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Old 03-06-2008, 04:48   #1
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New Catalac owners / mast question

Hello Everyone,

We've just bought our first 'big' boat - a 30 year old 8m Catalac. We're both pretty new to sailing having learned to sail on a Wharram Tiki 21 a couple of years ago.... but we craved a bit of comfort and shelter.

We're based on the River Blackwater in Essex on the East coast of the UK, but are hoping to head through the French canals to the Med at some point.... maybe this summer.

We're looking at buying a mast ladder and have found one called the 'Getup' from Hurst Marine - Home of the Get-UP Mast Ladder has anybody used one of these or have any other suggestions please? Also - does anybody happen to know the boom to mast top height on an 8m Catalac?

All the best,

Simon and Ana
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:55   #2
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Catalc 8m (27')
LOA 273
Beam 138 (will fit in most 30 monohull slips)
Draft 2.5 (grounds without damage on an even keel)
Mast Ht 40.0 (would be air draft, or waterline to top)
Displacement 6720 lbs

More information goto: Catalac 8M, the best affordable cruising catamaran I could find
See also:
Catalac 8M Performance Specs
Catalac Catamaran - Catalac 8M, 9M, 10M, 12M, Specs, brochures and sailing reviews Catalac Catamarans
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:11   #3
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I have to ask, what's the purpose in installing a mast ladder? These boats have terrific tabernachles and are designed to avoid the low bridges on the Dutch and French canals. Chainplates have been installed at the mast base pivot point to avoid retensioning backstays. Just remove the forestay and babystay loosen the lowers and lower away.

The mast can be lowered in less than 10 minutes singlehanded. (note:remember to remove mast electrical connections) By the way, I own the same boat

Thanks to Gord for listing the USA Catalac web site.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickm505 View Post
...Thanks to Gord for listing the USA Catalac web site.
RICK:
I didn't realize that the GREAT Catalc site was yours.
Congratulations on a well-done site, crammed with information!
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:55   #5
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Thanks, it's a labor of love.

I hadn't added mast lowering instructions as Catalac owners understand the procedure. However, I now realize that new boat owners aren't completely aware of their boat's capabilities and have added a mast lowering page to the Factory updates page this morning.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:55   #6
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Thanks for the replies gents.

Rick, it was your website that persuaded us to buy Sea Spirits (our Catalac) - very inspirational, many thanks!

The reason for the ladder (which is a temporary webbing design) is that I need to change the masthead bulb and it seemed the easiest way to get to it! :-)

I did investigate mast lowering and found these instructions on a UK Catalac site Mast but was unsure about this bit: "Slot your 50mm Mast Lowering Boom into the base of the mast" I dont think I have the 50 mm mast lowering boom (I do have something that might be it - but I assumed it was a spinaker pole (??)

I'm going to have to work out the mast lowering procedure to get us through the French canal... but after my Tiki 21, the mast looks enormous and very heavy! - it also has an inmast furling system.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:14   #7
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It's gratifying to discover that my humble web page contributed to your research efforts and lead to you purchasing a Catalac. Much has been written on these early British catamaran designs as it's rare that a boat design delivers on promises made. Catalacs are a delightful exception.

If you look at the base of your mast you'll discover a hole approximately 20mm in diameter. This is the receptacle for the mast lowering pole which was provided with the new boats. When not in use for it's intended purpose, it's wise to fit a bolt through this hole and the rear of the tabernacle in order to keep the mast hard against it. Read the sail trim pages on my web site for the reasons for the bolt.

As for the spinnaker pole. If this pole has securing clips on each end, that is in fact what you have. On the other hand, if one end has a smaller diameter rod stuck in it, you've found your mast lowering pole.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:26   #8
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Yep, its a spinnaker pole then, it has two clips which open when you pull a wire which runs the length of the pole.

Do you perhaps have the dimensions (or maybe a photo) of the mast lowering pole and maybe I can get one made.

many thanks,
Simon
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:15   #9
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I don't have a photo, but will snap a couple on my next trip to the boat
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:03   #10
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Thanks Rick, I'd appreciate that.

all the best,

Simon
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Old 05-06-2008, 13:09   #11
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Aloha Simon and Ana,
Welcome aboard! Good to have you here. Our club has a Wharram 23 on which we train new sailors and give old sailors checkout rides. I think it has spurred interest in cats for our club members.
Good luck with your new boat. There is always a bosun chair to go up the mast in.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 16-06-2008, 06:12   #12
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Hi JohnL, thanks for the welcome. We're just back from our first trip out of our estuary proper. Went up to the Walton Backwaters (which was immortalised in Arthur Ransomes 'Secret Water') - lovely.

As we sailed in Ana stated yelling 'Focas! Focas!' which is apparantly Spanish for seals (there were about 17 of them basking on the mud)

Rick, did you by any chance manage to get a photo of the mast lowering pole?

all the best,
Simon
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Old 16-06-2008, 06:23   #13
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shoot... I completely forgot. I had one of those weekends where a series of minor boat problems developed into a solid weekend of boat work. I will take care of this in the next couple of days.
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Old 16-06-2008, 07:40   #14
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No worries, thanks.
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Old 17-06-2008, 14:35   #15
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While he is taking his photos. The lowering pole looks like a bit of scaffold pole with a spike one end, and two lugs the other. The spike goes into the hole at the base of the mast, pointing forwards.

Make sure sail and boom have been removed.

Two pieces of wire attach from one of the lugs to a point on the stainless steel where the shrouds connect. There is a specific connection point on the forward end of these steel work and is about on the level of the pivot pin in the tabernacle.

Connect the genoa halyard (and the pinnaker halyard) to the same lug and tension so that the scaffold pole is lift up as far as possible.

remove the mainsheets from the boom, and connect to the lower lug on the pole, and the anchor cleat.

ensure that the mast gallows are in place aft of the cockpit.

slack the shrouds, the backstays, and the pivot pin.

take tension in the mainsheets and disconnect the forestay.

you may need to rock the mast backwards to get it to start, but beware, because the weight increases substantially as the mast gets lower.

I always connected my sheets back to the genoa winches. (Lewmar 30s)

Lowering and raising the mast is easy. once the mast is down ,moving it forward so that it doesnt overhand the stern so much is a bit more difficult, but I used to do this on my 9m on my own.
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