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raising and lowering mast


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G'day John

I have no experience with 16Sq, but on my Mari 4.8 the mast is 8.5 metres long and so gets to be a bit of a handfull. Essentially what I have done is to make a small tether of strong cordage (ie. spectra) that shackles to a saddle on the bottom of the mast and the other end is shackled to a saddle on the main beam. In order to put the mast up I attach both side stays on the top hole, the mast is laying backwards on the boat and standing on the tramp I begin to raise it. The bottom of the mast will attempt to come up but can't as the tehter is holding it down, as the mast comes verticle let it drop in front of the main beam and fall forwards, remember, it can't go anywhere because the short tether has it effectively achored to the main beam. Next I attach the forestay(s), again on the top hole(s). Once all stays are attached I stand in front of the main beam and lift the mast up onto it's pin or base. It helps the confidence if the boat has a slight downhill attitude. the tether can be left in place till it's time to lower the mast which is a reversal of putting it up. I have put my mast many times this way with never any sort of problem or drama, although the first few times you do it, it certainly gets a reaction from all other on the beach as they think your mast is about to hit you or someone else on the head.


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I have a line tied to the forestay of my AO4.4 passing through a steel ring on the whiskers and tied off to the base of the mast so that it takes up most of the slack when I unclip the forestay from the whisker wires. I climb on the tramp untie the rope and then lower the mast by hand.

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Actually, it's not that difficult to put a 16 Square nast up by yourself. The trick is to let the wind (assuming there is some) to help you.

You put the mast on the ball with 3 stays attached and one rear one loose. You lay the mast across the bow with the mast pointing into the wind. Then simply walk the mast up, stepping over the bow and then holding a trapeze wire, attach the remaining side stay.

Does that make sense?



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This is a topic covered often in many forums and one that will never go away. With some practice and knowledge you can raise a 5.8 or bigger mast solo, and it is hard to explain here but easy to show, but I will try.

I set up the boat on the grass or beach with the bow heading down a slight hill or down the beach. The rollers are then place right at the rear of the boat. As far back as possible.

The mast is layed along the boat with it balancing on both beams with the foot near the bows.

The side stays are attached along with the trap wires, but this is not a must, they can stay wrapped around the stays if this is how you pack up.

I then have a rope attached to the forestay and running through a shackle or ring on the bridal then layed back to the rear beam.

Next step is to move the mast base onto the ball. This needs practice to do alone, but can me managed. It is easier if you have your trailer nearby, or something to hold the top end of the mast. I use my trailer mast holder as I can, but I have used fences, trees and even a beach unbrella. Your car roof racks are great too.

The mast is now ready to be lifted and I start lifting where it is comfortable. That varies on how many beers I may have had the night before and how much strength I think I have.

I then walk to the stern of the boat with the mast at shoulder height. Once at the stern I rest it on my shoulder grab the rope that is attached to the forestay, as I am going to keep this reasonably tight as I walk the mast up the rest of the way.

The rollers now come into play. I use the axle as my first step up onto the boat. It is much easier that trying to lift the mast and take the big step onto the rear beam.

The mast is still at shoulder height and mainly I use my shoulder until I get onto the rear beam or tramp.

Once I am up there, I grab the mast with two hands and walk it up, with the forestay rope being transfered between hands as I keep walking it up.

Once I have it upright, I have the forestay almost in position due to the rope and if I keep this tight, the mast will stay up and I can jump off the front beam and shackle the forestay in place.

It is a rather quick process and takes a few practice sessions with some mates around in case you get into trouble, but it is worth it in the long run.

You can run the rope through any block with a cleat on the boat as well if you have one (jib block) and it will hold in position at any stage.

I can do it with most masts if set up right.

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Originally posted by Bridgehugger:

I like your method Loose change I can't wait to try it on my Hydra as the base on the bottom of my mast has been damaged by a previous owner and can no longer hinge up like a Hobie.

Where do you sail out of Bridgehugger? I am thinking that it was around Batemans Bay. Yes?. If so I'll probably be down for the Anzac weekend Regatta if you're keen to try it.

regards Harry

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  • 7 months later...

Originally posted by MOZZY:

Hi, I've just attacked this problem in a different way on my Windy 14. I fabricated a triangular brace about the width of the dolphin striker and mounted on removalbe hinges made from short lengths of chain plate on the bottom of the brace and small rope guides rivetted to the DS. A pair of SS screws with wingnuts completes the hinge. The brace is about 800 high and has a length of 100mm sewer pipe with a slot cut down its length. Use metal strip at the upper an lower fixing points on the triangular brace to be sure it stays attached. I just set the brace up on the DS, lay the mast first on the taberbacle and forward support of the trailer, slip the mast into the slot in the pipe. Use a pair os short, strong occy straps to hold the mast in top and bottom of the pipe. Attatch the forestays, jump on the tramp and pull up the mast. Attach side stays, let off the occy straps and remove the two srews. Mast up! - this works in reverse to lower mast. All up cost about $30 all parts from Bunnings. except the chain plates and ferrules.

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