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Old 29-01-2009, 15:11   #1
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Removing 50’ Mast for Inspection


Hi anyone have advice on steps for removing 50 ‘ mast
I have 2 sets of spreader bars
Do I have the crane sling at top section of mast , do I climb up first and hook up sling before crane arrives do I pay him by the hour while I hook up sling then go around and remove the turnbuckles etc.
The foot of my deck stepped mast has a plate with 4 acorn nuts it does not look like the mast is welded to this plate. So I am guessing the plate is attached to some internal foot inside the mast dose this mean the only thing holding the mast down is the compression of the tight turnbuckles I changed the forestay last spring. So I am hoping I can remove the mast with out having to remove the furling from the stay.
Once I remove the mast do the spreader bars hold them selves or do I have to do something to brace them as I bring the mast down.
I am open to any advise
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Old 29-01-2009, 16:21   #2
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Hi,
I had a dble spreader mast of 42 ft. I put the sling under the upper spreaders and it worked ok. Only thing is you want the sling over not under the intermediates, otherwise the tangs on the mast may get distorted as the sling pulls up.

All the best
Chris
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Old 29-01-2009, 16:54   #3
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Your guide sling point should be above the center of moment. But you shouldn't be loading at that point. The sling goes below the spreader another line the load line should come down and be cinched around the mast below but against the winches. Hope my words described that right.
your spreaders should stay put. I would think that you are looking at the mast step bolted to the deck and acorn nuts are interior? normally the mast would lift off this without unbolting. The stays hold the rig up the step keeps the foot from going sideways. Boat type may help out.
I would think you could should save time and have the point of connection set up prior to the crane arriving. If you are doing this in a boat yard they probably have the gear and it may be easier to use theirs. The yard guys won't lift it unless they think its okay. you will save time if you pull the escuthceons tape etc.. at the turnbuckles. give the threads a little oil and make sure they are not siezed.
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Old 29-01-2009, 17:13   #4
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You can detach and secure all of your uppers to the mast before the crane gets there (you don't need them to hold the mast up). I usually tie a line to the bottom of the roller furling to keep it temporarily in place and use it for negotiating while lifting the mast. You'll need a second hand there to help you with the roller furling, to keep it from dragging across the deck. Once the mast is high enough, you can tie the roller furling to the mast.

The spreaders will be fine (unless something is broken). They are self supporting.

Pull out all of the running rigging that you can. Secure the rest to the mast.

Like Chris said, they will put the lifting weight of the mast on the winches so keep them clear. The crane operator will position the sling.

Have the cotter pins out of the lower stay turnbuckles. Remove each one of the turnbuckles and put it back (before disconnecting the uppers). This will assure that you don't have something seized up that will take you an hour to get undone (while the crane waits$$$).

You are correct, the mast is held down by it's own weight and the rigging tension.

They will lift the mast about a foot to allow you to unplug the wire harness. However, be prepaired to cut the wiring if you can't unplug it.

If you're prepared, it should only take about 30 minutes to take the mast off and put it down. If you're not prepared, it could take hours.

Wayne
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Old 29-01-2009, 17:39   #5
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Find your balance point and make sure you are above it Not good to have the head of the spar race to earth which can happen if you lift below the tip point. Use a line secured to a winch on the spar to hold the loop that you use for lifting, do not use the spreader bars to lift the spar. Wrap the roller drum with carpet, pull a halyard forward to hold the spar from falling backwards, undo the headstay and then in a smooth motion (don't kink the rf track) lift the roller furler drum over the stanchions and walk it back so it hangs overboard at midsection.

As others have said, have everything ready to go, be ready to cut wires if needed, have horses ready to set the spar on.

Should be good to go. I'll try to post some pics later.
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Old 29-01-2009, 17:51   #6
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Oh, and don't forget to undo you electrics like I always do - crane still gets the mast out but it makes another job.
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Old 29-01-2009, 18:29   #7
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Oh Thanks guys great wealth of experience appreciate all the tips
I never thought of supporting the mast from the winches.
Something still not clear if I REMOVE ALL THE UPPER SUPPORT before the Crain gets there how are we suppose to get up there to tie off at the upper section of the mast ?? Am I to expect the Crain operator to climb the mast to tie his rigging at the upper section?
Would we normally disconnect wires a foot below the base of mast or 8 feet below under compression post?
Thanks again for any advise
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Old 29-01-2009, 20:29   #8
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Okay, I own a Columbia with a 55 foot mast height. Last summer I had the mast out to replace all the standing. The crane cost $600 per trip. That is, once to pull and once to drop back in. The crane sling goes around your mast with a down haul line attached. The crane operator takes up the slack and then you:

