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Rigging advice sought...


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Hi All,

Although having sailed cats in my younger years as crew, I now have my own and am struggling with the rigging. I have followed the instructions on the Maricat Assoc webpage, but don't have the strength (or height) to step up the mast without losing control of it. I'm all of 5ft nothing and

Also, I'm interested in working out how old the boat is. The sail number is 679. It has "seamac" on the hulls. I think it is a Mk1, as it is similar to the photos of manderson's "Mystic", but in a bit better condition.

Thanks in advance.

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Have all the rigging connected to the shrouds but loose. Stand in front of the front beam raise the mast to vertical, then lift it up onto the mast base.

Alternatively stand on the tramp facing the bows and lift the mast to vertical holding it just in front of the beam . Lift up onto the mast step.

tie the mast base to the front beam or mast base nd then raise from the rear beam and position onto the pin


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I was shown a different way which I then modified a little for (my) peace of mind.

1. Rig the forestays, current trends indicate that quite a steep rake is required so provided you put the bows into the wind the mast will hold up against the stays.

2. Get the heel under the crossbeam and then bully the mast upright. At this point there should be no effort because the heel is in the ground and all you have to do is hold it upright. Use the dolphin striker as part of the lever to get far enough back to hoik the mast up.

3. Lift the mast up till you can get the heel into the hole. This can be quick or slow just depending on how you're feeling.

4. Once in the hole you can let it fall back with the forestays taking the strain.

5. This is where my little trick helps - I've clipped a line with a spring clip onto the main halyard, threaded the line through the traveller fairlead and cleat. The line is laid along the tramp to where you can reach it once the mast is up. Now grab it and pull tight. You now have the mast trapped in three axes and it won't blow down.

6. Relax, job nearly done but mast safe.

7. Stroll around and fasten the shrouds.

The rig shouldn't be tight (I've tried that and the mast doesn't gybe over when you tack).

Many of us have ground the mast base so that the mast can rake back with the pyramid thing properly seated. We also grind back the stops so the mast can rotate quite a long way, more for lighter guys because that way you can get it to bend easier by pulling the mainsheet.

To accomodate the rake we have a new eye put into the clew about 6" higher. In my case "my sailmaker" just put a D ring into the sail, bit like a reefing point at the back, didn't cost much at all.

I'd say pop down to Mannering Park one Saturday but that might be a bit of a trip!

good luck.


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Try this alternative which works pretty well with a sloop rigged boat especially with a second set of hands.

Lay the mast on top of the tramp with the top of the mast pointing backwards with the base of the mast near the mast step. Attach both rear side stays to the mast and the boat. Attach the fore stay bridle to the bows. Attach the jib to the mast. Attach the jib sheets to their attachment points on the deck and to the mast base using the attachment point for the downhaul(or vang). Tension the jib sheets so they are reasonably tight. Pick up the top of the mast and walk forward. Step up onto the tramp. This can be hard so a step or a friend may be useful. The jib sheets will stop the base of the mast slipping forward or sideways. Get the friend to help steer the base into the mast step. You can do this yourself with practice. When the mast is vertical get the friend to attach the jib to the bridle. If by yourself tie a rope to the jib and through the bridle. Lay the rope along the tramp. As you step up, grab the rope. When the mast is vertical pull the rope to take the tension of the mast. Step off the front of the tramp and attach the forestay to the bridle. This method works best with the boat facing down hill. If the rope is skinny enough you can pass it through the furling cleat on the front beam which will hold it securely in place while you step off and attach the forestay. If sailing cat rigged then you can make up two lengths of rope and attach to each side of the back beam and the mast base.

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Wannabe, your boat is in excess of 30 yrs old, if it has been looked after it could see another 30/40 yrs. If your boat is cat rigged (Mainsail only) it should have a forestay to each bow, have the boat facing uphill if possible, lay the mast forward of the boat between the hulls with the mast base under the dolphin striker, attach the forestays (The longer stays) to the bows, pick up the mast head and walk the mast up keeping the base on the ground under the dolphin striker, once the mast is vertical lift it onto the front beam and allow it to fall back against the forestays, now have someone attach the sidestays, Ph 02 43591 anytime for advice. Darcy.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Just bought a Maricat myself (sail # 668) was told it is an old Mk1) but does have the single front stay. usual maintaince needed to bring her upto scratch. Mast and sail (main only) about 12 months old. If you want to call me we can compare notes and aquired info as I think were both at the same stage.

Cheers Mark 0402593412

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