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Rise Up! How to Raise Your Sailboat Mast

Posted by Zoran Glozinic | Dogwatch , Projects , Sails & Canvas

Rise Up! How to Raise Your Sailboat Mast

Spring is here and marinas will soon be filled with mast-raisers. And while the world is filled (to the brim?) with mast-raising solutions, I have another. I believe my method is possibly the simplest solution most applicable to a wide range of boats. It allows a sailor to raise a mast independently, without a crane, affording freedom. It also enables a sailor to do it by themself. And while most mast-raising solutions require various panoply of items a sailor needs to either purchase or fabricate—various gin poles, A-frames, lifting poles, winches, 2×6 boards, lawn-mower wheels, and mast supports mounted to rudder fittings on the transom—and while sailors who trailer their boats to various waters have to carry all of that with them, the solution I’ve come up with uses a very small amount of extra equipment, so small it can almost be carried in one’s pocket.

sailboat mast raising system for sale

Everything rigged and mast ready to be raised with a tug on the mainsheet.

So, what is required and how do you rig it?

  • First, to use my solution, your mast should have a mast base/step or tabernacle on which the mast can pivot. This is common.
  • Next, there will need to be an attachment point on either side of the boat, aligned with the mast pivoting point—athwartships and on the same axis. You might need to get creative here because each boat is different. The two attachment points (eyes are fine) can be permanent (as in this photo), or they can be made using a steel ring and two short lengths of steel wire or chain temporarily attached to an existing hardpoint. The wider these attachment points are spaced, the better, because they serve as hardpoints to attach two sets of temporary shrouds.
  • About seven feet above the mast step (or as high as you can comfortably reach up the mast when it’s vertical) on either side of the mast, there must be tangs or permanent mounts to attach the mast-supporting set of temporary shrouds. I used a length of ¼-inch threaded rod that passes through the mast and through two small hardwood blocks and two small tangs made from mild steel. I install these tangs when needed, using wingnuts. When sailing, there is nothing on the mast to snag halyards, and the two small holes are not something I worry about.

And that is it for boat modifications.

sailboat mast raising system for sale

Mast successfully raised, note the athwartships attachment points on the dorade boxes and the two sets of temporary shrouds.

sailboat mast raising system for sale

A close-up view of the athwartships attachment points.

To raise and lower the mast, I rig things and operate as follows. In this example, the mast is attached to a pivoting base and stowed lowered onto the bow pulpit.

  • Between the athwartships attachment points and the mast tangs, I attach a set of temporary shrouds. These I made from coated wire rope (the same as used for lifelines). These will remain taut for the duration of the mast raising or lowering (because they’re attached on the same axis on which the mast pivots) and serve to prevent the mast from swaying from side to side.
  • I attach the boom like I’m ready to sail, 90 degrees to the mast, connected to the gooseneck fitting and with the topping lift and end-of-boom mainsheet rigged. I use the main halyard and boom downhaul to keep the gooseneck fixed (so it cannot slide up or down, if track-mounted).
  • Between the athwartships attachment points and the clew end of the boom, I attach a second set of temporary shrouds. These I made from low-stretch braided line and they will also remain taut for the entire mast raising and lowering.
  • Once all set, I pull on the mainsheet (rigged with 4:1 block-and-tackle for purchase) to raise the mast. It’s relatively easy and the mast remains in control; I can stop and start at any point in the process if needed.

If my mast was instead pivoted aft and stowed on an aft-rail support, I could still use the same method, but I would have to attach a separate gooseneck fitting on the front of the mast and some separate running rigging to function as the topping lift does.

Happy spring mast raising!

sailboat mast raising system for sale

One nice-to-have modification I’ve made is to the pulpit where my mast rests when stowed. I made a wooden mast support mounted on the bow rail. The rubber roller has two positions: the lower position is used for winter mast storage, and the upper position allows for easy mast sliding, fore and aft, when getting it to the exact position in order to install (remove) the pivoting bolt/pin at the mast base or tabernacle. When not in use, I stow this support at the bottom of a sail locker.

About The Author

Zoran Glozinic

Zoran Glozinic

Zoran Glozinic is a retired business professional who has been messing around in boats and old cars all his life. He currently lives in Laval, Quebec, where he divides his free time between a good old English bilge-keel boat and a 16-year-old Saab car.

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  • About Us Company Profile Klacko Spars is a metal fabricating company that specializes in marine-related products. It is also expanding to include other fabrication projects. Read more Mast-Raising Magic The goal of every deck-stepped mast-raising operation is that it be self-contained, safe, and easily operated by a small number of people. Read more Mission Statement At Klacko Spars, our clients' needs are our top priority. It is our duty to build the best product, meet your schedule requirements and provide the best competitive pricing we can! Read more
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Almost every boat manufacturer eventually tries their hand at designing a mast-raising system, with varying degrees of success. While I was with C&C, I was a project manager on the Mega 30. While with Hunter, I was head of the design team, under Warren Luhrs, that produced the Hunter 23.5 and 26 water-ballasted trailerables. All of these boats were built with self-contained mast-raising systems.

The goal of every deck-stepped mast-raising operation is that it be self-contained, safe, and easily operated by a small number of people.

These operations always involve two components. One is the mechanism for raising and lowering the mast and the other is a system for stabilizing the mast to prevent it from oscillating from side to side during the process.

As it is being raised or lowered, the mast rotates around a pin in the mast step or tabernacle. Leverage is provided by a gin pole or by an A-frame pivoting at the deck at a point in line with the mast step or chain plates. Either of these systems is operated by a block and tackle (often the mainsheet tackle) attached at the bow or a line led forward around a block at the stemhead and aft to a cockpit winch. The connection from the gin pole or A-frame to the masthead is inevitably the jib halyard.

Because the pivot point at the mast step is almost always higher than the chain plate pins — due either to the crown of the deck or the mast being stepped on a deckhouse top — the shrouds themselves cannot be used to provide the required transverse support unless the chain plate pins are raised to be perfectly in line with, and on the same axis as the mast-heel pivot pin. Some boat owners have actually added stainless steel chain plate structures to achieve this, but the most common solution is to mount lifeline stanchions in line with the mast-heel pivot pin and weld eyes to those stanchions in line with the pivot-pin axis. To these eyes are attached the bottom ends of transverse support wires led to attachment points on the lower section of the spar at a height easily reached from deck once the mast is raised so that it can be disconnected and removed.

