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CS36 Merlin - O Pato
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm the new owner of a 1989 CS36 Merlin.
The boat came with a custom canvas cover and cover frame designed to work with a destepped mast. The old owner was a member at a club that used a crane to haul out and launch boats so destepping the mast every year was a necessity.

Our club has travellifts to haul out and launch boats, which means that we could leave the mast in, if we choose. However, that would also mean modifying both the frame and the canvas cover to fit with the mast, shrouds and stays.

Destepping the mast every single year seems like an unnecessary hassle to me, but on the other hand, so does making changes to the cover and frame. So, which option should I choose? Destep the mast or leave it? What factors should I consider?

What do you think?

Cheers!

G
 

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Senior Member
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19,485 Posts
What's the normal practice at your club? What are the costs involved (annually) in taking the mast down vs modifying the cover once? Will the mods to the cover actually result in a watertight cover? (if that matters)

Having the mast down annually gives you opportunity to inspect/repair/replace rigging etc easily, but typically other than a good look, not usually required on an annual basis.

I'd vote for leaving the mast up and modifying the cover....
 

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CS36 Merlin - O Pato
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The normal practice at the club is to leave the mast in.
It would cost about $300-400 per year to destep and store the mast on top of the normal haulout and storage fees.
I'm still waiting on an estimate for the modification.
Creating openings in the top of the boat would probably create the potential for leaks, but I've already seen evidence that removing the mast every year has not been kind to the shrouds.

Your vote is noted, sir. :)

Thanks!

G
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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4,307 Posts
For $3-400 to pull and store I'd pull the mast, that is half the cost that I generally see, makes it worth while. If you keep it up and mod the cover, don't worry about leaks, what difference do a few leaks make, the primary purpose of the cover is to keep snow of the boat.
 

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No question, step it. Take it you are in Toronto. Even down here in the relative warmth we get snow and ice. As others have said, that can cause havoc with the boat, and you've got a good cover with the mast out. Never mind the wear and tear on the mast, the extra windage on a boat on jack stands, and the chance to completely inspect everything on the ground. Long term, you'll save money vs the cost of stepping. Short money, those prices are very reasonable to step.

PS...make sure you label all the electrical connections, and you put tape on the turnbuckles so you can start the new season mast tuning where you left off this year. This will save you a lot of time.
 

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CS36 Merlin - O Pato
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Capecodda,

It's funny that you should say that, because about 10 mins before your message, I received an e-mail from a friend who said I should leave the mast up and just throw a tarp over the cockpit and the boat would be fine. It was entertaining to see two answers that were such complete opposites of one another.

Out of the two options, I think I'd be more inclined to lean towards your suggestion, but I need to review the work I want to do on the boat this winter and see what's practical.

Thanks!
 

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Old soul
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5,174 Posts
I used to pull our masts every year bc we had no choice. With the current boat we drop the stick every few years. Unless there is a local issue about heavy ice buildup, or very heavy winds, I'd only pull the mast every 3 to 5 years, or as needed for repairs or additions.

Sadly, I'm about to drop our mast. Am adding radar.


Why go fast, when you can go slow
 

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Hi Capecodda,

It's funny that you should say that, because about 10 mins before your message, I received an e-mail from a friend who said I should leave the mast up and just throw a tarp over the cockpit and the boat would be fine. It was entertaining to see two answers that were such complete opposites of one another.

Out of the two options, I think I'd be more inclined to lean towards your suggestion, but I need to review the work I want to do on the boat this winter and see what's practical.

Thanks!
That's perhaps the funniest thing about old sailors...we are so sure we are right! Good luck!
 

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On a previous boat, I dropped the mast the first winter after I bought it, and I was glad I did! Turned out that under previous ownership someone had installed the forestay to the top of the mast using a non-stainless cotter pin.

That goof just was not visible from the deck. Unstepping the mast gave me a chance to inspect details like that and correct them before potential disaster struck.
 
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