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Old 16-08-2009, 13:47   #1
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Mast Hoisting 101

Thank you in advance for any and all advise anyone can give on hoisitng a mast single handedly. I spent some time out trying to hoist the mast by myself, after realizing that the frame thing the seller had WAS important, I had it almost all the way up, if only my arms were longer it would be up right now. So is there a way a short person can ever hope to hoist it alone or am I always going to need an extra set of hands?
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Old 16-08-2009, 14:05   #2
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Aloha,
What boat do you have again? Was it a 21 footer?
There are several different ways it can be done. One is to attach the boom to the front of the mast and use it as a lever arm and the other is to have two spars one on each side of the and use them as the lever arm. If your arms are a bit short then rig your jib halyard to your bow pulpit and just at the point where you just about have it up take in on the halyard to get that extra couple feet.
Draw it out on paper a couple of times so you get the idea. Usually in trailerable boat instruction manuals there is a diagram that shows how to do it. Maybe there is an instruction manual on the internet?
Wish I could be there to show you the different methods.
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Old 16-08-2009, 14:36   #3
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Without knowing the type and size of the boat, it is difficult to recommend an exact technique. I had a training sailboat on a trailer - 17 feet long with a deck stepped aluminum mast with little skinny spreaders many years ago. The mast was stored between a Y-support on the front of the trailer and a smaller Y on the stern of the boat.
To step this type mast you untied it from the transport position and moved it aft until the bottom plate on the mast fit into the sailboat's deck mast hinge plate. then assembled the spreaders and attached the side shrouds and backstay to the boat's fittings. The particular mast was light enough to push up manually until vertical the attach the forestay. And finally put the forward pin in the boat's mast step hinge.
Larger and heavier mast needed a temporary forward facing spreader device to provide cantilever advantage to be able to use the trailer winch to raise the mast. The old owner should be willing to show you a few times how to do it. Primarily it is all in the set-up of the cables before you try to raise the mast to vertical. Then using something to provide cantilever effort to pull the mast up and then attach the forestay.
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Old 16-08-2009, 15:49   #4
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Okay, thinking about what you said, and looking at what I have, I came up with a possible alternate method, if it makes an sense. How about raising at as high as I can on the a-frame, which seems to make the mast angle up as I slide it towards the bow, maybe even make another one larger to get it up even higher. Then bolt / clamp a lever arm to the front side of the boom and use a little hand winch / come-long to raise it the rest of the way? I think this will work. Opinions?
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Old 17-08-2009, 00:07   #5
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Here's a picture to one way of doing it.

http://www.macgregor26.com/mast_rais...sing_large.jpg
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Old 17-08-2009, 02:31   #6
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I'm not understanding your description of how you are using the a-frame. Should only need one a-frame that the apex of which moves forward and downward toward the bow as the mast comes up. By the time your mast is vertical the apex of the a-frame should be at your bow.
Anyone in your neighborhood that can show you how they do it?
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Old 17-08-2009, 04:19   #7
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Well that's interesting, never having seen that stock picture from the Macgregor co. That is almost what I had in mind. My boat did not come with that raising apperatous. So I need to be a little creative.
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Old 17-08-2009, 04:25   #8
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Perhaps your vision of my a-frame thing is different from what mine actually looks like. Mine is just two 2by4's bolted together in such a way that it looks like the shape of a "tee-pee" and the mast rests in the top of it. The end rest on the seating surface and I can lift the mast and slide the frame toward the bow stopping when I hit the cabin, at which point the mast is some where in the 35 to 40 degrees of angle off the horizontal line.
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Old 17-08-2009, 07:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmarcet View Post
Well that's interesting, never having seen that stock picture from the Macgregor co. That is almost what I had in mind. My boat did not come with that raising apperatous. So I need to be a little creative.
I liked the picture because the system is simple and clean in terms of getting leverage on the mast. Clearly if the center support is angled away from the vertical (towards the bow) it's just a matter of winching until the mast is vertical.
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Old 18-08-2009, 08:34   #10
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Trailer winch? Dangerous?

I just tried using the trailer winch and hoist the mast off the supporting x-frame. I raised it another 10 to 15 degrees. And then stopped. Is this dangerous? Could I damage my mast? I attached the trailer winch strap to the forestay and started cranking. Thanks for anything anyone can say about this method.
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Old 18-08-2009, 13:52   #11
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Yes, I had a different picture in my head of your aframe. Sorry.
The trailer winch is an option that works for some folks. Just don't over hoist after the mast is verticle. There should be a couple of short shrouds on either side of the mast to keep if from falling from side to side. Your backstay/or swept back shrouds will keep if from falling forward.
Keep trying.
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Old 19-08-2009, 08:59   #12
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For my V-21, I set the mast in the step, tie a line around it above the gooseneck and loop that through the forward cleat, stand in the cabin with the mast on my shoulder and heave away. When the mast is all the way up, I pull the line tight, back out of the cabin while maintaining tension, go forward and cleat the line off. I then attach the forestay at my leisure. I use a line with two small double pulleys attached to the lower forestay tang and the other end to the forestay with the run back through the original block to lower it. I guess I could use the same setup to raise it but it's faster the other way. I do tie off and cleat that line the same way prior to detaching the forestay for lowering though. The biggest deal is laying out the shrouds, halyards and such where they won't bind or kink prior to hoisting the mast. Nothing worse than getting that sucker almost up and having it hang on something.
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Old 24-08-2009, 15:13   #13
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Well for anyone following this thread, I have come to another possible (maybe wrong) alternative for raising (now know that the correct term would be "stepping") my mast. I am thinking of a small 12 volt electric winch w/remote control. I figure this way I can study guide the mast up and down as I work the winch. I think this may be my best option for hoisting it by myself.
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Old 24-08-2009, 15:51   #14
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Charlie's point about laying everything out before trying to raise the mast is critical if you are going to use a winch. If you happen to catch a shroud or backstay on something and keep pulling with a winch you can bend or break something whereas by hand you'll be able to know there is resistance and start check around immediately.
Got that boat sailing yet?
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Old 24-08-2009, 20:38   #15
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If your mast steps with the top aft it would be cool to incorporate something into a small anchor windlass. That way you spend for one system with dual purpose. I know your boat may be too small for an electric windlass but an interesing thought.

I hate manually hauling our anchor.
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