When visiting my old friend Danny Klacko at Klacko Spars in Oakville, Ontario, I was intrigued when he said, “While you’re here, I want to show you something on my C&C 27. I’ve been working on mast-raising systems for more than 40 years, and I think I’ve finally developed the absolute best solution for any existing boat with a deck-stepped mast of virtually any size.”

His boat was sitting behind the shop on her trailer with the mast lowered. At the word from Danny, the young man on board started cranking on the cockpit winch and the mast rose from horizontal to the vertical in less than a minute. At a nod from Danny, the line on the winch was eased, and the mast reversed its trajectory. At all times the mast was completely under control with no evidence of sideways oscillation as it went through its arc.

Articulating A-frames

The unique feature of the Klacko system is the use of two connected A-frames mounted on common deck plates port and starboard, with the apex of the aft pair attached to the car on the spinnaker-pole track with a snap shackle.

The aft A-frame supports the spar laterally, independently of the shrouds. The apex of the forward A-frame is connected to the apex of the aft frame with a stainless steel wire. The lifting force is applied with a line led through a block on the stemhead and directly aft to a cockpit winch. When the mast is down, the aft frame is almost horizontal and the forward frame is vertical. As the mast is raised, the frames rotate as well, with the forward frame becoming horizontal and the aft frame vertical when the mast is up.

Once the mast has been raised and the forestay hooked up, the aft A-frame can be quickly disconnected from the spinnaker pole car and the A-frames folded for storage.

The key to this system is the use of a spinnaker-pole track with a freely moving car. Since the mast and the aft A-frame rotate around different pivot points, the car must be able to move along the track as the mast rotates about its pivot. For sailors who don’t have a spinnaker-pole track and don’t want to install one, a bridle around the mast or even a 12-inch-long link plate between the apex of the A-frame and the fixed point on the mast would work, but neither system offers the same amount of transverse fixity that the spinnaker-pole track and car provide. Mounting a short length of track and a car, even if the boat is not equipped with a spinnaker, is still the best solution.

    Danny Klacko, after 40 years of development, freely shares this concept with anyone who would like to copy it.

Rob Mazza is a Good Old Boat contributing editor. A sailor by passion and yacht designer by vocation, his long career around sailboats began at C&C Yachts back when now good old C&Cs were cutting-edge new.

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MacGregor Mast Raising System

 
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  • Mast Raising Made Easy
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SORRY NO MastMate SC-L left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Do It Yourself Bi-Pole mast raising system, using this engineered Plate which allows for adjustable twin poles to be used and accommodates two polyurethane wheels to run on either side of the sail track so that compression of the sail track does not occur. Also twin slots for attaching a sail slug with a strap and a central hole for a shackle so a rope can be attached.


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MastMate SC

is a system for the raising and lowering of the mast on a trailerable yacht.

allows one person to raise or lower a mast single-handed. This task can be accomplished easily, quickly, and with safety.

has been developed over several years, and safety for the operator and other crew has been a major consideration in the development.

Attaching and activating the takes only a few seconds. Once activated, the mast can be raised to an upright position by one person and, depending on the weight of the mast, can be accomplished with one hand. (e.g. Noelex 25)

When lowering the mast a similar timeframe is incurred but hardly any personal energy is expended in returning the mast to the dropped position. This is easily achieved by one person, in safety, even in strong winds.

is UNSUITABLE for rigs in excess of 45 kgs. and use in excess of specifications will void the warranty.

comes with a 90 day warranty against faulty workmanship and/or materials.

has 3 models MastMate SC, MastMate Magic TC and the new bipole system for larger boats MastMate TP: 

 

New MastMate SC

 

Under 35 kgs: $189 excluding post & handling.;
Under 45 kgs: $200 excluding post & handling.;

MastMate Magic TC $ T.B.A.  excluding post & handling.;

MastMate TP $ T.B.A. excluding post & handling.;

(Weights shown include mast and rigging.)     

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#604:
"I made a mast raising mechanism that works for me. It consists of a 6 ft. 2X4 with a fork on one end, an angle iron on the other, and a winch mounted to the trailer mast support column.

"The fork straddles the boom near its base, and is held in place with a pin made from 5/16 drill rod tapered on the end that is inserted through the fork and mast. The hole in the mast can be made easily with a tool called a 'unibit'. It's a tool that lends itself to drilling holes in thin aluminum, and increases in diameter in steps as it drills further into the metal. You could probably find one in the tool department at Home Depot or Lowes.

"The angle iron is bolted to the other end, to which the forestay and the line from the winch are attached. It helps to have a second person stand beside the mast as it's being raised to keep it from swinging off center. Lines can be rigged to prevent this, but it's just easier to have an extra set of hands. The force required to keep it in line are very light and require very little strength to accomplish. It also helps to have someone lean forward against the mast while the forestay is being attached, as this will allow the use of both hands instead of having to use one of them to hang onto the forestay.I don't have any pictures at present, but the next time I raise the mast I'll take pictures, scan and e-mail them.

"I, too, am in my seventh decade and need all the mechanical advantage I can muster." :
Being 65 myself I can relate to your question about raising the mast on a M17. I raise and lower the mast by myself, I'm probably not the first person to use this system, others may have different versions but this works for me.

The only stays I detach is the foward stay, all others remain attached.

After the mast has been positioned in the base bracket and "pinned":
1. Fasten a block on the bow of the boat.
2. Cleat the jib halyard to the mast.
3. Run the jib halyard thru the block on the bow.
4. Hold the free end of the jib halyard loosly in either hand.
5. Standing in the cockpit (assuming you have already "pinned" the mast in the bracket) put the mast on your shoulder and pick it up as high as you can as you walk foward.
6. When you have raised the mast as high as you can reach, (about 30 or 40 degrees) pull on the line in your hand and the mast will go on up.
7. When the mast is vertical, cleat the line to anything handy, go around to the bow and secure the foward stay.
8. Lowering is reverse procedure.

As always you need to make sure the lines and shrouds go up without a tangle, otherwise you have to lower it and untangle them.

Always make sure the block is securely fastened at the bow, and the jib halyard is secure before pulling on it.

My 1981 M15 did not come with an aft mast cradle. When we trailered, the mast rode on the front mast on the trailer and rested on a seat cushion on the cockpit sliding cover. Raising and lower the mast was a two person operation and was always a bit shakey. After reading about cradles on the Mongomery pages, I created my own.

