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Old 07-04-2014, 06:57   #1
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dang bridge

looking for a sail boat to buy,,thats great ...but in order to get to my house i need a boat with a tabernacle to get under the dang bridge, so i was told not all boats can be tabernacle ,,,it this true, looking for a boat 34-38' that i can tabernacle any ideas,thoughts,suggestions, riggers ,i did hear that it was expensive but so are slips over time. live in oxnard ca. and do have a free slip in my back yard,,, new to the area and sailing too, by looking at this forum it seems to me that this is great bunch of sailors to ask.


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Old 07-04-2014, 07:08   #2
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Re: dang bridge

Before looking for a boat, I would first find a rigger who knows how to install a tabernacle and can advise you about which boats or what characteristics would be good candidates: deck stepped or keel stepped, back stay or no back stay, cutter vs sloop, roller furling vs hanked on jib, etc.

My guess is that lifting the mast while underway on a 34' boat will be very difficult. Is there a dock outside of the bridge that you could pull into for a few minutes to stabilize the boat while lifting the mast? That would make it much easier.

I have raised the mast on a 22' sloop, using a tabernacle and did it once or twice in the water tied to a dock, but the idea of doing it on a 34'er concerns me. Ask the rigger what the weight of the mast will be. You have to lift one end, half the weight, by hand up at least 15 degrees before you can finish the hoist with the jib halyard.


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Old 07-04-2014, 07:30   #3

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Re: dang bridge

Tabernacles are nice when you want to go through a canal or some locks, it's not something you wanna do more than a couple times a year. It's good for dropping then say going through the French canal system then popping it back up. It's not something you do per day sail. It's a trailer sailor thing. In the 34-38 range it's extremely rare, almost non-existent. I pull my two masts twice a year to go in and out of a lake heading south. The boom has to come of, sails,all rigging tied off tangle free. If your in Europe it's way more common. Of all the mass produced plastic boats here in the US you almost never see it. Keeping your boat on the other side of the bridge is the more reasonable solution. Or get a smaller boat, still wouldn't be fun to deal with every time you went out. You would end up using it less.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:06   #4
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Re: dang bridge

Rent out your slip and then use that money to rent a proper slip for your boat. I don't care what kind of system is rigged, you will not want to do this on a daily basis and you will soon either move the boat or lose interest.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:17   #5
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Re: dang bridge

That's an awfully big boat for a tabernacle. Raising the mast will likely require a complicated gin-pole arrangement and be a real PITA to do while under way, especially as a routine matter.

You didn't say what the bridge clearance is. Have you considered a gaff rig? Depending on the actual clearance, that may work for a boat that size, and -- despite some performance limitations -- would certainly be a lot more convenient. A well-designed, more modern gaff rig with a high peak on the gaff (usually referred to as a gunter rig) can give you pretty darned good performance. What you lose going to windward you make up for on reaches and downwind.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:10   #6
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Re: dang bridge

Here is one, got money I hope:

1998 Gemini 105M with Tabernacle Mast Sail Boat For Sale -
Frimi Captain
Tom Bodine
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:16   #7
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Re: dang bridge

The boat comes first. Your house is now just a place to store spare boat stuff.


You won't be the first.

Welcome to sailing.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:41   #8
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Re: dang bridge

My cousin had a Westsail 32 with a tabernacle rig. He kept in in Huntington Harbor and dropped the mast to get in and out under the PCH bridge.

There are some earlier threads on tabernacle masts here: Tabernacle Masts
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:45   #9
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Re: dang bridge

yea we did look at that one already not for me great system though
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:55   #10
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Re: dang bridge

Sounds like you need a Norfolk Broads type of yacht, from 23.00 minutes onwards.

Moody 31 - April Lass
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:07   #11
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Re: dang bridge

What is the bridge clearance?
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Old 07-04-2014, 13:45   #12
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Re: dang bridge

We have a partial tabernacle on our 60' ketch. It allows us to lean the main mast down from 78' above the water to an air draft of 64' to make waterway passages possible, if problematic, with our 7' draft. It's a pain, takes about 4 hours one way using a chain fall and on board tackle. Not my first choice... But it does work. As noted, this is a once or twice a year thing.

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Old 13-04-2014, 19:37   #13
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Re: dang bridge

I saw one on a 78 footer. Custom built by the owner so he & his wife could drop/raise the mast for the ICW. The mast was deck stepped on a monster hinged bracket. The pin was exactly in line with the shroud pins. They used the windlass to lower or raise the rig. He said it took them about 20 minutes up or down. wheel house with a gallows.
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Old 13-04-2014, 21:36   #14
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Re: dang bridge

Didn't post what I thought would.
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Old 13-04-2014, 22:16   #15
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Re: dang bridge


Folks who keep their boats in the inner harbour at Santa Cruz, CA do this every time they go sailing. It has been a few years since I've been there, but remember many boats in the mid thirty foot range doing it on the go. We're a long way from there now, so can't check it out for you, but perhaps some locals can chime in. It surely can be done!



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s/v Insatiable back in MBTBC marina, waiting for next eye jobs to be done
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