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Old 09-05-2022, 18:03   #1
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Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

I have a Catalina 270 with a deck stepped mast and I need to check the connections at the base of the mast. I'm not getting a signal from my wind speed indicator. The yard has scheduled a crane three times and they have been a no show three times.


My crazy idea is this:


Secure my jib halyard to a bow cleat and run the mainsail halyard to a block on the stern, then to a winch. Remove the fore and back stays, loosen the shrouds and tilt the mast forward enough so I can get to the connectors. Once I've resolved my issue, I would crank the mast back up with the halyard on the winch.


Am I nuts or what?
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Old 09-05-2022, 18:34   #2
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

I think the part that is nuts is what does the mast step look like? What’s going to hold the base of that in place as it starts to tip?


Don’t get me wrong. I really like these types of projects. My entire boat build was filled with them. Everybody said you can’t do that! But I did it anyway.

So, what will hold the base of the mast as you start to tip it?
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Old 09-05-2022, 18:36   #3
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

Yes.
It might just work flawlessly….or you’ll be the next recipient of a Darwin Award. Only you should decide if it is worth the gamble.
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Old 09-05-2022, 19:00   #4
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

The secret of safely swinging a stepped mast relies heavily on having temporary shrouds in the same axis of the base of the mast. So imagine drawing a line tuning from port to under the mast to starboard. Where it crosses the gunnel on each side is where you want to have your temporary shroud in each side. Make it out of non stretch line.
Take your spinnaker pole and tended at 90 degrees from the mast. Use that end as your pivot control point. Run a line to the end of the spinnaker pole to a block at the bow and run it to your biggest winch. Then you are ready to disconnect your roller furler and slowly lean back the mast.
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Old 09-05-2022, 23:33   #5
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

Your plan is fraught with risk. If the mast slips out of the step you will be in a fine fix.

Better idea. Find two friendly boat owners and raft up with you in the middle or tie up in three adjoining slips. Loosen all of your turnbuckles as far at they will go. Hopefully this gives you six inches. Lift the mast using the two boats spinnaker halyards tied well above the center of balance on your mast.
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Old 10-05-2022, 04:41   #6
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

Not really nuts.
The boat is a CS27

Lousy video, the language you hear is what passes for French in Quebec but ..

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Old 10-05-2022, 05:22   #7
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5BTM View Post
Not really nuts.
The boat is a CS27

Lousy video, the language you hear is what passes for French in Quebec but...
That boat has a tabernacle - a hinge at the base of the mast. It was built to do what was shown. Big difference from the OP's situation. BIG difference.
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Old 10-05-2022, 05:26   #8
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

If it doesn't have a hinged tabernacle, not a good idea. If it slips off the base plate, bad things are likely to happen. If you are lucky, it's only a few boat bucks to repair.
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Old 10-05-2022, 07:16   #9
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bad1129 View Post
I have a Catalina 270 with a deck stepped mast and I need to check the connections at the base of the mast. I'm not getting a signal from my wind speed indicator. The yard has scheduled a crane three times and they have been a no show three times.


My crazy idea is this:


Secure my jib halyard to a bow cleat and run the mainsail halyard to a block on the stern, then to a winch. Remove the fore and back stays, loosen the shrouds and tilt the mast forward enough so I can get to the connectors. Once I've resolved my issue, I would crank the mast back up with the halyard on the winch.


Am I nuts or what?
If the mast has a hinged tabernacle AND if the mast is equipped with "baby stays" to stabilize it while it's being unstepped AND if you have a gin pole and pulley/winch arrangement to lower and raise the mast then it is not a crazy idea.


If any of the items are missing then it would be nuts to try it. If you are very, very careful and very,very lucky you might get away with it, but it would still be nuts.
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Old 10-05-2022, 08:23   #10
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

Quote:
Remove the fore and back stays, loosen the shrouds and tilt the mast forward enough so I can get to the connectors.
Connectors ? The transducer comes with a 30 meter cable, mine has only 2 connections, one at the masthead transducer and the other at the gauge. If the mast is unstepped every year a plug might have been used, but I'd be sure before pulling the mast to look.
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Old 10-05-2022, 14:02   #11
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

Why do you need to mess with your mast to get to your connectors?
On my boat the cables leave the mast just above the step (from memory) then pass via cable glands through the coachroof. Doesnt seem like yours do that....? Maybe a worthwhile winter project sometime?
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Old 10-05-2022, 14:03   #12
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

I would definitely wait for the crane, by the way....
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Old 10-05-2022, 14:37   #13
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

Bad1129:

Have you checked under the cabin headliner immediately under your mast step? That's where my connectors are :-)

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Old 10-05-2022, 14:46   #14
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

1. Try the Catalina owner group and see who else has tried this.
2. Make sure you can't access the connection from inside the boat, if you haven't already.
3. How heavy is the mast? On a boat that size I'd be tempted to secure it 4 ways near the base with lines so it can't slide out from under you and get a couple of friends to lift it onto a 6" block of wood so you can check the connection.
4. This all assumes you can't do it the conventional way.
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Old 10-05-2022, 15:15   #15
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Re: Am I nuts for thinking this might work!

They yard just re-installed my mast last Friday, and when doing so pinched a line (jack line) under the mast between the mast and the step.

My mast is deck-stepped and 40 feet in height.

The rigger loosened the shrouds/stays, then with a helper using a pry bar and blocks of wood was able to lift the mast vertically off of the mast step several inches to free the line.

I was surprised at how easily they were able to do this. Of course it was a CALM day and the boat was firmly tied to the dock.

Just a thought.
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