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Old 03-01-2013, 19:47   #1
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Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

I don't take my hinges off my F550 Ford when I am not opening and closing the hood.

It seems to me, for any mast that goes up and down frequently a built in permanent support system to safely maintain the mast staying plumb as it is stepped would be very helpful.

Is there no diagonal bars going up the mast several feet because it is a trip hazard?

Thinking of adding something along this train of thought to aid in my mast stepping twice a year.
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Old 03-01-2013, 20:18   #2
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Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

You could have a welder make an aluminum tabernacle for it, with the hinge pin as far off the deck as practicable, as I have had done for two boats now. Structural aluminum channel is not very expensive, and the operation is child's play for a competent welder.
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Old 03-01-2013, 22:29   #3
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How tall of masts has this worked on?
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:21   #4
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Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

My mast is about 32' long, but it's heavy, since I have a gaff rig.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:38   #5
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pirate Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

I've seen it on boats up to 32ft... top bolt acts as a hinge and the bottom one locks her in place... works well
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:47   #6
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Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

I put a mast step assembly on my cal 25 works great ordered it from. Rig-Rite Inc. - Masts, Booms, Spars, Rigging, and Hardware for Sailboats.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:33   #7
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Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

30' Seadog Ketch - tabernacles on both masts (galvanised or stainless or wood! - on the mizzen). This one is in Holland - apparently usual MO for him when returning to his "home" port (no bridge clearance), including when in a lock! (not sure if that is winter only or every trip!, I suspect not)......methinks also a bit of practice (trial and error?!) in getting the exact setup (the A frame not standard) and to get the confidence to travel with mast dropped like that.





Mast height varies a bit between boats - but pretty much same as yours, if not a tad taller (certainly the Mizzen is).

Close up of the main mast tabernacle (different vessel to above)



and for the mizzen (wood!) - mast foot actually only comes down about a third (different vessel to above)

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Old 04-01-2013, 06:38   #8
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Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

Bruce Bingham has some detailed drawings in "The Sailors Sketchbook" for this purpose.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:26   #9
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pirate Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_cal25 View Post
I put a mast step assembly on my cal 25 works great ordered it from. Rig-Rite Inc. - Masts, Booms, Spars, Rigging, and Hardware for Sailboats.

Pic please?
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:00   #10
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Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

Mast tabernacles are another fine traditional idea which have unfortunately mostly gone by the way side.

A mast tabernacle(s) is one item on the long list of design features that the "next boat" will have.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:33   #11
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Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

I've always found it interesting that a tabernacle base can in theory allow you to lower a mast without a crane.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:05   #12
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Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Mast tabernacles are another fine traditional idea which have unfortunately mostly gone by the way side.

A mast tabernacle(s) is one item on the long list of design features that the "next boat" will have.
primarily because boats have got bigger and hence the idea stops working above about a 32 foot boat.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:25   #13
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Re: Why Don't Stepped Masts Come With Already Installed Supports?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
...primarily because boats have got bigger and hence the idea stops working above about a 32 foot boat.
Why would it "stop working" above 32' ? Seems to me it would just be a matter of proper engineering. The basic concept and angles don't change -- just the loads involved. Even a larger aluminum extrusion mast in the 50-60' range (which covers most mid-sized cruising vessels), for it's length, is relatively light (you can walk a 50-60' alum mast across the yard with just a few stout guys). The loads induced by the leverage of the larger mast being lowered will be greater, but not huge. Engineer properly for the loads, and why would it not work above 32' ?

If we can unstep my mast with a few telephone poles lashed together and some rope then surely a good mechanical engineer can come up with a more elegant and sufficiently strong tabernacle. Pic attached.

Why not?
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