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
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.