It consists of two pieces of PVC pipe — one fitting comfortably within the other with a rubber V-Bow Stop attached to the smaller pipe. The lower (larger) pipe is notched so the assembly can be cinched tightly to the top rudder gudgeon by an elastic sail tie. To keep the pipe aligned, I drilled a hole in a PVC end cap which fit snuggly inside the end of the larger pipe, and installed a long carriage bolt double-bolted so it would not loosen. Inserted into the base of the larger pipe, the bolt protrudes out the bottom and fits through the lower gudgeon. The mast weight is carried pretty equally between the two gudgeons. than ours (which is revealing in itself). Consider if you're going to be using the system only at the trailer/dock, as opposed to say, Currituck Sound/Outer Banks going under the causeway in a stiff breeze (a whole different story) especially in boats this size. Ideas range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Quoted text is from the web sites.

I've listed some of those in use on boats close to the Montgomerys, but here's the whole set from Yahoo to check out yourself (searched on: [mast-raising or "mast raising"]):


Montgomery Boats offers a mast-raising system under M-17 photos, page 4


"The Poor Man�s Version
This system costs practically nothing to make, and is quite effective."



"Probably the most frequently asked question on the Potter mailing list is, 'How do you raise the mast?' International Marine offers a mast raising system that we use every time we sail. If you don't want to buy the factory system, most of the components are easily obtained or duplicated. This page shows how we use the factory system on our P-19." (The Potter system is priced at $260, according to their web site.)



"One person can raise the mast, launch the boat and sail away in 10 to 15 minutes." [yeah, right] "We offer an optional mast raising system. The mast is lifted using one of the boat�s sail handling winches. The mast is so light that a kid can raise it. The system can be left in place while sailing. Even without this option, one person can easily raise and lower the mast by hand." Priced at $98.



"When I first got my Com-Pac 19/2 1 realized I was going to have a problem stepping the mast by myself. I'm not in good shape, a typical couch potato, and I have a bad back. So I found that the maneuvering I had to do in hoisting the mast: stepping from the cockpit sole to the seat and to the cabin top, while juggling the mast was something I didn't believe I could do for many times without a disaster to myself physically and possibly to the rig. This is the plan I came up with."



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Precision 23 Gin Pole Mast Raising System

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I am new here, or at least have not posted in a very long time, I forget which. In any event, I have owned several sailboats over the last 15 years since I began sailing, including an M-16 Scow, MacGregor 25, Flying Scot, Sirius 17, O'Day 20, Com-Pac 16, and recently purchased a 1994 Precision 23. I have typically slipped my bigger boats on Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota, which is what I plan to do with the P-23. I typically single-hand and like to be able to do it all by myself, including raising and lowering the mast, which on the P-23 is impossible without a mast raising system. After much research and finding no resources online, let alone made to order systems, but knowing the general concepts, I decided to build my own. Materials used include a ten foot section of conduit cut down to 8 feet, two eye bolts, two U-bolts, a section of 2x6 board notched out on one end to fit wround the mast step, and a couple bolts and nuts to connect the base of the board where its notched out to the mast step, through which I drilled two holes for connecting the gin pole to the step. To keep the mast from swaying while being raised I connected chains between the stanchions on each side of the boat that straddle the tabernacle, then used line tied to one chain perpendicular to the step, ran up to the mast about six feet where I wrapped it around and then ran it over to the other chain and tied it off at, again, a point perpendicular to the step pivot point. This is sort of a jury-rigged baby stay system, which is removed once the mast is raised. I connected the jib halyard to the aft eye-bolt at the end of the gin pole, making sure the angle between the pole and mast was slightly less than 90 degrees. I also used my main sheet system for mechanical advantage, connected between the bow and forward eye bolt on the gin pole. I tested the system out today and it works pretty well, though I think I am going to flip the system over from now on so the pole ends up on the top of the 2x6 board once the mast is raised, as today I damaged my connector plug for my mast light and need to fix it now. These pictures illustrate what I did.  

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A couple more pictures.  

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Where on Mille Lacs? When I got my 22 I considered Mac's Twin Bay, but ended up keeping the boat in town on Lake Nokomis. But I would like to trailer up and check out Mille Lacs sometime. How's the sailing up there? I imagine the wind can really build up. It's a big lake.  

The sailing is great since its wide open. You can set the sails and concentrate on steering and making a few sail adjustments here and there, and just sail across the lake, which can take a couple of hours or more. I try to avoid going out when its rough, but have been caught out in it a time or two. I sail out of the West side, just South of Garrison, so with the prevailing winds being from the NW the fetch is short and the waves usually not too bad where I am, but if its reversed and coming from the South or SE, they can build up to some nice rollers.  

Thank you, Jonny. I have a similar situation, just bought a 1986 Precision 23 in good condition, but no mast raising system. I am familiar with MacGregor and Corsair 31. The Corsair system is even simpler, no lines attached to the top of the pole, only a fork at the top. You can see it here: . But for a relatively light mast on Precision 23 this is great.  

sailboat mast raising system for sale

Raising and lowering the mast on our Catalina 22 was usually the most hair-raising thing we did all year. Good to see your system works.  

sailboat mast raising system for sale

The more recent Corsair/Farrier mast raising systems have changed. there are indeed wires attached to the end of the gin pole to prevent the mast from rotating on its axis if it sways in a side wind. If the mast rotates as it sways laterally a foot or more in s cross wind, the gin pole is pulled out of column, and that can cause the gin pole to buckle. Here are some links to the newer Farrier 2018 F22 mast raising system. One of the nicest features of the system is that it effortlessly handles the furler. And here are three short videos on a similar system I built for my 1992 F24, mostly using stuff we had hanging around. Watch how the system controls the furler extrusion during mast raising or lowering. Judy  

I tried to post an improved version of jonnyonthespot, but I need to have 5 posts in order to add links, images. Crazy.  

OK, so this is my 3rd post. That's not helping any one. 5 posts? I am trying to be helpful.  

post No. 4. Does't make sense to post nonsense, in order to post the real thing?  

Now, I am on the last of the 5 posts. Next will be the real one.  

