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  Topic Review (Newest First)
13 Hours Ago 01:50 PM
Re: Gin-Pole Mast raising system

Klacko Spars Ltd. of OAKVILLE!!!
Never tried this but it looks like a slick system using the spinnaker pole car.
15 Hours Ago 12:07 PM
Re: Gin-Pole Mast raising system

OK, a little bit more research indicates that it looks like Gelinas left out how he stabilizes the hinge on the cap shrouds, since I found a few descriptions that stress that the axis/pivot point should not change:

"What you must do is stabilise the mast sideways as it goes down. Your SS plate lugs may be strong enough but there are many Al ones around here that snap off like chalk if the mast swings sideways.
You can stabilise the mast easily with a mast head rig with cap shrouds square to the mast. You extend the chain plates with a tube so that the cap shroud can only pivot back from a point opposite the mast hinge. The tube is stayed forward by a wire or rope to stop it pivoting back. So the cap shrouds remain tight all the way from vertical to horizontal so no side sway.
Read more at Is this mast foot designed for lowering without a crane? - Page 2 "

I think I'll stick with the ring stabilized by lines and not worry about using the shroud for this.
16 Hours Ago 11:11 AM
Re: Gin-Pole Mast raising system

I can see what they are after. In order to keep the distance from the top of the shroud to the bottom constant as the mast goes up, it must hinge at the same axis as the mast step hinge. I don't see how the rigging you showed would work. Seems to me that it would need to be supported pretty far off the deck (at the height of the mast step). Maybe you could rig a temporary, or permanent mini shroud for the shroud hinge.

Otherwise, you may be able to find some other way to take the slack out of the shroud, and release it as the mast goes up.
16 Hours Ago 10:53 AM
Re: Gin-Pole Mast raising system

In the book "Sea Wolf" Jack London describes raising the masts on that vessel by the captain alone. It might not help you much, but it's a great read. lol
18 Hours Ago 08:20 AM
Re: Gin-Pole Mast raising system

I'm resurrecting this older thread to get some clarification on an idea on saw on the Cape Horn site (Mast Stepping System). Gelinas describes using a "hinge" on the cap shrouds (upper shrouds), which, from what I gather, is something like this: . It's not clear to me how this would attach to the shroud, or how it would remain in position - in line with the mast step - while lowering or raising the mast. If someone could explain this to me better, I'd appreciate it. Is this hinge permanently attached, perhaps?

(I realize there are other ways to skin a cat, I'm only asking about this one method and how this "hinge" works. I was planning on bringing my mast down using a pole and "shrouds" passing through a ring held in place by lines going in four directions, but this use of the cap/upper shrouds was new to me.)

(bonus material: While trying to find an image for what I was just describing, I ran across this image, of what looks like a permanent setup to do the same thing Gelinas describes: )
11-23-2010 09:10 PM
TakeFive I just lowered the mast on the Catalina 250 two days ago. This was my first time and I made my own gin pole. The Catalina 250 is designed to be trailerable, which makes stepping the mast much easier. For instance, both the upper and lower shrouds are behind the mast (thanks to the swept-back spreaders), so they loosen as you lower the mast. There are no forward lower shrouds to remove - just the forestay, since the mast pivots toward the cockpit.

While your mast may step differently, perhaps you can get some ideas from my setup.

Here is my gin pole, which worked great:

That is a 20 year old spare tire bracket used to attach the pole to the mast. A new one that I had bought was heavier gauge rod, which left insufficient room for the nuts on either side of the 2x4.

The only thing I might change with the gin pole is to put a different winch on. It was pulling pretty hard against the short handle, and though I never lost control, had I let go I would have never regained control with the ratchet disabled. It would be nice to find one with adjustable friction brake. Does such a winch exist?

