Mast Step Question

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petrasoleil
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Mast Step Question

Postby petrasoleil » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:05 am

(I'm re-posting this in General Discussion, in hopes of getting some more eyes on my question.)

After reading the original manual and looking at other mast-stepping photos, I'm curious if our base is put on backwards? From the looks of how ours is set up, it appears that you would roll the mast forward along the bow roller, place the mast into the base, and tilt it up from the bow to vertical. There's a winch that's been installed to aid in stepping it, which is mounted at the back of the boat. Am I crazy, or is this opposite of how other boats are set up to step the mast?
We tinkered around with the mast base and after looking at other photos on this forum, and the looking at the suspect weld on the neck (? Still learning the new language of sailing) of the metal part of the mast step, we concluded that some aftermarket work was done. An attempt to step the mast was unsuccessful in many ways, one of them being that we snapped that base piece off at the weld. Better now than out On the water, I suppose. My question for the forum is about the base of the actual mast. Do I now have a (albeit needed to be cleaned up) normal mast step, if we flip it around to face the stern? What was the previous owner thinking by flipping it to face the bow and welding on an extended "hook"? Part of me is thinking of just switching to a hinged base and scrapping the original mess.

Photos are in the link below:
http://s538.photobucket.com/user/mjapples/library/1977%20Chrysler%20C26/C26%20Mast?sort=3&page=1

Thanks in advance for the advice. We're learning a lot! ;)
Emily
Sayonara - '77 C26

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EmergencyExit
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Postby EmergencyExit » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:43 am

Yep, it normally faces the other way, altho I suppose this works for raising the mast 'bow to stern' as well as it does the normal way...and yes a mast hinge plate is a huge improvement over either of those choices !

ChrisC
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Postby ChrisC » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:40 pm

So, the hook on the mast step in the photo is really pointing toward the bow? That would be backward. One issue is whether the slot in the base of the mast can be joined to the hook in either orientation--the slot for the mainsail facing the sky or facing the deck.

In the normal orientation, the base of the mast is fitted to the hook with the slot facing the deck, and then raised. As long as the hook can fit properly into the mast with the slot facing upwards, I guess theoretically you could raise it that way, from the bow.

It seems odd because the mast is long and there is not as much boat length to help support it if it's rolled off the bow. Perhaps the previous owner had some kind of support on the tow vehicle that made switching the normal orientation more efficient. The extended, welded-on piece was perhaps there to accommodate the reverse orientation of the mast on the step(?), to create the proper fit. That's just a theory.

I would think you could flip it around and then raise the mast normally. When raised this way it may also provide the small backward rake that is desired--if raised from the front that rake may not be there (though I do not know if this is so ).

There is a lot of good mast raising info around in this forum and on the websites. Ask questions. And slow and easy is the general precaution.

Good luck.
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." --Wind in the Willows

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EmergencyExit
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Postby EmergencyExit » Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:12 pm

Thought about this a bit, and here are the reasons "I" would have made this mod if it had been me. And in some ways, this method may make better sense and it certainly has less steps..

NOTE I'm doing this in my head, but there's so much empty room up there the idea probably fits...but I may be mis-imagining this completely.

In the usual way we step the mast it requires lots of rigging, un-rigging, and re-rigging..this way may eliminate that..

Sooo in the usual stepping setup we rig the boom in the front of the mast to use as a gin pole(AND thus later have to take it off the front of the mast and mount it on the back of the mast to use it as a boom.) If we reverse the step hook, and lay the mast forward slot up, then we would be mounting the boom/gin pole vertically on the back of the mast, where it will stay.

And in the usual way, we need to rig the main sheet on the foredeck from the boom end to the attach point for the forestay, but once the mast is up, we take it loose, move it to the end on the boom (that we also had to move) and rig it again. With the step hook reversed not only is the boom already on the back of the mast (where it needs to be in the end anyway), the mainsheet we use to raise the mast is right where it needs to be after the mast is up, so no rigging, un-rigging, re-rigging it !!

We would attach the forestay, and leave the backstay off until the mast is up (reverse of usual).

So..to step, the mast lies forward, slot up. The boom is in position in the slot, the main halyard goes to boom end and is cleated off, the main sheet is rigged cabin top to boom end, forestay is attached, backstay off.

We haul the mast up, we attach the backstay, and we are done ! Mast up, all the temporary rigging we usually do is not needed. PLUS its easier to help push the mast up from the foredeck because you avoid the climb from cockpit to cabin top !!

I've never measured from mast step to bow, but I'd guess its not so far different that the mast is uncontrollable that way; plus once its under the hook, its caught by that anyway. I think if there was extra welded on the hook it was to utilize the hollow space at the mast front..

Its a thought...

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astrorad
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Postby astrorad » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:59 pm

The hinged mast step is the way to go...I changed mine to hinged and it is much better. Once you pin the mast to the base you don't have to worry about it falling overboard. I bought the one from Dwyer Aluminum Mast Company...Model DH 2150.
Bill

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Postby Bobby » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:19 pm

Would the use of a hinged base eliminate the need to use bridles?

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astrorad
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Postby astrorad » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:59 pm

Bobby, you still need to use the bridles. I use ratchet straps with my bridles. they make it very easy to set up and adjust. I also have created my own dedicated mast raising gin pole with boat trailer winch mounted on it rather than using the boom as in the instructions. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1741872642751261&set=p.1741872642751261&type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1741872826084576&set=p.1741872826084576&type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1741872939417898&set=p.1741872939417898&type=3&theater
Bill

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petrasoleil
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Postby petrasoleil » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:44 am

Thank you everyone for the thoughtful replies. We've been slacking on getting work done, but in our defense it's been over 100 degrees the past couple weeks. I'll check back in once we've made some progress. I think the hinged base is what we're going with...
Emily

Sayonara - '77 C26


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