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Old 11-10-2011, 14:41   #1
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Advice Needed Re: Sail / Mast Removal

The first serious job I have lined up for Maestro is to deal with her mast compression. So I ask the guy at the yard when is convenient to drop the mast, he tells me end of the week maybe but I need to drop the sail etc off first to make life easier (and cheaper for me).

Oh..... I know it's a bit green but I kinda assumed it all came off in one go!

Does anybody have any advice / how not to do it for this please? I was just going to undo everything in a probably random manner until it was all off........ I imagine I leave the rigging well alone until the last possible moment?

Sorry if this is all obvious stuff...... only it isn't so obvious to me yet....
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Old 11-10-2011, 14:49   #2
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Re: Advice Needed Re Sail / Mast Removal

To remove a mast one generally removes all the sails first (jib, staysail, main, mizzen, whatever you have), the boom, and if you are unsure, any furling foils on the head stays. You should also separate the mast electrical conductors (lights, radio, etc) from their extensions within the boat - if the mast has never been pulled, the conductors may not have connectors, which you will then have to create. Tie the halyards down or run messenger lines in their place - and then tie the messengers down.
Don't mess with the standing rigging until there is a secure sling put in place on the mast by the removal crew.

Michael
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Old 11-10-2011, 14:51   #3
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Re: Advice Needed Re Sail / Mast Removal

I do this every year for haulout. My method is to remove the sail from the mast track followed by the foot of the sail from the boom. Take off the mainsheet and vang. disconnect the boom from the gooseneck then remove the topping lift. You can remove your lower shrouds before moving to the mast crane and let the yardies take it from there. Make sure your halyards are secured to the mast so the they don't run away on you.

That is what I do but your boats rig may be different.
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Old 11-10-2011, 14:58   #4
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Re: Advice Needed Re Sail / Mast Removal

Thank you Michael and perchance I think just hearing people say "oh yeah, just do this and that" etc makes me feel much more confident!

The really big question..... on a 30 foot boat, how easy is it going to be to remove the boom on my own? Any techniques?
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Old 11-10-2011, 14:59   #5
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Re: Advice Needed Re Sail / Mast Removal

Disconnect the electrics / VHF, etc. first.

If the mast is keel stepped you may be able to ease all rigging before the operation.

If the mast is deck stepped, you will keep at least three lines till the end.

If the crane is not long enough, tie the mast at its center of gravity - you will want to hoist it horizontally once it is free.

b.
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Old 11-10-2011, 15:17   #6
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Re: Advice Needed Re Sail / Mast Removal

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Originally Posted by gixerjen View Post
Thank you Michael and perchance I think just hearing people say "oh yeah, just do this and that" etc makes me feel much more confident!

The really big question..... on a 30 foot boat, how easy is it going to be to remove the boom on my own? Any techniques?
You are most welcome. Removing a mast seems like a huge task until you actually go through it a couple of times - then it becomes routine.
As for the boom gooseneck, it depends on whether it is bolted or riveted, and if bolted, if the bolts have ever been exercised or even greased. If riveted, get an electric drill and a bit the same size as the rivets, then drill them out - replace after mast returned with a pop rivet gun (see if you can borrow one). If bolted, try soaking in some penetrating oil (WD 40, Bozeield, Liquid Wrench) a day or two, plus or minus heat from a propane torch, plus or minus some hammering vertically on the bolt (to release corrosion) plus or minus an impact wrench (you hit its end and the other end attached to a wrench turns).

Michael

N.B. In some parts of the world, replace "spanner" for wrench...
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Old 11-10-2011, 15:17   #7
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Re: Advice Needed Re Sail / Mast Removal

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Originally Posted by gixerjen View Post
Thank you Michael and perchance I think just hearing people say "oh yeah, just do this and that" etc makes me feel much more confident!

The really big question..... on a 30 foot boat, how easy is it going to be to remove the boom on my own? Any techniques?
Leave the topping lift attached until you lower the goose neck end to the cabin top then remove the topping lift.
I don 't know what your boom weighs or how physically strong you are so some help might be in order if you can get it.
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Old 11-10-2011, 16:38   #8
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Re: Advice Needed Re Sail / Mast Removal

Well, . . . . I think that all makes sense. . . .

I reckon it's been off before as the surveyor didn't think it was the original mast mount (tabernacle?), so I don't think things will be too seized. I'll liberally coat on the WD before I start though, just in case!

Luckily, I get good enough tinterweb signal on my phone so I'm sure I'll be reading through what you've written whilst I'm busy trying to get it all sorted.

Many thanks guys!
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Old 11-10-2011, 16:55   #9
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Re: Advice Needed Re Sail / Mast Removal

G'Day Gixerjen,

If the time that the mast will be off isn't too long, consider simply tightly lashing the mainsail (with cover) on to the boom. Then take the main halyard to the balance point -- somewhere near the center of the boom -- and taking a couple of turns around the whole caboodle. Then take enough strain on the halyard to slightly lift the boom (sheet eased). At this point most of the load is off the gooseneck, and withdrawing the pivot pit is easy. Then lower the boom and sail, sheets still attached, onto the deck. There should be no need to remove the gooseneck fitting from the mast unless it needs repair/replacement, so no drilling out of rivets should be required. Oh yeah... once the boom is on the deck, remove the halyard and return it to the mast!

You will want to take the jib off the furler, though. The yardies should have no problem with dealing with the furler whilst lifting the mast... just need someone to walk along with it to keep it from kinking as the mast is lowered to the ground.

Have fun and good luck... don't overworry the project!

Cheers,

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Old 12-10-2011, 10:45   #10
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Re: Advice Needed Re Sail / Mast Removal

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G'Day Gixerjen,

If the time that the mast will be off isn't too long, consider simply tightly lashing the mainsail (with cover) on to the boom. Then take the main halyard to the balance point -- somewhere near the center of the boom -- and taking a couple of turns around the whole caboodle. Then take enough strain on the halyard to slightly lift the boom (sheet eased). At this point most of the load is off the gooseneck, and withdrawing the pivot pit is easy. Then lower the boom and sail, sheets still attached, onto the deck. There should be no need to remove the gooseneck fitting from the mast unless it needs repair/replacement, so no drilling out of rivets should be required. Oh yeah... once the boom is on the deck, remove the halyard and return it to the mast!
I think that is probably what I did. It took around 20 minutes to work out which ropes went where, and to remove all the miscelaneous bits of string tied all over the shop (I think to stop everything flapping in the wind?).

I know I've not yet cracked the correct terminology so sorry if I'm way off
...... The mainsail wasn't clipped to any lines so all I had to do was lower the boom and remove it and the sail from the slot it runs in.

The yard lads agreed that it was best to leave the rigging (deck stepped mast) for now, and the forestay / genoa they reckon will come off ok as it is!

Positive result Thank you very much for all your input, I think it made quite a lot of difference having some good advice to inspire confidence......... That and the fact that before I started I fired up the grill and had my first meal on board - bacon butties!
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:53   #11
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Re: Advice Needed Re: Sail / Mast Removal

You should be able to lift the boom on a modern 30 footer fine once the sail is off it.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:02   #12
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Re: Advice Needed Re: Sail / Mast Removal

Unfortunately I've got a badly healing fractured collar bone. I suspect it would be healing ok but for one to heal you need to stay off it - and more unfortunately I don't have the time / money to do nothing for a few months. So I wasn't sure how it'd go....

However, I was worrying for nothing - it's plenty light enough!
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