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I'm planning on unstepping my mast for maintenance purposes in the next couple of weeks; I'll be using plans found at the catalina27.org FTP archives for constructing and using an A-frame. I priced out the materials the other day -- should be less than $50 and as mentioned above, I'll do all my own stepping and unstepping in the future.

I haven't done the job before but with a couple of able seamen it should be fairly straightforward.

Here's a link to A-frame instructions. They make assumptions about the sort of rigging you've got and of course dimensions, so you may need to make some modifications. I plan to construct mine out of smaller pieces since I have storage issues; I also plan to add some purchase to the lifting system. I think my mast is about 75 lbs.

Here's a link to a YouTube video in which some folks follow the instructions above. They also made some modifications. I'll basically be following the procedure they used.

Good luck; let us know how it goes!
 

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One thing to note is that the A-frame is designed so that the noose that goes around the mast is positioned very close to the mast's center of gravity when the noose is a foot below the top of the frame. Since your mast is about 3 feet shorter, you'll want to keep the noose about 1.5 feet lower.

As for using pipe instead of wood, that's a pretty good idea. We have a lumber yard / hardware store right by the marina, and wood seems a bit easier to work with, otherwise I'd go with pipe. I'd still like mine to be disassemblable of course.

I'd love to come and help out with your unstepping, but, continents being what they are...
 
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