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Old 08-04-2014, 20:09   #16
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

To those of you who think I was condescending, sorry... not my intention.

What is wrong with learning a technique, even if one decides to go the way "everyone" suggests? I have priced cranes. Know they go from $150 to $1,000 where I am, the top price from the most reputable "experts" and the bottom from guys who only have sailed for decades and have a friend who...

It has been my experience that America as a nation, caters to incompetence. No matter what the problem, you CAN'T do that yourself. Just go hire a "professional". When one seeks to learn something, the majority answer is usually ridicule and some version of "you can't save any money that way". Why is it that everything is measured in terms of how much money?

It is not about money. And it is not about what I "need". I would like to learn from those who have done it. I would like the confidence to know that I don't NEED the crane or professional, even if I do decide to hire them. What is wrong with setting sail on a voyage with more knowledge? How is that condescending?
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Old 08-04-2014, 20:18   #17
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

Steve,

I thought Cruiserforum sailors were all DIY learners whether American or not. Did I miss something? I'm an American, born and raised in Oregon and if I didn't do it myself I wouldn't have it.
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Old 08-04-2014, 20:39   #18
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

Steve,

There is a difference in saying 'get the right tool for the job' ie a crane, and not being willing to do it yourself.
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Old 09-04-2014, 00:09   #19
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

Vino, nothing wrong with that, maybe I misinterpreted you. I too prefer to do things myself. But at the same time I have genuine repect for a trained craftsman who knows his stuff.

Anyway, I am a European. I do know a few Americans, but I don't think they fit that well to your description.
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Old 09-04-2014, 00:53   #20
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

There are many ways to step a mast. The difficulty varies with the equipment that is available & the configuration of the hull and standing rigging that you are working with. If you want to give details about the actual hull, mast, & equipment that you have available, then I will be able to make more specific comments. For now, I will just make a few general statements.

As many have noted, cranes are the easy way out.

For centuries, sailors have set masts with gin poles. It can be done. It has been done by many people in many places. If you want to go this route, you need a point on the boat where the bottom of the mast will pivot. An engineer would call that the fulcrum. You then need a way of applying an upward force to the portion of the mast that is above the fulcrum. The version of a gin pole that I usually use, is a single pole that I attach to the fulcrum & run a line over the top of. The length of that line is adjusted so the the gin pole will be at a 90 degree angle to the mast. That line then gets lashed to the mast at an appropriate place. I usually run the other end of that line through a block at the bow, then to winch, & crank it up by myself. A safety line to the stern is a prudent cautionary measure if you don't already have the back stay fixed in place. With this method, you also need a way of stabilizing the mast so that neither the gin pole nor the mast will go off to one side when you make the lift. I usually use a couple of lines out to the gunwales for this. The lines get attached to the gunwales at points that are in line with the fulcrum. The other ends get attached to the lashing point on the mast & the top of the gin pole. Many people use the side stays, rather than 2 of the 4 lines that I usually use.

Another variation that I have used is to have 2 gin poles that are set up as an A frame with the fulcrum of the A-frame in line with the fulcrum of the mast. The top of the A-frame is then lashed to the mast where the three pieces intersect. This is a more stable rig than my first example, but it requires a little extra equipment. With this setup, it is possible to install a keel stepped mast, if you install a block at the point where the A-frame & the mast meet, rather than lashing them fast. In this case, it is necessary for the A-frame to extend above the mast's center of mass. In other cases, that is helpful, but not actually necessary if the mast fulcrum is properly attached to the hull, as in the case of a tabernacle.

Stepping a mast is basically a rigging job. If you need advice on the best way to do it, you may want to talk to a local rigger or millwright. I've seen plenty of those guys move 20,000 pieces of machinery with only hand tools that easily fit in the bed of a 1/2-ton pickup.

