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Old 18-10-2019, 11:07   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Cudjoe Key Florida Keys
Boat: Columbia T-26
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Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

I lost my gin pole !! Left it at a boat ramp.. Was a nice pole as well, welded with a pin that fit perfectly into a drilled hole in my mast, it came with the boat when I bought it, worked flawlessly. Definitely need it to lift/lower my mast.

Anyone have any ideas on building a new one ? I have some good thick galvanized pipe from another project that will be long enough but I'm scratching my head at the moment as to what to do next.

I was thinking of cutting and threading the pipe and use a "T" and some pipe on either end cut to the width of my mast and drill some holes into the pipes attached to the "T" and buy some long threaded bolts and a clamp so I can tighten the clamp around the mast with wing nuts. On the other end of the pipe use another T that I can pass the halyard through or over and so on..I could be overthinking it though.

Our local welder is as slow as mud getting anything done thatís small and simple (ask him to build you davits or a T top and heís on top of it lol) so I'm wondering if I can build a gin pole without having to get anything welded.

Any Ideas would be most appreciated. I did a general search on the topic but could'nt find many post on the subject.
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Old 18-10-2019, 11:16   #2
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

What was the top of your lost gin pole like? What are you using to tension the halyard during lifting/lowering?
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Old 18-10-2019, 11:36   #3
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

Thanks for the quick reply, I have a roller furling jib, the top of my lost gin pole had a large shank welded to it so I used to attach the forestay (roller furler) to it and I have a telescoping winch on my trailer that I also attached to the eye. It was a good system. Kept me out of harms way and on the ground where I could watch the mast while I raised it to make sure it went up straight. I also had the option where I could attach block and tackle to the gin pole and the forestay chain plate and use one of the boats winches to raise it from the cockpit.
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Old 18-10-2019, 11:39   #4
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

The base of the Jin pole was flanged and had a metal pin welded to it that slotted into a hole that was drilled into the mast..
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Old 18-10-2019, 17:09   #5
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

I am working out how to improve my own system. I have been reviewing this one, and think it has some nice features.
https://www.tropicalboating.com/2010...mall-sailboats
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Old 18-10-2019, 17:42   #6
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

Thanks for that Joe, I really like the telescoping raising pole attached to the rudder gudgeons !! Why didínt I ever think of building something like that years ago lol..I have an A frame I lug around in the back of my truck and every time I set it up in the cockpit I have to find new wayís to secure it and the mast getís hung up on it when I slide it up or down to prepare the mast for trailering. The rest of the system looks pretty straight forward to build and rig. Iím sold. Going to get started on building it. I think Iíll look at the McGregor website and see how much that raising pole is. If itís reasonable will just order one.
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Old 18-10-2019, 18:14   #7
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

It looks like I'm going to build the mast crutch as well..Bit pricey.
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Old 18-10-2019, 18:46   #8
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

I also am going to look first at some DIY solutions. I heard complaints about the commercial mast crutch that it can rotate on the rudder gudgeons, and that the ears are too tall; they catch on the stays while sliding the mast between trailering and stepping positions. Someone suggested a wider roller with no ears worked really well. Whatever you end up with, I would love to see pictures!
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Old 18-10-2019, 19:00   #9
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

I think your right, a wider roller with a deep v would be better.. Might be tricky trying to attach a roller to a metal pole though without welding. Maybe wood is the way to go in building the crutch although I liked the telescoping aspect of the pole for transporting. I'll see what I can come up with and post pics on here. Same as that, if you make any headway on it would be great to see your progress.
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Old 18-10-2019, 19:02   #10
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

I use a 2*6 with a harken thru deck sheave in the top. Stayed aft to some stanchion. Does not rotate with the mast but is a fixed fairlead. Have done up to 40' mast on 29" boats this way. 12' step ladder works also
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Old 18-10-2019, 19:10   #11
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

That'll definitely work ! The ladder sounds like the quickest solution I'm hoping to get rid of the A frame I have for the job all together. It's just not practical. A stable crutch hung to the rudder gudgeons would make securing the mast & trailering the boat so much eisier. I have an A frame for the bow of course will keep that one. It does what it's supposed to do.
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Old 18-10-2019, 20:06   #12
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

On my previous boat I used the boom as the gin pole to raise the mast. I bolted a matching fitting to the front of the mast for the boom. Took a line to the windlass and cranked it right up. I set up the lowers and backstay first of course.
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Old 18-10-2019, 20:19   #13
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

I was looking at the boom and wondering if that would work as a quick solution. The wind is blowing nice n steady this week-end and I know if I get into a long drawn out project building a gin pole that'll be Saturday gone. I'd much rather just get the mast up and go sailing tomorrow. So would I would drill tap the base of the mast and screw in an eye shank then attach the boom to the shank and use it same as a gin pole ?
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Old 18-10-2019, 20:34   #14
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

On our 21-footer, the gin pole is permanently mounted to the bottom of the mast, no forgetting or loosing it. It pivots up and is tied to the mast once the mast is raised.


The mild steel materials to build a telescoping mast crutch are about 40$ US from a steel warehouse that cuts to length. I did mine based on the plans from the $tingy Sailor website. A co-worker helped me with the welding (I can weld too...but am not set up to weld at home). It has proven useful for raising the mast and for towing with the mast down. I use the main sheet 4:1 to raise and lower, clipping one end to the pole and the other near the winch on the trailer.


PS Maybe post a sign offering a reward for the pole?
PPS Maybe just lash something together to get on the water this weekend?
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Old 18-10-2019, 21:02   #15
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Re: Ideas on building a DIY gin pole.

I've learned my lesson ! Once I build a new gin pole it will be attached to the mast. I donít want to risk losing another one. Also might come in handy to keep it on the boat. I've never lowered the mast while I was in the water due to the fact I used a wood A frame as a crutch. It's limited me from crossing the ocean side to the bay due to low bridges so I have to trailer the boat and launch it on one side or the other and in the keys that just seems like a silly thing to have to do. If I come up with a better system than I have now might be able to actually get under the bridges. Iíll get a look at the ďStingy SailorĒ thankyou.
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