1. Disconnect all mast head wiring at the mast step.
2. Make sure all your halyards are coiled on the mast.
3. Attach a line to the mast at the partners to control the mast when it is loose.
4. Loosen all standing rigging. If you have roller furling, take the sail off or otherwise secure the gear so that it cannot unroll in the middle of the operation.
5. Take one last look around to make sure everything is clear.
6. Take another look around to make sure everything is clear.
6. Signal the mast operator to take up the slack. The sling will snag and tighten at the lower spreader.
7. Pull all the turnbuckle pins and hoist out.
8. The lower spreader should be close to the half way point. With the length of mast below deck the mast should not rotate in the sling but should stay nearly vertical. As the mast is lowered to the hardstand guide the heel to where you want it. If you have horses already set up, now is the time to lay the mast on them. Make sure the long axis of the mast section is vertical and mast should have enough strength to support itself without bending. You will be surprised how little it will weigh. You and 4 friends should be able to manage it.

Stepping the mast is the reverse of the above. It is a bit harder to get the heel right back into the step but it can be done. Someone will need to be on deck to transmit your up-down directions to the crane operator.

While the mast is out:
1. Take out the step casting. Clean, prime and paint it.
2. Clean the compartment carefully and repaint as needed.
3. Check your keel bolts if you have an outside keel. My bolts had rusty nuts. I extracted them and replaced with stainless steel. Pulling the bolds is very hard but have done it, I sleep better.
4. Replace your running rigging.
5. Replace your masthead instruments.
6. Check the masthead sheeves. Disassemble and greese.
7. Check the steeming light and masthead nav lights.
8. Replace the spreader boots. Check the spreader-to-mast connection for corrosion.
9. Install that spinaker halyard crane that you always wanted. And on and on and on.
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Old 29-01-2009, 21:51   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Plan B View Post
Okay, I own a Columbia with a 55 foot mast height. Last summer I had the mast out to replace all the standing. The crane cost $600 per trip. That is, once to pull and once to drop back in. The crane sling goes around your mast with a down haul line attached. The crane operator takes up the slack and then you:

1. Disconnect all mast head wiring at the mast step.
2. Make sure all your halyards are coiled on the mast.
3. Attach a line to the mast at the partners to control the mast when it is loose.
4. Loosen all standing rigging. If you have roller furling, take the sail off or otherwise secure the gear so that it cannot unroll in the middle of the operation.
5. Take one last look around to make sure everything is clear.
6. Take another look around to make sure everything is clear.
6. Signal the mast operator to take up the slack. The sling will snag and tighten at the lower spreader.
7. Pull all the turnbuckle pins and hoist out.
8. The lower spreader should be close to the half way point. With the length of mast below deck the mast should not rotate in the sling but should stay nearly vertical. As the mast is lowered to the hardstand guide the heel to where you want it. If you have horses already set up, now is the time to lay the mast on them. Make sure the long axis of the mast section is vertical and mast should have enough strength to support itself without bending. You will be surprised how little it will weigh. You and 4 friends should be able to manage it.

Stepping the mast is the reverse of the above. It is a bit harder to get the heel right back into the step but it can be done. Someone will need to be on deck to transmit your up-down directions to the crane operator.

While the mast is out:
1. Take out the step casting. Clean, prime and paint it.
2. Clean the compartment carefully and repaint as needed.
3. Check your keel bolts if you have an outside keel. My bolts had rusty nuts. I extracted them and replaced with stainless steel. Pulling the bolds is very hard but have done it, I sleep better.
4. Replace your running rigging.
5. Replace your masthead instruments.
6. Check the masthead sheeves. Disassemble and greese.
7. Check the steeming light and masthead nav lights.
8. Replace the spreader boots. Check the spreader-to-mast connection for corrosion.
9. Install that spinaker halyard crane that you always wanted. And on and on and on.
I had wood masts on my Passport 45. The main-mast was 55' and deck stepped. My wife and I carried the mast by ourselves and it's slightly heavier than an aluminum mast. I also stepped the mast without the use of a crane.

Your mast has plenty of strength to stand alone with the upper shrouds off. That is not an issue. If it won't support your weight, you don't want that mast.
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Old 30-01-2009, 06:11   #10
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If you have a long mast and are not sure of getting above the midpoint for crane attachment, then have two or three 5 gallon plastic containers full of water to attach at the base of the mast, and this will make things a bit easier.
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Old 30-01-2009, 08:19   #11
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Herre ya go Serg, pics of the procedure.

Run a guy up to tie a loop for the crane to hook into. Our balance point is 3 feet above the steaming/deck light.

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Old 30-01-2009, 08:23   #12
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The loop is tied to a line that goes down to a winch on the mast.
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Old 30-01-2009, 08:25   #13
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We pluck it out. I have all wires, hyd, boot, partners, and halyards ready to go before the crane arrives.
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Old 30-01-2009, 08:26   #14
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Then we lay it down on the pre arrainged stands.
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Old 30-01-2009, 08:28   #15
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Done except for cleanup. We do this twice a year, in and out.
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