.
08-15-2007 10:22 AM
sailingdog LOL... if you thought Giu's freehand drawings with a mouse were bad... you have no idea how bad it can be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnHand View Post
Here you go, compliments of Generous Electric http://www.imaginationcubed.com/LaunchPage
08-15-2007 09:32 AM
CapnHand
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
SD
You realy need to Get a paint or draw program up and running.
Here you go, compliments of Generous Electric http://www.imaginationcubed.com/LaunchPage
08-15-2007 09:21 AM
sailingdog LOL... I do have photoshop, illustrator, and few others on this machine..but then I would make the drawings scaled to the monitor I use... and get complaints that the images are too big. A 30" monitor tends to warp your idea of what normal sized images are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
SD
You realy need to Get a paint or draw program up and running.
08-15-2007 09:05 AM
SimonV SD
You realy need to Get a paint or draw program up and running.
08-15-2007 08:44 AM
CapnHand Really all that you have to take off the mast before unstepping it is the sails, the boom and running rigging that's attached to the boom. Some people remove the shrouds and stays (cables) from the mast and coil them, others leave them attached to the mast at the top and secure them with a line. It's up to you but I find that leaving them on the mast is easiest. The turnbuckles will not be seized, no worries.

Taking pictures will help you put the puzzle back together after it's taken apart. Watch the yard hands as they unstep the mast, ask questions but try to stay out of their way, you're paying by the hour.

Removing the spreaders is no big deal, one bolt on each side usually.

When you're stepping the mast, you need 2 or 3 friends to help you. Friends that own sailboats and have done it before. I won't try to explain the procedure here. It's simple if you get it set up correctly before you start, it can be a nightmare if you don't.
08-15-2007 08:37 AM
danjarch Masts aren't that hard. You should be able to do every thing with a basic set of tools. Pliers, channel locks, screw drivers, allen wrenches and basic wreches. I'd deffinently take some wd-40 or liquid wrench as well. Taking pictures is fine, but take a note book and make note, draw diagrams, and generaly scetch out what you take apart. As your taking things apart, label them. Use a sharpie and some making tape if you need to. It will prove easier to leave some things ( like the stays ) attached,. just tie them to the mast in a couple of places. The truck driver will help so listen to how he wants it. Once you go to put it back up, just follow your notes as best you can, then make sure everything has a fair lead, and you should be fine. One last peice of advice, put as many of the screws, shackle pins, turn buckle pins, and cotter ring back into the hole you took it out of as your dismantling. This will save you alot of frustration when you go to put it back together. You won't have to geuss which cleaves pin fits the back vs the front stay or try to remeber where you put what bolt.
08-15-2007 08:32 AM
sailingdog Jimmie-

If you remove the standing rigging from the mast, make sure that you clearly mark it all properly, so that you can put it back where it came from. Probably, the best thing to do would be to remove each piece of rigging after labeling it very carefully—by removing the clevis pin at each end—leaving the turnbuckles alone. Then coil it up carefully, and put all the hardware associated with it in a ziplock baggie, cable tie the baggie to the rigging and the rigging into a nice, neat coil. Store flat—so it doesn't get kinked.

I would also mark each of the turn buckles, to indicate where they are currently adjusted to, unless you want to pay a rigger to set the mast back up for you. If the turnbuckles get turned during the shipping and aren't restored to their original positions, the tension on the rig will be affected.

Most spreaders are relatively easy to remove, needing only a wrench and a screwdriver. I'd carry one of the bit-driver kits, so that if you have an odd setup that requires a torx or allen head, you will have it.

A minimal tool kit will include screwdrivers—flat and phillips; adjustable wrench; box end wrenches—metric and imperial since they're often mixed on a boat; needle nose pliers—good for the cotter pins; vise grips; hammer and rubber mallet; WD40; plastic ziploc baggies and cable ties—to organize and hold parts; digital camera, notebook and pencil—to document what you do; Sharpie permanent markers in as many colors as possible—to help identify different parts; flashlight and rigging knife—just useful to have; butane lighter—good for heat sealing cut rope ends.

Don't forget to run messenger lines for the halyards, if you're going to be removing the running rigging. I like using 1.8-3 mm spectra line for the messenger lines. It's tough and light and usually very brightly colored.


42nd street-

As for your lazy jacks. There should be several padeyes along the bottom of the boom and either a padeye or block on each side of the mast for the lazy jacks. There should be several pairs of lines and usually stainless steel rings to use as connectors. The longest line goes up the mast to the padeye/block, and then down to a stainless steel ring on each side. Usually, a line will go from the front-most padeye through the ring to another stainless steel ring—if you have more than one short line per side—or to the back to the boom. If you only have one line per side... you're done. If you have a second line, run it from the next aft-most padeye through the stainless steel ring on the end of the previous line and to either next aft-most padeye on the boom—if there are no more lines—or to a stainless steel ring. If there is a third line... un it from the next aftmost padeye through the stainless steel ring on the end of the previous line and to aft-most padeye on the boom. There usually aren't more than three short lines. The shorter lines may be of different lengths, and you may need to play around a bit to figure out which one is first, second and third... but this should get you started on the right path I think.

The setup will look something like this when you're done:

|\
|.\
|..\
|...\
|....\
|....|\
|....|.\
|....|..\
|....|...\
|....|....\
|....|.....\
|....|.....|\
|....|.....|.\
|....|.....|..\
|....|.....|...\
|....|.....|....\
|....|.....|....|\
|....|.....|....|.\
|....|.....|....|..\
|....|.....|....|...\
|....|.....|....|....\
===============
.....u....u....u.....u
08-15-2007 08:31 AM
rheaton You might want to look for a diagram of the spreader design on-line. You might find this at a user group site for your boat, or at the manufactures site. This would hopfully show an exploded parts list. Having this will help you understand this and other systems. Good luck and have fun.
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