Here are pics of the pole rigged up. The red ratchet straps kept both the mast and pole in column by connecting to bails on the stanchions, which on the C250 are conveniently aligned with the stepping bolt. (Catalina sells "baby stays" for the mast, but they were pricey and would require me to wait longer than I was willing.) Since the straps do not have pelican clips, I used duct tape across the opening to ensure the ones to the mast did not fall out. You'll see two lines coming off the top of the pole. I used both the jib halyard to the top of the mast AND made a harness to run a second line to just beneath the spreaders. I wanted redundancy for this critical function. The red bucket in the pic is there to put the furler into so it does not scratch up the figerglass:

My biggest delay was caused by difficulty disconnecting the forestay. The C250 has a split backstay, so releasing the one on the port side (which has a shackle for this purpose) would loosen the backstay nicely. But I could not get the port backstay shackle to release because it was so taut. I had to turn to backstay turnbuckle (inconveniently located about 7 feet above the cockpit) 20 turns and have a friend pull down as hard as he could on the backstay to get the port shackle to release. After that I was able to easily remove the forestay. The owners manual gives no hint that releasing the forestay is so complicated.

My crutch for supporting the mast did not work perfectly, largely because I could not find a good place to secure it in lieu of extra gudgeons on the transom. (Rudder does not remove easily because I have wheel steering.) I used a bimini swivel with removable clevis pin attached to a metal loop welded into the rear pulpit to bear the brunt of the weight, and a broom clamp below it to keep the pole vertical:

The moment arm was awfully long, so I relocated the parts to shorten the crutch. It was stable enough to support the mast once it dropped, but when we removed the step bolt to walk the mast forward, the forward force on the crutch was too much (even with the roller) and the broom clamp released. I ended up reinforcing it by lashing to the pulpit, but I'm uncomfortable with relying on the pulpit since it's just attached to the fuel locker with nuts and small washers. I'm afraid a good wind storm against a tarp could put too much pressure on the crutch and damage the pulpit or fuel locker. So after I took these pictures I lashed an 8' 2x4 across the perch seat pulpits and set the mast on it for the time being. I need to find a better alternative for under the tarp, so I'm thinking I'll put a sawhorse across the cockpit lockers.

11-23-2010 08:09 PM
CaptKermie Wow! $250.00 is a lot, I think I paid $160.00 for my new one and I still have the old one. The old one is for a 26X, the new ones are for the 26M but work on the others. What Mac 26 model do you have? The gin pole kits are specifically made for MacGregor boats that is why they charge a premium and the new ones come with a brake winch so they are a bit pricier. The old ones like my old one incorporate the use of the headsail winch to hoist the mast from the cockpit whereas the new ones have the winch on the gin pole so you can just stand there and crank up the mast. Perhaps you would like my old one???
11-23-2010 07:34 PM
Mast Raising

Originally Posted by rbrown77138 View Post
I just finished a mast raising system on my Helsen 22'. It is 12v operated and is glass laid over my deck. When it is down, you can barely see it. This might be a little over the top, but take a look. You can see it on Youtube, just type in "mast stepping A frame" and you should reach it, also on my channel is a 12v operated keel, Bob.
I have a Helsen 20 and am interested in seeing what you built as I am starting to devise something for my boat. Any photos available?
07-15-2010 10:04 PM
PBzeer The trailerable Hunters use a gin pole system for mast raising (I beleive Hunter has a video, or link to it, on using the system). Basically, the mast has a hole in the front section into which the pole is inserted. The pole has two opposing eyes on the other end. The jib halyard is hooked to the top one, and the mainsheet (4 to 1) is hooked to the other, as well as to the anchor padeye in the anchor locker. You then use the mainsheet to raise the mast (with the side shrouds in place). I could raise my 28 foot mast on my H26 by myself.
07-15-2010 05:36 PM
mattu lydanynom,
I'm not really positive about anything on this boat yet. I new to cruisers. It seem that if I just use the bow plate, there would be too much tension on the 88 plate and cleats. without a pole the angle seem to acute and I thing getting the mast up would require too much muscle.
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