SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Mast stepping Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-14-2004 11:34 AM
Mast stepping

Let me clarify the crane method mentioned above; the more common method (the one I used this fall) involves looping a line around the mid point of the mast to lift it with the crane, and then pulling the base down and attaching it. This obviously requires a crane height of half your mast height, which Washington marina doesn''t have.

The method I was trying to describe uses the crane hook simply as a fixed "sheave", so to speak, to run a haul-up line from the mast head through. The base of the mast is attached, and the mast is pivoted up from the horizontal by pulling on this "haulup" line that runs through the hook.

Hope that is understandable.

Allen F.
04-14-2004 11:30 AM
Mast stepping


I keep my boat upriver from Ft. Washington and I''m having trouble understanding what all the fuss is about. Presumably if Ft. Washington is a full service marina, mast stepping/unstepping would be a basic service offered along with launch/haulout services.

I think you ought to be able to find some facilities somewhere, if not at Ft. Washington, to step your mast. If need be, motor the boat with mast unstepped to a marina nearby that has a crane tall enough to do the job. But it''s hard to imagine that Ft. Washington does not have a crane that can reach about 30 feet; that''s all you need.

You also ought to be able to rig a temporary a-frame (similar to a gin-pole; it improves the angle of effort lifting the mast from the head, and also gives side-to-side stability if the a-frame is securely mounted to the deck) pivotally clamped to the deck to allow you and some helpers to safely step the mast manually.

Another neat trick I''ve heard described here at Washington Sailing marina is to use the launching cranes by the docks. The boat is tied securely to floating docks, lined up so that the centerline of the boat is aligned with the top of the crane and the crane hook. A line from the masthead (jib halyard, etc.)is threaded through the lowered end of the crane hook, the hook is then raised and gives good purchase on lifting the mast (similar to a gin pole idea commonly used), and you can pull the mast up with pretty good stability (at Washington marina you could even attach this line to a vehicle, since the cranes have pavement behind them). I''d recommend you motoring upriver to our marina to try this, but the launch cranes are not really tall, say 16 feet or so above water level at low tide, and might not be tall enough for stepping your 55 footer.

email me if you want more ideas for crane/assisted or other methods of mast stepping (

Allen Flanigan
Alexandria, VA
04-12-2004 07:10 AM
Mast stepping

I just trailer my 35''ft sailboat from Panama City, FL to Fort Washington, MD. I contacted Ft. Washington Marina a month in advance and confirmed they had the capabilities to unload the boat and step the mast (55''). Imagine my surprise when I arrived and the lift operator refused to step the mast! And he was operating the identical lift that had removed the mast in FL.
To make a long story short, I am sitting at a marina in Ft. Washington, approximately 40 - 45 nm from Cobb Island, MD with only 5 days to try to get the mast re-stepped before I have to return to Savannah, GA. And the only avaliable crane company is booked until Friday AND the only person who can commit to allowing me to bring in a crane to Fort Washington Marina is off until Weds.

HELP!!! any and all suggestions are appreciated.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome