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post #11 of 33 Old 04-04-2017
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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

The above examples are all excellent- SHNOOL's A-frame system is nicely done. My father has a Seaward 23 (~30 foot mast) that gets raised and lowered once per year when the boat is pulled for the winter. He has a gin pole (mounted just forward of the mast) and uses the mainsheet to raise/lower. He has added baby stays on the side of his mast to keep it from swaying in the breeze. I will stress that baby stays are essential unless you have a second hand to hold the mast in column as it goes up. Even then, baby stays are helpful. His run from the mast track to stanchion bases. In my opinion, using the baby stays are essential if using a gin pole.

As for doing this on the water, I wouldn't want to raise/lower my mast on the water much even on my 19 foot boat with a tabernacle. One little wave and you've ripped the mounting plate out of the deck. Some boats such as Compac Eclipse/Horizon might be easier, but I wouldn't want to be doing it too often.
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post #12 of 33 Old 04-04-2017
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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

Most of the boats I sail have swept spreaders, meaning using the boom as a gin pole doesn't work because you'd need the boom forward of the mast. However, the S2 7.9 has a bracket you can build for the mast step that accepts the spinnaker pole as a gin pole. I personally don't like gin poles for deck stepped masts, as you need some kind of tempoary stays to keep the mast in line while lifting/lowering... the A-frame takes a lot of that out of the picture.

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Originally Posted by ColoGuy View Post
Shnool.....can we get an estimate of the weight of the mast on your S2? Seems to be a sturdily built boat which helps explain the original prices, on the higher side, for a boat with a pretty spartan cockpit.

It seems like I could possibly use a winch on my truck to keep things from getting out of control.
There is some contention on the weight of the mast of the S2 7.9. I know the Capri 25 was (bare pole) about 50lbs. All up it was likely about 70lbs. The S2 7.9 weight has been said to be 75lbs. I think that is bare weight. I found it difficult to move and maneuver the mast myself when I lowered it to my garage floor to paint it (I had to use a block and tackle system to do it). My Capri 25 mast I literally detached all the rigging and spun it myself with no rigging, and it didn't "feel" heavy to me. These are 2 masts that are roughly the same length, however, the Capri 25 mast was about as big around as a 1liter soda bottle, the S2 mast was closer to a 2 liter soda bottle (was trying to find some common point of reference sizes).

Not sure what you mean by spartan cockpit on the S2... but the 7.9 is a racing boat with a sit in cockpit, and has essentially the same layout in the cockpit as the Capri 25 (also a race boat), both are sit-in cockpits, unlike the J24 and my Wavelength 24. Both were meant to compete head to head with the J24 (if that is any kind of example). The design was of a mainsheet traveler across the cockpit, tiller steering, backstay adjusters and genoa sheets, and spinnaker blocks all within reach of the tiller. Original designs intended the skipper to ride high side, between tiller and traveler, but from a weight distribution standpoint forward of the traveler is better. Of these boats, only the S2 7.9 actually has any kind of cruising area below. The S2 has a separate head amidships, and 5'8" of headroom. There is a sink and a fixed ice box, with a large V-berth, and two usable quarter berths. By contrast the other boats mentioned by me have barely sitting room below, however, the Capri 25 did have large quarter berths.

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post #13 of 33 Old 04-04-2017
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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

I use a gin pole on my Chrysler 26. I always raise the mast solo. There is no flopping about at all. I have the mast in control at all times. The key is to have the gin pole, and the mast stayed. I use 4 tie down straps. 2 on the mast (I attached some padeyes about 6 feet up on each side), 2 on the gin pole. If something is leaning to one side, I just tighten the opposite strap. My mast is mounted to a hinge plate from Dweyer.
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post #14 of 33 Old 04-04-2017
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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

To Schnools point about mast raising taking time, it does seriously impinge on just showing up, splashing the boat, and sailing off into the sunset but like anything the real trick it to develop a procedure, follow the procedure, note shortcomings in the procedure, amend the procedure etc etc etc until you have a system that takes launching and mast raising from being an "event" to being a "process".

It's tough to do that since, lets be honest, we are all lazy when it comes to our hobbies and we don't really want to sit there and act all businessman Bob about things that are supposed to be fun but if you want to trailer well, it really does make all the difference.

My boat is likely quite a bit more complex than most trailer sailers both in systems as well as physical size but I can, like Schnool, be up, sails bent, and pulling away from the courtesy dock in about 1.5 hours. Not smooth enough to make me want to weekend somewhere but quick enough that I can plan to drive all day, pull into the ramp a little before sunset and know that I can sleep on the hook instead of in the parking lot.

If I was doing the trip you are talking about in my boat I would probably drop the mast coming up to the first bridge and leave it down till I passed the same bridge going back. As it happens, I have a Yanmar diesel that seems to derive it's power from the collective happiness of passing birds or something because no matter how much I motor, I really don't ever seem to use any fuel.
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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

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Originally Posted by Aswayze View Post

If I was doing the trip you are talking about in my boat I would probably drop the mast coming up to the first bridge and leave it down till I passed the same bridge going back
As much as I'd like to do the trip unpowered, realistically I'm thinking it's going to be a hybridised version of this. We've booked off 17 days to do this trip, so I'm figuring with messing around with boats and trailers that leaves me 14 days on the water (we plan to only do a one way transit on the canal and trailer back). So our goal is only 9 miles/day on average. So I think it's possible.

But 6 of the 8 bridges are in the last 50 miles as the canal approaches then snakes through the city. The first 75 miles is a mix of Canadian Shield wilderness including a couple of good sized lakes and farmers fields. We'll probably spend that first 8 or 9 days sailing slowly up the canal, dropping the mast a couple of times as necessary, and spend the last 50 or so miles motoring through the city.
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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

Good posts by all, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video would be even better. I especially like the idea of the boom as the gin pole. However, now I'm concerned since my stays are on spreaders. I just bought a '73 Coronado 23-2, so I'll be figuring this all out soon. Practice in my driveway first with some of these ideas. I grew up sailing a Chrysler Mutineer 15' so we could just walk the mast up (although it had a lot of mast for so small a boat).
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post #17 of 33 Old 04-04-2017
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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
Most of the boats I sail have swept spreaders, meaning using the boom as a gin pole doesn't work because you'd need the boom forward of the mast. However, the S2 7.9 has a bracket you can build for the mast step that accepts the spinnaker pole as a gin pole. I personally don't like gin poles for deck stepped masts, as you need some kind of tempoary stays to keep the mast in line while lifting/lowering... the A-frame takes a lot of that out of the picture.



There is some contention on the weight of the mast of the S2 7.9. I know the Capri 25 was (bare pole) about 50lbs. All up it was likely about 70lbs. The S2 7.9 weight has been said to be 75lbs. I think that is bare weight. I found it difficult to move and maneuver the mast myself when I lowered it to my garage floor to paint it (I had to use a block and tackle system to do it). My Capri 25 mast I literally detached all the rigging and spun it myself with no rigging, and it didn't "feel" heavy to me. These are 2 masts that are roughly the same length, however, the Capri 25 mast was about as big around as a 1liter soda bottle, the S2 mast was closer to a 2 liter soda bottle (was trying to find some common point of reference sizes).

Not sure what you mean by spartan cockpit on the S2... but the 7.9 is a racing boat with a sit in cockpit, and has essentially the same layout in the cockpit as the Capri 25 (also a race boat), both are sit-in cockpits, unlike the J24 and my Wavelength 24. Both were meant to compete head to head with the J24 (if that is any kind of example). The design was of a mainsheet traveler across the cockpit, tiller steering, backstay adjusters and genoa sheets, and spinnaker blocks all within reach of the tiller. Original designs intended the skipper to ride high side, between tiller and traveler, but from a weight distribution standpoint forward of the traveler is better. Of these boats, only the S2 7.9 actually has any kind of cruising area below. The S2 has a separate head amidships, and 5'8" of headroom. There is a sink and a fixed ice box, with a large V-berth, and two usable quarter berths. By contrast the other boats mentioned by me have barely sitting room below, however, the Capri 25 did have large quarter berths.
I'm so green that about all I can do is quote others. Turns out that others are often wrong.
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post #18 of 33 Old 04-04-2017
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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

If the OP is OK with an 18' boat, he might consider an 18' Marshall or 19' Menger catboat that is set up with a mast tabernacle. One advantage of a gaff-rigged boat is that the mast is not as high as that of an 18' sloop. Catboats are beamier and heavier than sloops of the same length, so it would be fair to compare a Menger 19 to a Catalina 22 in that regard.

Raising and lowering the mast can be a one-man job and doesn't necessarily require the winch shown in this video:
. I had an 18' catboat for many years that had a keel-stepped mast. I stepped and unstepped that mast in the water, without mechanical assist, but it required 2 adult males and had its risks. The deck-step with tabernacle is the way to go, whatever the boat, if you want to be independent of gin poles, A-frames, and such.
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post #19 of 33 Old 04-05-2017
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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
The hitch is, for the vacation this year I have these 8 bridges in my way. My thoughts are I don't need to completely drop the mast to pass under a 22' bridge, just rake it back by 45 degrees or so.

As for the boat, I haven't purchased it yet, but I'm only looking at deck stepped models with a maximum size of about 25', however, I am considering boats as small as 18'. Certainly a Catalina 22 style of boat is an option I'm considering. Indeed, part of my boat selection criteria is based on ease of mast stepping.
I used to have a Catalina Capri 22. Great little boat although it wouldn't be my first choice for your coming adventure. I did not trailer it but had the mast down six or seven times in the first few weeks of ownership (startling lack of organization). The only minor thing I can offer to what others have said is that working from a belay point across the dock on the opposite finger helped a lot although obviously required a longer line.

The idea of raking the mast back is a good one, but not as easy as it might seem. A friend of mine has a 60' ketch (yes much bigger). I don't recall the air draft - 76' I think. The boat is rigged to lay the main mast back to fit under 65' bridges on the ICW. It's a really major evolution and the most time consuming part is securing the mast in the raked back position. Remember you'll be underway and subject to lots of forces. Obviously not so extreme as a 60' ketch, but substantial nonetheless.

I suggest that you consider the extra "stuff" necessary for the evolution. Carrying A-frames and crutches takes up a lot of space. That does make raking back the mast more attractive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
We've booked off 17 days to do this trip, so I'm figuring with messing around with boats and trailers that leaves me 14 days on the water (we plan to only do a one way transit on the canal and trailer back). So our goal is only 9 miles/day on average. So I think it's possible.
You'll have a great time. It sounds like a great plan.

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Re: Single Handed Mast Stepping without a Crane

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenr74 View Post
The key is to have the gin pole, and the mast stayed. I use 4 tie down straps. 2 on the mast (I attached some padeyes about 6 feet up on each side), 2 on the gin pole. If something is leaning to one side, I just tighten the opposite strap. My mast is mounted to a hinge plate from Dweyer.
This is very useful information Kenr. The hinge plate sounds like a great piece of kit for a boat that is going to be trailered. The mast plate, combined with a forestay quick release could make a boat with even a poorly designed mast stepping system into something decent. It won't break the bank either. I do have one 18.5 foot sloop that is basically a give away that I have had my eye on for this trip that I have been avoiding because it doesn't have a pin on the mast, a mast plate like this might make all the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallard View Post
If the OP is OK with an 18' boat, he might consider an 18' Marshall or 19' Menger catboat that is set up with a mast tabernacle.
I love Cat boats, especially for sailing short handed in very confined waters. So far, I've only spotted one within a decent drive for me and it has no cabin and is lots of $$. But if anybody knows of an 18 or 19' cat boat in Eastern Ontario at an inexpensive price, I would be interested in hearing from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
The only minor thing I can offer to what others have said is that working from a belay point across the dock on the opposite finger helped a lot although obviously required a longer line....

...The idea of raking the mast back is a good one, but not as easy as it might seem. A friend of mine has a 60' ketch (yes much bigger). I don't recall the air draft - 76' I think. The boat is rigged to lay the main mast back to fit under 65' bridges on the ICW

...You'll have a great time. It sounds like a great plan.
Cool idea about using belay points ashore, I have been trying to think of different shore features I can use to facilitate my mast situation. There are several marinas along the way with mast cranes, and every bridge either has it's own tie up wall or a tie up wall in close proximity (45 locks in 125 miles).

Your friend must have nerves of steel messing around with a 76' mast. Good for him.

I think it will be a good one. The canal was built as a military transportation route to carry troops and military supplies. The entrance to the canal is protected by a large 19th century stone fort and several Martello Towers. Along the way are several 19th century fortifications, military settlements, towers, etc. The fees for all of them have been waived for 2017 (might be a bit busy). Plus good fishing and lots of pubs and eateries along the way. Lots of neat old mills, provincial parks and conservation areas too.

Last edited by Arcb; 04-05-2017 at 08:35 AM.
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