Here is my improved version of jonnyonthespot's mast raising pole. See below. All you need are a few parts from Home Depot and a bit of tinkering. The bracket is made from a Galvanized Standoff Post Base, after you separate/cut the end that is joined together. The rest of the job is fitting the parts together, drilling a few holes, etc. For the pole, I used an 8 feet garden post, also from Home Depot. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson...-Standoff-Post-Base-for-4x4-PBS44AZ/100374846 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlot...sch+40+bushing}:nr+qu:{dwv+sch+40+bushing}:qu https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fernco-1-1-4-in-x-1-1-4-in-Flexible-PVC-Coupling-P1056-125/100055392 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlot...MPT-x-S-Male-Adapter-PVC021091200HD/203811644  

Wood Hardwood Pipe Floor

Nice job, notname. I am thinking of going to a metal fab shop and having them weld me up a one-off steel bracket to attach to the bottom of the gin pole because the 2x6 isn't cutting it. Also thinking about adding a brake winch to the pole in lieu of using the blocks system. I will follow up with some new pics if/when I get this done. Figure I may as well go high end on this since it will be a permanent accessory with the boat.  

Hello, We moved our 23' sailboat to Mille Lacs last season after sailing on Minnetonka for a couple years. We are keeping it at Izaty's which has been really nice... we have young kids so the pool and other amenities are great. Being on the south side we definitely get some waves, but it's mostly fun. I'd like to get to know other Mille Lacs sailors, are you returning this year? Do you have a slip at Terry's Best regards, Chris  

Yes I will definitely be slipping my boat on Mille Lacs again this season. I had my Mac25 at Izatys back in 2008; nice facility they have there. They are actually not too exensive. I think like $850 for the season. I think Terry's is $800. Izaty's is closer for me, but my pops has a big ice fishing house i use as a cabin to sleep in overnight when I go up, and its at Terry's. The drive, about an hour and 15 minutes, is long enough to make me wanna sleep over and sail Saturday and Sunday, or sometimes Friday-Sunday. I have had no luck finding a fabricator to make my one-off gin pole base plate.  

I just formed a Facebook group: Mille Lacs Sailors - If you're on Facebook please join! It'd be great to start a community for Mille Lacs sailors!  

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Mast Raising System

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The Poor Man’s Version

This system, appropriately named the "Poor Man's" version, costs practically nothing to make, and is quite effective.

With the forestay securely fastened, the mast is no longer in danger of falling. So, I can go about the business of securing the remaining two lower shrouds and making final adjustsments to the rig.

Remember - the penalty of failure is quite high -  I use the utmost caution while raising and lowering the mast !!!

Enhanced System (for 2004)

I wanted to improve the mast raising system over my current "Poor man's" version, just to make things a little easier. I have been using my original system for 5 years now, and it seems to work pretty well. The only difficult things are:

  • Trying to step up onto the cabin top while lifting the mast requires a lot of agility and strength,
  • having to clear the lines as the mast raises, as usually something gets snagged.

If I used a pole on the mast for leverage, rather than lifting the mast myself, I cold avoid the need for agility and strength. Also if I had the ability to temporarily lock the system in a partially raised position, I could easily clear any snagged lines. The two main approaches to mast raising 'systems' are (1) Gin Pole or (2) "A" Frame. They both work in about the same way, they differ in the way they get stability. The "A" frame (pictured below) is a stable shape in itself, whereas the gin pole needs to be stabilized with a couple of lines. I was originally going to build an "A" Frame design, but decided to go with the Gin Pole approach, figuring the gin pole would be easier to store when not in use.

Mast Raising System Design Diagram ("A" Frame version)

I took a look around the garage and in the tool box to see what I could come up with for parts. I found a pure cedar 2 x 4 (8 ft), a cam cleat, a single block and a couple of brass clips. It seemed like I had enough material on hand to build a simple gin pole system and I could buy what ever else I needed. I took a couple of key measurements, namely the distance from the mast base to the tack fitting on the bow, and the width (diameter) of the mast. The tack was just under 8 feet from the mast, so my 2 x 4 piece of lumber would be just right for the job. The cam cleat would allow me to lock the system in a partially raised position.

I built a "gin pole" out of the cedar 2 x 4 and did a bit of 'engineering on the fly'. It turned out that I needed to lift the mast slightly in the initial stages, but the gin pole quickly gained enough mechanical advantage to lift the mast. I did a couple of practice lifts and made some design changes along the way. Pictured below is the system and the mast raising sequence.

Gin Pole made of Cedar Gin Pole with mast raised
Gin Pole in position for raising the mast Another view of mast raising setup

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V-22 best way to raise the mast singlehanded ?

  • Thread starter EnginesForward
  • Start date Mar 31, 2015
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EnginesForward

EnginesForward

I am searching for systems and /or ways to safely raise the mast. I have a complete wood and metal home shop with welding equipment. I am in the process of customizing my boat, will trailer to launch locations salt water ports. I have seen some methods that were constructed of aluminum a material I don't want to use. I feel more comfortable using steel square tube an have it powder coated.  

centerline

why not aluminum?... you can build it out of whatever you want... do an internet search for mast raising system and you will see all sorts of contraptions made out of either aluminum, wood, steel or a combination. here is my mast raising system on my 25. the only difference is this mast is longer than yours whoich makes it a bit heavier .. it uses a 6'x1" aluminum pipe, 1/8" wall. as it it takes a strain on the mast, it stabilizes and lifts at the same time, eliminating any need for baby stays or other help.... with one person, it takes less than 5 minutes to hook up the rigging, raise the mast, and have the rigging put away... the gin pole stows against the mast. you could choose to pull from the top of the mast, from a halyard, but I chose to add a bail so I didnt have to rig any other lines... I wanted it simple and fast. it would be difficult to make it simpler, lighter or more foolproof....  

Attachments

2013-03-17_10-20-40_256.jpg

Mast raising system I really like your system. I think I may need to revisit my system and make a few changes.  

I like the system. How is it attached to the base of the mast step? I like steel because I have found that in most cases to make it strong enough using steel will be lighter than in the long run. I can also make and attach brackets etc. by welding in stead of using nuts and bolts. I will use telescoping .060 square tube.  