The ancient Egyptians built some pretty big pyramids. As far as I know, they didn't have any cranes available at the time.
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Old 09-04-2014, 00:56   #21
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BentP View Post
Anyway, I am a European. I do know a few Americans, but I don't think they fit that well to your description.
The US is a pretty big place. A lot of different people inhabit it. Some have a strong streak of Yankee Ingenuity. Others do not. Sadly, as time goes by, the bulk of the population seems to be getting skewed further & further towards those who do not. I usually find it more interesting to hang around with the ones that do.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:17   #22
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

We are fortunate that one of our sailors was a former supervisor at the local electric utility company who was able to obtain large steel power poles to be installed near local boat ramps as self-service mast cranes (with booms and winches added). They will handle masts about 45' or perhaps 50' long (~ 13 - 15 m). This has allowed many local sailors to step and unstep masts at no additional cost.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:42   #23
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

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Stepping a mast is basically a rigging job. If you need advice on the best way to do it, you may want to talk to a local rigger or millwright. I've seen plenty of those guys move 20,000 pieces of machinery with only hand tools that easily fit in the bed of a 1/2-ton pickup.
That should have read "20,000 pound pieces of machinery", not 20,000 pieces of machinery.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:21   #24
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

Have stepped and unstepped several masts at our club "on our own". We just put a boat on either side and use the halyards. We just did a J-33 keelstepped mast in the last year, probably the biggest so far.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:00   #25
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

Find a suitable overhanging tree and rig a block in it. I once stepped a 60ft wooden mast in English Harbor using the mast of a sunken baltic trader laying in the mangroves. The hardest part was the six guys pulling on the rope while trying to stand on the sloping deck. When you need to,you will find a way.!
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:55   #26
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Re: Anyone Pull their own Masts?

step one: sink the boat in water just deep enough to reach the spreaders

step two: find a barge...

OR; find a couple of Americans and bet them a case of beer they can't do it.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:18   #27
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Re: Anyone pull their own masts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vino the Dog View Post
To those of you who think I was condescending, sorry... not my intention.


It has been my experience that America as a nation, caters to incompetence. No matter what the problem, you CAN'T do that yourself. Just go hire a "professional". When one seeks to learn something, the majority answer is usually ridicule and some version of "you can't save any money that way". Why is it that everything is measured in terms of how much money?

?

Your digging yourself a bigger hole.
It's like you haven't read the replies.
WE ALL DO IT OURSELVES ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
Now you add America to your rant? What does that have to do with anything?

Ok here's the DIY,
1- stand the mast up
2-make all rigging connections.
3- done

A little more detail, lines may be needed to haul mast up. But rather then using rope you didn't make. (Not DIY) you should look for some good strong vines. If only smaller vines are available braid three smaller vines into one large line.
I would try to source some European vines as American vines are lazy and weak. Domestic vines don't care for learning or DIY projects.
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Old 09-04-2014, 22:48   #28
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Re: Anyone Pull their own Masts?

pbiJim,

Great reply. Thanks. Would love to see pics or a diagram of your system. All sounds quite logical. I am a little confused about your use of the word "fulcrum"? I know what it is (have a background in engineering and have helped raise 60' wind generator mast with jin pole). I am used to a fulcrum used somewhere between the foot and head of the lever (in this case mast). Not sure if a fulcrum also refers to a leverage point at the foot of the lever, or if that is what you meant.

One system I have seen is an A-frame against the gunwhales to hoist against to get the mast up, then used as the pivot point to lay the mast down. Is this what you are talking about?

Also, please correct me I got it wrong, but seems like you did the job by yourself? While I totally respect the opinions of those who say you "need" help, and in most cases it would be foolish not to have it, one person can do it if they know how and take their time.

thanks,
Steve
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Old 10-04-2014, 00:18   #29
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Re: Anyone Pull their own Masts?

How big of a mast? On my corsair I can step it by myself in about 30 minutes with nothing but the but hinge that came with the boat. The last big boat mast I stepped was 115' long carbon fiber monstrosity and worth more than my house. This took three people on a dead calm day we might have been able to get away with two.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:42   #30
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Re: Anyone Pull their own Masts?

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pbiJim,

Would love to see pics or a diagram
If someone can explain to me how to post a picture on this board without first having it hosted on another site, I'll be glad to do a few sketches.
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