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Old 13-11-2009, 19:20   #1
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Mast Stepping at the Dock

I have an Ericson 29 with an "I" dimension of 36.5 ft. has anyone had any experience with unstepping a mast of this size at the dock. I am thinking along the lines of an "A" frame as in the attachment. Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated. I do have four kids that are willing to take a hit for the team and throw themselves under the mast if it falls toward another boat.
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Old 13-11-2009, 19:30   #2
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As a matter of fact, I was part of a group that helped a buddy with an Ericson 35 tall rig unstep/restep in a slip. We did it by putting two larger boats on either side of his, and then using the halyards from each outboard boat. Some sort of harness was rigged around the spreaders, but I wasn't on that particular committee.

What I remember most, was that great deal of beer needed to be consumed to make this work.
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Old 13-11-2009, 19:47   #3
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Is there any marina or club near you with a gin pole?
Very easy to use. Usually only cost a few dollars.
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Old 13-11-2009, 20:51   #4
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What I remember most, was that great deal of beer needed to be consumed to make this work.
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Old 16-11-2009, 20:19   #5
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The only masts I've seen done at the dock involved boats with a tabernacle. We have half a dozen Grampian 26s with 32' masts but they are deck stepped, and have a tiny little shoe on the bottom of the mast which gets a hinge pin in it. The lads use a 10 foot pole with a couple of plates at one end that fit the hinge. The pole is attached to the hinge, and projects flat along the deck forward from the mast. Its upper end is attached to the spar with lines and the mainsheet is then used attached between the pole end and the bow fitting. The lower forward shrouds are let go, the upper is slacked off a tad and the rear lowers are left as is. This gives support to the stick as it pivots aft. You end up with about 20 feet of mast stuck out over the stern rail. Its fairly easy.

My boat has an 18 inch high tabernacle and the pin goes thru the mast. I also use a pole about 10 foot long. The plates at the end go around the mast and the hinge pin holds it. It projects forward parallel to the deck and the end is attached to a strop secured just below the spreaders. Then my mainsheet is attached to the end of the pole, and the other end to my samson post. Same thing, gently lower away. Only in this case you end up with about 25 feet of mast over the water. You need a few people to sit on the butt end when you pull the hinge out or the mast will upend and go down off the stern end.

The secret in both of these is that the butt end of the mast is always controlled. Its never free to move except along the fore/aft line.

In your case it appears that you are deck stepped but have no hinge. So if you are going to use shear legs, you will need to attach the lifting tackle to the mast at just above the center of gravity so that it is balanced. Once that is done, you should be able to lift it an inch or so and then walk the butt end forward while lowering away on the lifting tackle. Since you must release ALL the standing rig, You will need a couple of people to walk the mast butt forward, and a couple to keep tension on the lower shrouds as the mast comes down so it doesn't start moving from side to side.

It can be done, thats how they got spars into the hulls of large sailing ships. Just be verrry careful.

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Old 17-11-2009, 13:19   #6
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Thanks Sabre, you are correct - mast is deck stepped with no hinge, my local boatyard wants around $500.00 to pull it and replace if I do all the work of removing the sail / boom / furler / backstay and loosening all the shrouds before coming to their dock. This is their low estimate and knowing boatyards I imagine it could get higher.

I believe the mast weighs less than 80 lbs. so using the a-frame as shown above I am thinking three adults ( sober, no offense to Bash ), could handle this.
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Old 17-11-2009, 13:50   #7
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As stated by BASH, get between two sailboats and use their halyards. Have done this a couple of times and is quite simple and safe.
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Old 17-11-2009, 14:49   #8
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Rex Delay, thanks for the input, I am thinking the two boat option will not work where I am at, the consensus on my dock was that the halyards with the side loading would be off the sheaves and chafe against the masthead(s) - not to mention that three boats all moving at a different time / rate when the any other boats go by. I have a derelict power boat next to me that hasn't moved for years, and a Catalina 30 on the other side that I have never seen anyone on, and I don't think the others would want me next to them in case the darn thing went sideways - that is probably why they were so helpful with the boatyard info.
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Old 17-11-2009, 15:00   #9
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Seen masts taken off and then placed back in between masts of neighbouring boats in Richards Bay. So, if you have neighbours on both sides and if they are nice guys you may be able to use their masts as an ad hoc crane.

The exact procedure can be probably googled out.

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Old 17-11-2009, 15:05   #10
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Here is a video of the method described in OPs attachment:
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Old 17-11-2009, 16:02   #11
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Is there a sheltered anchorage near? Spinnaker halyards will overcome the twist factor.
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Old 18-11-2009, 18:21   #12
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Rain Dog - this is the video of what I am talking about, though the Catalina 27 mast is a little shorter and lighter, I'm thinking I will beef up the 2 x 4 braces with another 2 x 4 to make each leg like a tee. No one has said this is a stupid idea so I'll go for it. Thanks to all for the input.

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Old 18-11-2009, 18:33   #13
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No club nearby with a cherry picker?

It's big enough that you are not going to do it easily but if you decide to go ahead make sure you are above the balnce point.
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Old 18-11-2009, 19:41   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West Coast Cat View Post
Thanks Sabre, you are correct - mast is deck stepped with no hinge, my local boatyard wants around $500.00 to pull it and replace if I do all the work of removing the sail / boom / furler / backstay and loosening all the shrouds before coming to their dock. This is their low estimate and knowing boatyards I imagine it could get higher.

I believe the mast weighs less than 80 lbs. so using the a-frame as shown above I am thinking three adults ( sober, no offense to Bash ), could handle this.
man are they ever hosing you!. I had Sabre Dances' dropped, and put up for $3.50 a foot at one of the most expensive marinas in Toronto area in 2008. And they ended up using boat length instead of spar length so it came to $266 down and up again.


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Old 18-11-2009, 20:09   #15
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A bridge?
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