Freedom77

EnginesForward said: I like the system. How is it attached to the base of the mast step? I like steel because I have found that in most cases to make it strong enough using steel will be lighter than in the long run. I can also make and attach brackets etc. by welding in stead of using nuts and bolts. I will use telescoping .060 square tube. Click to expand
Freedom77 said: Centerline, What are those green things in the background. Don't have any of them in Nevada Nice mast raising system. Did you make the double block fitting with the hook. How do you remove it once raised? Click to expand

Tsatzsue

Nice job Centerline! I have been hoisting and lowering by hand. I still get butterflies every time, which is every time I go sailing. I love the bridal set up. Do you keep this assembly on the boat? I want to be able to drop the mast for bridges and this looks great. I still have the mast crutch issue. None came with the boat and I have no stern rail. the PVC pipe I have is just too flexible. When you forget to take it out , lets say during a night launch the lack of steering due to the rudder hitting it WILL cause grounding. Thanks to my crew or the quick keel cranking and crutch bolt removal. Did you put backing behind the deck pad eyes?  

Dying to get at the boat. Still 2' of snow around her. I was hoping to have only a few projects this year but they are adding up. Looks like the vitreous fluid has left my compass. Motor wiring and trailer spring painting are tops on the list. Now because of you I have a mast raising set up to build! Hahaha. Gotta love this blog. The crutch thing was classic. Night launch to get over to Woods Hole for the morning slack tide. 3 minutes after launching we ran aground due to the terrifying lack of steering to port. Then out into a white capped Buzzards Bay. They are still white at night, I checked. Then came the oil tanker...complete power outage...and redneck anchoring in the Hadley Harbor channel. the float/sign said no anchoring in the channel so we tied up to it for the night. Always a classic.  

Tsatzsue said: Nice job Centerline! I have been hoisting and lowering by hand. I still get butterflies every time, which is every time I go sailing. I love the bridal set up. Do you keep this assembly on the boat? I want to be able to drop the mast for bridges and this looks great. I still have the mast crutch issue. None came with the boat and I have no stern rail. the PVC pipe I have is just too flexible. When you forget to take it out , lets say during a night launch the lack of steering due to the rudder hitting it WILL cause grounding. Thanks to my crew or the quick keel cranking and crutch bolt removal. Did you put backing behind the deck pad eyes? Click to expand

topcat0399

centerline said: actually, using 6061 aluminum, you can save 30% in weight and keep all the strength of the steel... some properties will actually increase , such as the flexibility of it before failing or bending out of shape, where it stays bent out of shape after the load had been released from it... BUT.... the small amount of weight savings is negligible by itself.... but then you have the corrosion properties of steel vs aluminum.... when steel begins to corrode, and it will, it stains the gelcoat, and when aluminum corrodes, which is highly unlikely on a gin pole, it wont stain anything. as for the connection of the gin pole to the tabernacle, I welded tabs to the front of the tabernacle so that I could insert a bolt thru them and the foot of the ginpole.... I can remove it easily if i want to, but there is no need to. I'm not sure what you mean by as with steel, you can easily weld stainless with either wire/MIG, or with stick... TIG is a bit more specialized, but better in every respect except set up... this is the only welding that may need to be done. there is no need to weld any aluminum during the project so that is not a factor in deciding what material to use, but in that respect i will only say that if regular steel was a good idea to use on fiberglass pleasure boats , the manufactures sure wouldnt of spend the money on stainless and aluminum to outfit these modern boats with. they would have all been fitted with steel masts, booms, railings and fittings... like work boats are. here is a method that requires no welding at all if you will never leave the ginpole attached. fix the bottom of the pole with a stud sticking out the end about 1 inch (1/2" bolt shank epoxied in) that would insert into a hole at the base of the the mast. this would hold it secure while tripping the mast into position. no method can use a fixed pole as needs to hinge with the raising of the mast. telescopic is very unnecessary, as it only needs to be 6' long total... and as you already mentioned weight is a factor in your design, so making it telescopic will add at least 15%, as well as complicate the rigging process. in my design as shown in the photos of my earlier post, the bridal that attaches to the bail is the secret to stability. if it were attached to a halyard and pulling from the mast top, I would lose some of the immediate stability that the close attachment to the bail gives. and rather than welding/fabbing it like i did, it could be constructed using two blocks attached to the rope ring of a single hook. i just used what i had on hand instead of buying more stuff that would serve the same purpose... it was less than $60 dollars for the cable, blocks, the padeye attachments on the deck (which incidentally are used for the preventor/boombrake line also) and the hooks on the end of the line.. Click to expand

what i mean by that is... if the gin pole was in a fixed position and did not pivot as the mast came up, the geometrics would be all wrong to get the most power and lifting efficiency from it.... the pole would be guyed to cleats in a fixed position and the hoisting tackle would be between the top of the mast, (or the lifting bail in my case) and the gin pole... as the mast came up, the rigging would soon either quickly lose lift or not have much power to begin with, depending on the "fixed" position of the gin pole.... as long as the gin pole can pivot with the mast as it raises, the geometric advantages that the pole gives can be preserved thruout the lifting range needed to stand the mast into position... this means the attachment between the pole and the mast remains fixed, and the hoisting tackle is connected between the gin pole and a cleat, allowing the pole to move and remain in the ultimate position thruout the duration of the task.  

I much prefer a wishbone gin pole, which is two poles forming a triangle hinged at the forward lower chainplates and meeting at the bow. Very safe and stable, the triangle can't flop over sideways and it holds the mast centered. The mast can be raised single handed, but a second person is handy to keep anything from getting fouled on the way up. Lowering is really simple, I did mine by myself all the time.  

Capt jgw said: I much prefer a wishbone gin pole, which is two poles forming a triangle hinged at the forward lower chainplates and meeting at the bow. Very safe and stable, the triangle can't flop over sideways and it holds the mast centered. The mast can be raised single handed, but a second person is handy to keep anything from getting fouled on the way up. Lowering is really simple, I did mine by myself all the time. Click to expand

BudGates

I used a 2x4 as a gin pole on my Hobie-18 and an A-frame on my friends Cal-21 and raised both of them using the trailer winch. Both masts were quite heavy. At 55 it may not be too many more years until I no longer have the strength to raise the Mac mast by myself. I've had an idea for a raising system for my Mac. in the back of my mind for a while now. My idea is to use a pole that will reach from the base of the mast to where the forestay attaches at the bow. I would simply attach the forestay to the pole then grab the pole and lean back using my own body weight to raise the mast. For now, my Macgregor masts (both my former V-222 and current my 26d) are light enough that I can raise them by hand. (Strange how the bigger boats have the lighter masts.) To do it single-handed I simply attach a line to the forestay that runs through a block at the bow and back to me. Once I raise the mast into place I pull on the line to hold it there and tie it off until I get the forestay attached. A Johnson leaver helps a lot with getting the forestay attached.  

