Mast raising

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MichiganBill
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Mast raising

Postby MichiganBill » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:16 pm

I raised the mast for the first time today. I cut a section of 5/8 rod off of a grounding rod (from Home Depot) to serve as a pin. This allowed me to use the boom as the gin pole. However my plans were thwarted because I could not feed the jib halyard out far enough for the boom to be at 90 degrees. The wire to rope transition jammed the sheeve before enough length was available.

So plan B was to make my own shorter gin pole. I cut a 2x4 to about 6', drilled the end for the pin and added an eye bolt. It was just short enough to attach the jib halyard and get the pin in the hole.

I attached ratcheting straps as baby shrouds and raised away. The mast got a few feet up and then froze. My ratcheting straps were in the wrong position and were under tension. I proceeded to make a big mistake. I attempted to ease the straps before releasing the load. One strap fully released and the mast swung to the side still under load. The gin pole was wrenched sideways splitting the end and ripping out the pin. The mast dropped to the deck putting a crack in the sliding companionway cover. Sigh.

Effort three was a redo of effort two, but with the ratcheting straps further forward. This time the straps worked perfectly, providing just enough support until the shrouds took over. An unexpected event was the gin pole being pulled away from the mast as the mast became vertical. It didn't matter as by that time everything was well supported.

So - in the end I was glad to get the mast up by myself, but it was also a bear. I'm sharing my experience (including mistakes), in case others are considering similar solutions.
Bill

Pics:
https://goo.gl/photos/bkLcqXQoGkVoTb1f9
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Capt. Bondo
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Postby Capt. Bondo » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:25 pm

To make up the difference in the short jib halyard, I've created a leader out of piece of old 3/8 main sheet. Tied a butterfly knot to hold the straps and main sheet assembly on one end and a bowline at the other to attach the job sheet too. Works great
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You can go to a Zen Master or you can go Sailing, either way you end up in about the same place..... a Happy Place

Reality
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Postby Reality » Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:55 pm

I think you need to fabricate something to bring the attachment points for your mini temporary shrouds to be at the same plane (height off deck) as the mast plate. This is sometimes a cable/rope "bridle" that attaches at 2 points on each toe rail and has the 2 segments joined at the same height and forward/rear position of the mast step pivot point. My previous owner went different and fabricated a piece of channel iron that spans the deck at the mast step height and attaches to the toe rail at 2 points on each side. The channel has an eye loop to then attach straps as temporary shrouds. Works slick.

Snowdog2
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Postby Snowdog2 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:31 pm

I have a section of chain that I attach to the end of the halyard which works well. The way that the boom separates from the mast at the end and that you can't lower it with it staying is a problem for me too. Hard to lower it single handedly.

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Capt. Bondo
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Postby Capt. Bondo » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:31 am

As for your boom pulling away for the mast before it's all the way up.
Wonder if a PO had shortened the boom at some point? I have never had a issue with the boom coming apart form the mast, and lowering it would be a pain as you noted. Looking at your pictures you may want to try attaching you main sheet to the cleat that is a little back from the head stay. That would help keep pressure on the boom/mast so they don't come apart.
Just a thought.
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You can go to a Zen Master or you can go Sailing, either way you end up in about the same place..... a Happy Place


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