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post #1 of 23 Old 12-18-2016 Thread Starter
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Mast stepping a Pearson 26

I would like to mast step my new purchased 1972 Pearson 26. My research, and please confirm is, this mast needs to be lifted from it's shoe in the deck by way of a tripod or crane. I want to do this with just my wife and I and the boat came with a long pole with a pulley at one end and seems to fit in a bucket strap in the front of the trailer. The boat is currently on the trailer and ready for transport to my home 5 miles away.

Does anyone have a video of the Pearson mast stepping? You Tube is full of everything except the Pearson and almost all have a hinged mast stepping process. I would like to convert mine to this after I get it home for winter renovations.

The best info I have found is using 2x4's in a tripod configuration and a sling to raise the mast straight up and then walk the base towards the bow to set it in a cradled gen pole.
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1972 Pearson 26
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post #2 of 23 Old 12-18-2016
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Re: Mast stepping a Pearson 26

it's keel stepped right? means lifting straight up 6ft to clear. Gonna be tough for less then 4 people without some real planning. best hire a crane.

A tripod would have to be pretty tall to get above the spreaders + 6ft

No matter how you do it, it's not going to be cheap! Buying the stuff to build a tripod could be close to the cost of a crane. (if you find a reasonable crane owner)

I used to hire cranes quite often in my business. (HVAC)

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Re: Mast stepping a Pearson 26

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it's keel stepped right? means lifting straight up 6ft to clear. Gonna be tough for less then 4 people without some real planning. best hire a crane.

A tripod would have to be pretty tall to get above the spreaders + 6ft

No matter how you do it, it's not going to be cheap! Buying the stuff to build a tripod could be close to the cost of a crane. (if you find a reasonable crane owner)

I used to hire cranes quite often in my business. (HVAC)

When you mean keel stepped, you mean the mast goes through the deck to the keel? Then no it only secures to the deck by what I understand to be the a shoe. Does not penetrate into the cabin. The shoe I assume has inches of insert in the mast to clear. But that is what I am asking here to confirm. I can get a crane at marina but if two can do this without, I would rather DIY. The attached jpg is what I got from a question and answer elsewhere in a Sailnet mast discussion.
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1972 Pearson 26
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post #4 of 23 Old 12-18-2016
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Re: Mast stepping a Pearson 26

use the crane save life or limb until you have more time to plan the project.

Most deck stepped masts have a hinged or pinned, so it can swing base. It's been done they way you describe with much success but it's the first time for you. The Gin pole routine works well BUT to keep the mast from swinging off to port or starboard (and it will) the sidestays on the mast need to be on the same pivot line as the mast base. block and takle on the headstay is often a less costly way to let it down also.

Mast dropping on any boat about the same size with deck stepped mast videos will help, Pearson is not that unique
Boats over 25ft generally have pretty heavy masts, another reason to be very careful.

This guy has it down!


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Re: Mast stepping a Pearson 26

I love that video. This was one of many I've come across except I wanted a copy of the 1st two songs but couldn't find it anywhere on the web. Even Google could not identify it.

After watching a You Tube video with 5 guys using a 2x6 tripod, while the boat was in the water in a slip, I will have the marina do the work at least for the first time. Especially since it is high up on the trailer.
But I did watch a video where someone installed a mast hinge on a 17 foot day sailor. I would be interested if anyone has experience with doing this to Pearson 26.

Thanks for your help

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Re: Mast stepping a Pearson 26

Ur welcome! This is an old discussion, seemss like you do not have a hinged mast base. Consider getting one if you ever plan to use a gin pole setup
Dropping the mast by hand

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post #7 of 23 Old 12-18-2016
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Re: Mast stepping a Pearson 26

Ballenger spars have the hinged mast steps you likely are looking for (after you get your mast down).
http://ballengerspars.com/ mid way down the page on the right.

You are correct, the mast appears to be deck stepped, but with a flange (typical of larger boats that are deck stepped) because the thought process is you would be using a crane to mast/demast.

So basically to get it down, your best bet is a crane... you can MAKE a crane with a large (must be higher than the mid point of the mast) pick point... or what a lot of other people do is somthing THEY call a gin pole (look up J80 gin pole, not to be confused with deck stepped gin poles)... Anyway its a temporary mast with line shrouds and a pulley, that allows you to lift the mast from its mid-point, then lower it down.