Greengas

centerline said: why not aluminum?... you can build it out of whatever you want... do an internet search for mast raising system and you will see all sorts of contraptions made out of either aluminum, wood, steel or a combination. here is my mast raising system on my 25. the only difference is this mast is longer than yours whoich makes it a bit heavier .. it uses a 6'x1" aluminum pipe, 1/8" wall. as it it takes a strain on the mast, it stabilizes and lifts at the same time, eliminating any need for baby stays or other help.... with one person, it takes less than 5 minutes to hook up the rigging, raise the mast, and have the rigging put away... the gin pole stows against the mast. you could choose to pull from the top of the mast, from a halyard, but I chose to add a bail so I didnt have to rig any other lines... I wanted it simple and fast. it would be difficult to make it simpler, lighter or more foolproof.... Click to expand
Greengas said: This system looks great. So there is on winch you just pull the appropriate lines, correct? Also, can you explain, or show a close up picture, of how you attach the gin pole to the mast. It also looks like you have taller railing then on my M25 along with what I believe is an anchor holder. Did you do these as modifications? Click to expand
centerline said: the raising tackle is just a basic vang tackle set up... nothing special. along with photos of the gin pole and anchor roller, there are numerous photos of all the modifications I did to the boat in my albums, which you can browse , scroll down on the right hand side.... many pages. when we bought the boat, it was as basic and plain as any other that has never had any upgrades or modifications done to it, which in my opinion is much better than a boat that some ambitious, yet unknowing landlubber has tried to make better, but has only created unforgivable "blemishes".. (the word blemishes is used in place of a much more descriptive and colorful term that would be pushing or possibly crossing the limits of the forum guidelines).... so if you want a good looking boat that you can be proud of, for the least amount of time and dollars spent, do it right the first time. Click to expand
topcat0399 said: I appreciate what you say about "do it right the first time" but alas - I cannot always agree that this is the path for everyone. If we were to do it absolutely right the first time we would have never sailed our boat at all the entire time we have owned it. That is not acceptable. Since we are severely budget constrained and don't always know exactly what we want until we know it - very often we will put something together "just good enough" for now so that we can sail with the added benefit of testing concepts before fully committing to something we might find we don't want at all. Of course some resource and effort ends up wasted but not entirely so - we gain the experience of the work and methods plus finding out what we truly want before we are stuck or have invested too much in it. Once we have tested and confirmed then is time we go for "doing it right". Now of course we have to temper each decision with a risk analysis and cost benefit analysis and always place "beauty" after function. I don't care if some snob looks down their nose at our half completed half painted project boat - but usually the snob's boat is a trailer or marina queen while we are out in all weather day and night enjoying our little wreck. If we were born with golden spoons in our a** it might be different I suppose but alas it is what it is. Click to expand

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Mast Raising and Lowering Systems?

Discussion in ' Boat Design ' started by CatBuilder , May 23, 2011 .

CatBuilder

CatBuilder Previous Member

Does anyone have any good links to mast raising and lowering systems for large boats? My mast height is about 65ft above the WL. I'd like to be able to lower it in order to be able to get up into rivers and places that boats with these large masts can't normally go. Here is a sistership. How would one raise and lower such a mast? Please pay no attention to the fact that the mast goes through the deckhouse in the picture. Mine will be on the deck level without going through the deckhouse. (I didn't want the leaks) However, it seems it may be a lot easier to lower it so that it hangs off the bow, rather than tilting it toward the stern, since the deckhouse will be in the way. Any creative ideas or existing lowering/raising systems?  

gonzo

gonzo Senior Member

On workboats, they use a tabernacle and a counterweight.  
gonzo said: ↑ On workboats, they use a tabernacle and a counterweight. Click to expand...

TeddyDiver

TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

On a deck stepped mast it's not needed if you have backstay tensioner (dunno if it's the right term in english) and shrouds are in line with the mast.. That way you don't need additional tabernacle either instead you can use boom and winch..  

BATAAN

BATAAN Senior Member

In Santa Cruz, California, many of the sail boats have to go under a bridge to get in and out of the marina and all seem to have pretty much the same system. The mast is in a tabernacle that allows the mast to tilt forward, the lower shrouds have a rigidly fixed pivoting joint right co-axial with the tabernacle pivot pin, the boom with taut topping lift is used as a compression strut to give a favorable angle in lowering with the main sheet being the lowering tackle. I haven't done it myself, only watched from another boat, but what I saw was basically casting off the backstay and lowering away the mast forward, motoring under the bridge and the rig went back up quickly and the backstay was set up, then the boat scurried to its berth and I heard corks popping.  

tom28571

tom28571 Senior Member

I've seen the same thing in Santa Cruz Bataan. The one I saw was a Columbia 50 and the mast dropped aft. Don't think there was anything special about the location of the side stay attachment though I could be wrong about that. As soon as the the mast started to drop, the stays went loose and the tabernackle prevented any side tilt. An electric winch at the mast base did the work and the mast dropped only far enough to clear the bridge. No rough water to contend with. Did not get to have a close inspection but it looked simple and very neat. With a Wednesday night racing crew aboard to keep the stays out of trouble, there were no snags.  
Hmmm... sounds easier than I'm thinking. Only problem is my stays are swept aft and I want to drop the mast forward because that way it will be able to go all the way down without hitting the deckhouse. Maybe a high tabernacle and pivot pin, then lower the mast aft using the inner forestay (pictured)?  

Attached Files:

45bdcatsail.gif.

