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Best method for raising and lowering the mast

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Tried several methods - both brute force and clever. If my mates are sailing with me then i attach the side (mainstays?) wires then get them to haul up on the forestays to bring the mast to an upright position, as i guide it in to the mast foot. This technique though requires strenght and when the g/friend is with me then i have to start thinking of all weird, and not too safe methods of getting the mast upright; and the same for lowering it. Last week ended up tipping the cat on its side and undoing the mainstays in that position to bring the mast out - advice please



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there are acouple of ways.

My stays are of a length to allow raking of mast, this allows me to connect all stays to boat with mast laying forward between the hulls, from there i lift it using the dolphin wire to hold base of mast down while i lift it up, then thrust mast upwards against tension of stays allows me to locate base/ step with no problems, then it is a matter of adjsting stay tension to desired settings. removal is the same order reversed.

If your stays are shorter just add some cord to allow the same procedure above to happen.

Better still come on out to Kurnell Cat Club on Sunday 14/11/04 around 11am and suss out the maris rigging there for various/better ideas.



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there are many ways to do it, depending onthe size of the catamaran you are sailing.

With my Nacra 5.8 I attached the side stays and pivitod the mast from the rear, lifting it all the way up and have the crew do th forestay. This is how most people do it.

On the Maricat, I attach the front stay and a side stay (if there is a slight slope, I attach the side stay that is on the higher side) with the mast lying in front of the boat.

I then lift the mast to an upright position on the ground, and then lift into position and if I have my boat positioned right, I can usually let go and connect the downhill side stay easily.

It is very easy to do, and probably best having someone show you as when you see it done once you will realise how simple it is. I am sure anyone will be able to show you this at a club.

If at Balmoral, I point my boat downhill (the grass is undulating) and do the two side stays and then lift it myself and if the boat is on enough angle, I can let go and do the front stay alone, but you have to make sure you get the angle of the boat right or the mast will fall back again, or the wind will blow it.

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  • 1 year later...

I used to have a Hobie 16 an raised/lowered the mast myself.

I got a 3 metre length of box tubing (RHS) and welded a cradle at the top and stood that in the rear mast support of my trailer.

This put the mast up about 45 degs. I then connected the side stays and a pulley system to the front which I connected to the trap wires.

I had to tie a rope to each side stay to control the mast if it wanted to swing sideways as the mast step can't handle any side load.

I could then pull the mast up using the pulleys and control with the rope, a bit of a 3 handed job but I did it by myself. Once it was up I could take as long as I liked to connect the forestay.

Worked well, not as fast a doing it the old fashioned way with 2 people but there was also no risk of busting your back.

I have heard of people using one of the electric winches you buy from Supercheap. That's what I'll do for my next boat.

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