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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Removing the mast
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Thread: Removing the mast Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-22-2012 08:13 PM
hellosailor
Re: Removing the mast

Quickstep-
There are many things I've never heard of, and find hard to conceive. But needing to lift the mast BEFORE unplugging the wiring? That would be a prize-winner, I'd put on my headband, sharpen my machete, and start looking for the guy who installed that one.
10-22-2012 07:17 PM
Flybyknight
Re: Removing the mast

It's incomprehensible that you have to lift the mast to disconnect wiring. No Way!!
There just has got to be a way, just find it.
30' is about the upper limit to lower the mast single handed. See
The Sailor's Sketchbook by Bruce Bingham Seven Seas Press for complete instructions.
10-22-2012 06:31 PM
Quickstep192
Re: Removing the mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"You don't pull an engine to change the oil."
Oh, DUH! Now you tell me?!
And here we've been having the engine swapped out every hundred hours because there's no drain hole in the oil pan. Jeez, aaron, what else have you been holding back on?

Quickstep, it sounds like whoever built your boat cheaped out. Whether you go up the past or pull it, there SHOULD be a wiring disconnect at the bast of the mast. Maybe IN the mast, hidden under an access plate. Maybe in the deck, bulkhead mounted. Or moaybe in the air, in the cable bundle. But there always should be a way to disconnect those wires, specifically so the mast can be pulled with zero risk of damaging them.

No, it isn't quick and easy to get a decent connector in there, some folks use the 4-plug "trailer wiring" connectors and just keep them well greased and covered. That will work if you don't have time for better options.

There are connectors in there, but they still need to be disconnected while the mast is first pulled up before it can be removed, right?
10-22-2012 05:02 PM
luck66
Re: Removing the mast

There is a way to take down the mast at the dock with out a crane. You need to dock your boat between two sail boats. Use their main halyard to lift your mast. But you still need to go up the mast to fasten the other boats halyards to your mast below your spreaders. Best to get someone to do the work by going up the mast.
10-22-2012 04:22 PM
Seaduction
Re: Removing the mast

As an old 'trailer-sailor' I used to raise and lower the mast by myself all of the time. It was a catalina 30 tall rig with a tabernacle at the base of the mast. I loosened the forward shrouds and forestay was removed and attached to a long line which I wrapped around the bow pulpit so I could 'ease' the mast backward and control the fall with the line attached to the forestay. I guess it depends on your boat and mast mounting at the deck.
10-22-2012 04:02 PM
Capt.aaron
Re: Removing the mast

If you do pull it for the installations, consider installing a tabernackle before you re-step and avoid future difficulties. My 30 foot mast is on one, my 72 year old father in-law and I put my mast up just the two of us last week.
Hellosailor, do you still have any of those throw away engine's, I'm in the market.
As for holding out info, you should put your sock on before the shoe......just say'n.
10-22-2012 03:39 PM
hellosailor
Re: Removing the mast

"You don't pull an engine to change the oil."
Oh, DUH! Now you tell me?!
And here we've been having the engine swapped out every hundred hours because there's no drain hole in the oil pan. Jeez, aaron, what else have you been holding back on?

Quickstep, it sounds like whoever built your boat cheaped out. Whether you go up the past or pull it, there SHOULD be a wiring disconnect at the bast of the mast. Maybe IN the mast, hidden under an access plate. Maybe in the deck, bulkhead mounted. Or moaybe in the air, in the cable bundle. But there always should be a way to disconnect those wires, specifically so the mast can be pulled with zero risk of damaging them.

No, it isn't quick and easy to get a decent connector in there, some folks use the 4-plug "trailer wiring" connectors and just keep them well greased and covered. That will work if you don't have time for better options.
10-22-2012 03:37 PM
chucklesR
Re: Removing the mast

In the Navy we had a routine job of dropping our 34 foot H.F. antenna's to do cleaning and such. The official requirement was to use a crane.
Our Chief said get it done, no crane available. Four of us went to work, one holding the base by literally straddling it, the others lifting and lowering etc..
The base slipped, the guy straddling the base sings soprano (partial castration).

Can you hold 150 pounds of 30 foot long mast inches off the deck and unhook wires?

What you need to do is 1 hour of work, take the boat (float or trailer) to a marina and have it done. You can do things fast, cheap, or well (pick two, you can't have all three).
10-22-2012 01:47 PM
ABH3 Boyer
Re: Removing the mast

I took my 30 foot mast down and I can tell you its not that hard. I found it easier to do at my dock than it is to do on the hard. make sure you do it on a calm day. Backed into my dock it was easier because I could have someone standing aft of the boat to recieve the mast and being on the dock with their arms raised they were a few feet higher than the top of my cabin. On the ground you would need a tall step ladder. A friend that has a lot of body mass (thats a fat guy with some muscles) lifted the mast so the electrical connections can be disconnected. Then with the bolt still in but loosened the forward stay is unhooked and the mast gets lowered aft to the guy on the dock. the guy holding the base of the mast just kind of steers the mast while the person forward walks aft with a good grip on the forward stay. If you had 2 more people available they could disconnect and grab the port and starbird stays and help lower / steer the mast down. Putting it back up is easier than taking it down. I actually did it with one other person however I dont think i'm going to try that again.
10-22-2012 12:27 PM
sonofasonofasailer456
Stepping the mast

If you go to the alberg 30 site there is an article for unstepping the mast, it takes a minimum of 3 people and a rig, cheaper to go up the mast
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