Mast must be supported side to side all the way down so needs some form of shrouds, and looks like your forestay angle gets very unfavorable when the mast is 1/2 way down also. Always remember your rigging triangles and don't let any of the 3 sides get too short as loads go up fantastically very quickly. The mast looks pretty rigid with all its struts and such so the main challenge is keeping it from breaking the tabernacle and falling over the side when the shrouds are slackened. Workboats did this with a heavy tabernacle and stout mast. Some other method is needed here with the light construction. How about some very light non-stretch rope "lowering shrouds" and a place to hook them co-axial with the tabernacle pivot. The place to hook them could be a beefed-up something in the lifeline system as its only used in lowering and hoisting when the main shrouds are slack. They could be Kevlar or something else very small and light and hook aloft to where the shrouds are and when not in use be tensioned alongside the regular shrouds. To use, take them forward and hook to co-axial anchor point. This way the mast is held athwartships by the lowering shrouds at all points in its arc of movement, can't pitch over the bow because of the real shrouds and can be lowered by a headsail halyard until about 2/3 of the way down, then that forward rope will get very highly loaded unless some form of spreader is used or something supports the mast from below, say an adjustable crutch, that lowers it the rest of the way.  

keysdisease

keysdisease Senior Member

I once did a delivery of a large Wharram catamaram through the Okeechobbee Waterway across Florida and through the lake. There is a vertical lift railroad bridge on the East side of the Lake with a fixed height of something like 48ft, I measured the Cat's height at just over 50 with a tape measure I had brought just for that job. There was a beefy tabernacle so I was pretty confident, the plan being to lower partially using the mainsheet to boom to beefy topping lift added for just that purpose. I had enough crew to steady side to side. Worked great, we lowered the mast slowly and very controlled, tied everything off when I determined we had it at a safe height which didn't require too much lowering, we only needed to "buy" like 5 ft. Worked great until...a powerboat boat went buy throwing a large wake. The mast swayed from side to side and I heard a few loud cracks from the tabernacle. The oscillations continued for what seemed forever and luckily the only damage was a badly cracked but still intact tabernacle. After what seemed forever I started to breathe again. It could have been much worse and luckily no one was hurt. Point being, as a charter boat with green or short handed crew as long as everything goes as planned it can be done. But it only takes one fly in the ointment to endanger the vessel or crew. For us there was no way we could have controlled the port to starboard sway given the angles we had to work with. Also from my beach cat days, the primary failure of the shrouds was at the wire to swage fitting interface at the lower adjuster. This was because occassionally when raising the mast the adjuster would "stick" pointing down and when the shroud would come up tight it would stress the wire with an abrupt 180 degree turn, A few times of that and we got to watch the mast slowly fall off to leeward after a tack some afternoon, and it does happen in slow motion. Point here is its not just the actual lowering and raising, there can be other considerations. As you are planning to charter maybe think about having a surcharge for mast lowering and having it done at a yard or with a crane, its a legitimate cost to pass on. Better safe than sorry. Steve  
The mast lowering has no place in chartering. Also, it will be lowered all the way to a safe position every time. Forgive me, but lowering part way, then making way was bad seamanship. It should have been secured to the deck before making way.  

philSweet

philSweet Senior Member

I saw a tabernacle design that was a half pipe with boom and sailstack on the tabernacle and a high pivot point. A bridal to each bow could provide reasonable lateral control if both lines run to a single reelwinch. How many thousands are you budgeting for this feature and how many hundreds of pounds? Lots of ancillary considerations such as wiring and gallows and custom mast staying. I thought it funny that the photo had a topmast schooner in the background. They "just" lower their topmasts. A dumb old counterballance is really hard to beat. Even I haven't managed to break gravity yet. The counterweight could be stored elsewhere when cruising. Maybe five 100# lead blocks that can double as kellet weights and trim ballast. If you have about seven feet to the pivot, 500# would help out quite a bit.  
Looks there's no shrouds at all... just what we could call (again my bad in english) violin shrouds and a pair of back stays. It's possible to change that rigging to conventional shrouds and running backstays without much complication..  
You are right re the bad seamanship, but the owner over rode my recommendation to lower all the way. I went along because we only had a couple of hundred yards to go in that configuration in a dead calm canal. My bad, lesson learned, doesn't mean something like another boats wake couldn't happen while lowering to someone else. That by the way was when I decided to jump ship. I had gone along with the new owner as I had experience and had made the Okeechobbee Waterway trip before. He had bought the boat in the Tampa bay area and we were taking it back to Miami. He knew everything and was really getting on my nerves telling me all of it. When we got to Stuart we ordered a Pizza delivered to where we docked and I offered the delivery guy $50 to drive me home to Miami. Was home that night. Steve CatBuilder said: ↑ The mast lowering has no place in chartering. Also, it will be lowered all the way to a safe position every time. Forgive me, but lowering part way, then making way was bad seamanship. It should have been secured to the deck before making way. Click to expand...

whitepointer23

whitepointer23 Previous Member

cat, have a look through some of the trailer sailer forums, they have a lot of good advice on mast raising and lowering systems . i am sure you could scale up a ts system to suit your boat.  
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waikikin

waikikin Senior Member

BATAAN said: ↑ In Santa Cruz, California, many of the sail boats have to go under a bridge to get in and out of the marina and all seem to have pretty much the same system. The mast is in a tabernacle that allows the mast to tilt forward, the lower shrouds have a rigidly fixed pivoting joint right co-axial with the tabernacle pivot pin, the boom with taut topping lift is used as a compression strut to give a favorable angle in lowering with the main sheet being the lowering tackle. I haven't done it myself, only watched from another boat, but what I saw was basically casting off the backstay and lowering away the mast forward, motoring under the bridge and the rig went back up quickly and the backstay was set up, then the boat scurried to its berth and I heard corks popping. Click to expand...

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Boat Design Net

IMAGES

  1. The Perfect Solo Mast-Raising System for Small Sailboats

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  3. The Perfect Solo Mast-Raising System for Small Sailboats

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COMMENTS

  1. Mast Up Sailboat Mast Raising System

    Mast Up Sailboat Mast Raising System is an easy mast stepping device and supports your mast while trailering or storing. Now just 2 people can raise any mast. Ideal for short handed mast raising. Fits virtually any boat with an outboard rudder (see the Mast Up Cockpit version for through-hull rudder boats). Mast Up telescopes to 9-1/2 feet.

  2. MAST RAISING SYSTEM, CURRENT WITH WINCH FOR ALL BUT 26M

    This is the newer winch style mast raising system for use on all MacGregor and Venture boats except the 26M. This system can be used if you don't have a mast raiser at all or if you want to update a block and tackle style system to the newer winch style. Most boats will need some additional hardware, especially if you don't have any mast raiser ...