My bet is this is a minimum 3 person deal on a 26 footer, 1 person hauling the crane halyard, and 2 steering the mast off the shoe, and lower it down and away from the deck.

Once down, your winter project would be to upgrade to a hinged step so you can easily lift the mast yourself with an A-frame, and tilting the mast up.



The mast weight should not make this too difficult, probably not much heavier than my S2 7.9s mast (about 80lbs)... but it DOES get very unweildy as you get it at about 45 degrees... which is why I recommend 3 people.

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post #8 of 23 Old 12-19-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Mast stepping a Pearson 26

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Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
Ballenger spars have the hinged mast steps you likely are looking for (after you get your mast down).'

You are correct, the mast appears to be deck stepped, but with a flange (typical of larger boats that are deck stepped) because the thought process is you would be using a crane to mast/demast.

So basically to get it down, your best bet is a crane... you can MAKE a crane with a large (must be higher than the mid point of the mast) pick point... or what a lot of other people do is somthing THEY call a gin pole (look up J80 gin pole, not to be confused with deck stepped gin poles)... Anyway its a temporary mast with line shrouds and a pulley, that allows you to lift the mast from its mid-point, then lower it down.

My bet is this is a minimum 3 person deal on a 26 footer, 1 person hauling the crane halyard, and 2 steering the mast off the shoe, and lower it down and away from the deck.

Once down, your winter project would be to upgrade to a hinged step so you can easily lift the mast yourself with an A-frame, and tilting the mast up.

The mast weight should not make this too difficult, probably not much heavier than my S2 7.9s mast (about 80lbs)... but it DOES get very unweildy as you get it at about 45 degrees... which is why I recommend 3 people.

This is very helpful. The boat came with two long steel poles. One for an extension to launch from the ramp and the other is just what you describe. 15-20 foot pole with a pulley on the end. The trailer has a hole to place it in the front but I bet there is one for the side like your picture shows. I will check it out next time I go to the boat. This may make a decision to DIY with 3 people easier.

It's amazing how little help I have found all over the web and You Tube about stepping a deck mast on a 26 foot sailboat until I came here. Most everyone has a hinged mast base and make videos making it look easy. Only found one example of building a 2x6 A-Frame to lift the mast up and that looked like a circus. This picture and the pole explains a lot.

Thanks everyone for your help. Now if I didn't slip on ice last night and sprain my ankle, I don't think it's broken but headed to the Urgent Care for X-Rays. It will keep me from working on the boat for awhile and likely cancel my trip to Florida to spend Christmas with my kids. But the bright side is I have a wife that is waiting on me hand and foot to keep me off my foot.
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post #9 of 23 Old 12-19-2016
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Re: Mast stepping a Pearson 26

I used the A-frame method earlier this year, using 2X6s, but I doubled them up by screwing boards perpendicular to each long piece to reduce bending. I think there's a thread showing that somewhere on this site, but I don't know exactly where. Two neighbors of mine helped me - one in the cockpit controlling the main line to lower the mast, and two of us forward to pop it out and guide it down.

Here's what I based my operation on, which is for a Catalina 27:
The video has a shot of a web page you should also refer to.

And here's another link where the same operation is described for a Pearson Ariel: Dropping the mast by hand

It may look like a circus, but once set up, lifting and lowering the mast was rather easy, with surprisingly light loads on things. Getting it back up was more difficult, since we had some lines crossed/overlapped.
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Re: Mast stepping a Pearson 26

In the above video it scares me how rickety the A-frame looks... the video is super perfect to demo the idea how to do it though.
my $0.02 would be buy 2x6 x 16foot boards for the bottom, then add an 8 footer overlapping the top like shown... but at the point where you overlap the 2, I'd make a cross-member to hold the a-frame more square. It looks like it'd remain out of the way for the operation at that height. Also I'd likely add a cross member nearly at deck level too, to keep the whole A-frame sturdy. With those 2 additional "design elements" the A-frame would work nicely and likely be easier to do than the gin pole even.

I have my next boat narrowed down to 3 candidates, and all 3 are actually Keel stepped masts, which creates a similar problem. We do not have a crane at our club either.

What I am saying is this thread has also helped me

Still looks like 3 people are nearly essential.

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