  3. Rise Up! How to Raise Your Sailboat Mast

    To raise and lower the mast, I rig things and operate as follows. In this example, the mast is attached to a pivoting base and stowed lowered onto the bow pulpit. Between the athwartships attachment points and the mast tangs, I attach a set of temporary shrouds. These I made from coated wire rope (the same as used for lifelines).

  4. A great mast raising system

    8. hunter 23 wyoming. Sep 5, 2018. #1. I have a Hunter 23 and have tried several mast raising systems over the years and have finally found one that is superior to all others. It is fast, easy and safe, I found it on youtube under "mast raising tool". I made mine for under $50 and it works great.

  5. Sailboat Mast Raising System (CHEAP!)

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  6. Klacko Spars INC

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  7. Macgregor 25 Owner Modifications and Upgrades

    MacGregor 25 Mast Raising System The mast can be easily raised single handedly using this or other variation on the same theme. Total cost of construction was less than $30, Parts needed: 1 1.5x1.5 x 7' aluminum square tubing, $7 1 1500' winch $15 1 block or as in my case a medium size $2.50 caster with wheel ground into a sheave.

  8. MAST RAISING SYSTEM, CURRENT WITH WINCH, 26M ONLY

    MAST RAISING SYSTEM, CURRENT WITH WINCH, 26M ONLY. This is the stock system for 2005 and newer 26M. Can be retrofitted to 2003 and 2004 26Ms. For any boats other than 26M, please use part #3418-1V0 found here. Please provide a hull ID# in the "comments" section when placing an order. Because of liability we cannot sell this kit for anything ...

  9. PDF Capri 22

    This A-frame system is an essential tool for anyone planning on trailering , raising/lowering mast regularly. The system is inexpensive to build , easy to assemble and extremely simple to use single handed. ... Raising or lowering the mast is easy using this simple "A" frame system and mast crutch. This setup uses two 10-½ ft chain link fence ...

  10. Precision Boat Works

    Precision Mast Raising System Available for the P-23. Gin-Pole by bow is up and ready to raise mast. Single operator using winch has the mast close to full upward location. Ready to lower Gin-Pole and launch. Detail shown in travel position. Note ladder for ease of access.

  11. Mastup Mast Stepper with 3/8" Pintles

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  12. Home

    MastMate is a system for the raising and lowering of the mast on a trailerable yacht. MastMate allows one person to raise or lower a mast single-handed. This task can be accomplished easily, quickly, and with safety. Mastmate has been developed over several years, and safety for the operator and other crew has been a major consideration in the ...

  13. MAST RAISING SYSTEM, WINCH ONLY

    Blue Water Yachts is the only factory authorized distributor for MacGregor sailboat parts and accessories. We sell factory replacement and upgrade sails, fiberglass rudders, centerboards and daggerboard, replacement plexiglass windows for most MacGregor boats. ... MAST RAISING SYSTEM, WINCH ONLY : Our Price: $ 95.00. Product Code: 3424-1M0. Qty ...

  14. Precision Mast Raising System

    Precision Mast Raising System Available from factory for P-21 and P-23. See Carl Kotheimer's custom mast raising system for his P-21. Photo by Steve Goggi, The Sailboat Shop: System setup and ready to raise the mast. Photo by Steve Goggi, The Sailboat Shop: Up, up, up. A one person operation.

  15. A Frame Mast Raising System

    Jan 22, 2008. 57. Catalina C-27 Providence, RI. Jan 26, 2009. #2. Here is an A-Frame system that I've used on my Catalina 27 mast. It worked very good, but be careful to use a quality 2x4. The first time I used this system one of the 2x4s had a knot that created a weak spot on the board and it snapped. I replaced the board with a good 2x4 and I ...

  16. how to build a mast raising rig?

    The MK-II's came from the factory all set-up for Catalina's mast raising system. It uses a simple 8' gin-pole that slides into a hole at the base of the mast, and a couple baby-stays that slip into the mast with a "T"-fitting, and pelican hooks that attach to straps used to secure the halyard turning blocks to the cabin top.

  17. Montgomery Sailboats Owners Group

    The mast is lifted using one of the boat's sail handling winches. The mast is so light that a kid can raise it. The system can be left in place while sailing. Even without this option, one person can easily raise and lower the mast by hand." Priced at $98. (My brother owned a Mac-26 and this system, it works like a charm — but we never made ...

  18. 2015 Windrider Windrider 17 Trimaran sailboat for sale in North Carolina

    North Carolina. $6,575. Description: Windrider 17 trimaran in excellent shape. 2015 WR17 trailer, WR motor mount, 2020 Minnkota electric motor with deep cell battery, WR17 mast raising system and WR 17 storage shell and pockets. Equipment: Location: High Point, North Carolina. L92007.

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    Precision 23 Gin Pole Mast Raising System. I am new here, or at least have not posted in a very long time, I forget which. In any event, I have owned several sailboats over the last 15 years since I began sailing, including an M-16 Scow, MacGregor 25, Flying Scot, Sirius 17, O'Day 20, Com-Pac 16, and recently purchased a 1994 Precision 23.

  20. Mast Raising System

    It takes about a minute to raise and secure the mast. Mast Raising Sequence. (1) The mast is slid back along the stern brace into position and (2) the bolt is secured to the tabernackle. (3)The mast is bench pressed from the cockpit while the line connected to the forestay is pulled. (4) I leave the lower board on the cabin cover in place to ...

  21. V-22 best way to raise the mast singlehanded ?

    fix the bottom of the pole with a stud sticking out the end about 1 inch (1/2" bolt shank epoxied in) that would insert into a hole at the base of the the mast. this would hold it secure while tripping the mast into position. no method can use a fixed pole as needs to hinge with the raising of the mast.

  22. New & Used Sailboat Parts and Rigging for Sale

    Mast Up Sailboat Mast Raising System is an easy mast stepping device and supports your mast while trailering or storing. Now just 2 people can raise any mast. Ideal for short handed mast raising. Fits virtually any boat with an outboard rudder (see the Mast Up Cockpit version for through-hull rudder boats). Mast Up telescopes to 9-1/2 feet.

  23. Mast Raising and Lowering Systems?

    The mast is in a tabernacle that allows the mast to tilt forward, the lower shrouds have a rigidly fixed pivoting joint right co-axial with the tabernacle pivot pin, the boom with taut topping lift is used as a compression strut to give a favorable angle in lowering with the main sheet being the lowering tackle.