Thanks, everybody, for the feedback about rigging. Now I'm trying to figure out the solo mast stepping.
I tried something similar to Patrick Ragen's method. I'll post his drawing here again. My main problem is with keeping the mast rotated 90 degrees. The mast is raised now and I'm trying to lower it. Used an 8' 2x4 as a ginpole with the suggested half slice of 4" PVC pipe at the end. My mast has an eliptical cross section, 5x3, so the 4" pipe section is a little smaller than the mast.
Instead of tying a line at the winch end of the 2x4 and connecting it up the mast, I connected the winch to the forestay, going over the end of the 2x4. I secured the pvc with real tight bungies, but it still wanted to rotate a little when I eased off the winch. The shrouds are connected to the front of the mast, so it always tries to face forward when there's tension on the shrouds. Same goes for the forestay.
I guess I'll follow the directions a bit better, replacing the forestay setup with the suggested line 8' up the mast. Any suggestions how to connect there to allow tht mast to be lowered/raised rotated 90 degrees?
I'm not sure what you mean by the mast rotated 90 dergrees, but if I remember correctly the gin pole also has to have lines that stabilize its rotation. So you need a line that goes from the end of the gin pole and tied to the forward crossbar at the same location you are tying your trapeze wires. The trapeze wires keep the mast from swinging side to side as it's raised, and the gin pole wires keep the mast from rotating.
(ex Hobie 18)
Re: Solo Mast Stepping
#37035 08/21/0412:13 PM08/21/0412:13 PM
90 degree mast rotation means the front of the mast needs to face port or starboard. That's because the Nacra mast capture system would get fouled if lowered or raised without rotation. Thanks.
I searched more about this subject, mainly on thebeachcats.com message board located on Yahoo. Very archaic message board format, but good info. Some people did it solo without a gin pole. Just tied a line from a mast line (halyard, forestay, trap) to a pulley on the trailer mast support. Then pivoted the mast up while taking up slack in the trailer pulley line.
I first had to get the mast to rotate sideways, so I used the main halyard. The line goes through a mast roller on the top front of the mast and exits through a roller on the back. So when I put equal pressure on both sides of the halyard, it tends to pivot it sideways like I want.
I adjusted the two ends of the halyard (wire and line) at the bottom to the same length, knotted it, and tied a 1/4" line to it. Ran that line through a pulley mounted near the top of the trailer mast support and through a jib sheet cleat/block.
Lowering was a piece of cake, and set the mast on a 6' stepladder. But raising it was a bit tougher, mainly getting from the ground behind the trailer to the tramp with the mast on my shoulder. My smaller stepladder is too short. Left me with a 20" final step onto the tramp.
There is no side-to-side sway preventer, but that's been easy to do by hand. I also haven't put my trap wires back on since towing it from CA. Don't need them yet. I don't really use the trailer pulley until I'm done and ready to jump down to fasten the forestay to the bridle. It's nice to keep in hand, taking up the slack as I raise the mast, in case something happens.
The attached file is from the mast support, showing trailer pulley and top of mast. Forestay not hooked up yet. Next post will have another pic from the trailer to the tramp.
Why not use the trap line to the top of your gin pole and from there to your pulley on the mast stand to raise the mast instead of tying a line to the mast 8 feet up. I'm not sure how to keep the mast rotated although the main halyard idea seems to work
On my boat (NACRA) I connect forestays, and one side shroud. With hulls on land and mast forward and on the mast ball, just keep pressure against the connected rigging to keep it in tension and you can walk the mast up hand over hand. Mast rake will eventually "pull" mast into position, and grabbing an untethered trap wire to hold in place. Simply step over hull and attach the remaining shroud. My mast is aluminum and 31 feet and I have no problems, other than the initial "boost" up into the air. Does need to have the base connected to keep from jumping off the ball. Taking it down is same process reversed. If windy, keep boat pointed into the wind - it will help during raise or lowering.
Make sure the attached rigging isn't looped under the hull - keeps from swearing a lot and having to let mast down to bring shroud out from under hull. I do have 2 forestays as well as two shrouds - so I have three of four rigging wires pre-connected before lifting mast.
If you are considering ever adding a spinnaker to the boat, you should just go ahead and rig a spinnaker halyard instead of wasting time on a mast raising system. With the spinnaker halyard you rig the halyard with the head tied to the bridals, raise the mast and while holding the mast with one hand, you tighten and cleat the halyard with the other. If you have a continuous halyard system you can just pull down on the halyard at the mast and it will cleat itself. Instructions for this halyard can be found on the Mystere 4.3 site at under Mystere 4.3 Continuous Halyard/Retrieval Line. The 4.3 and 4.5 are very close in size.
Any thoughts on how to step a mast solo that does not have a mast foot hinge or anything else to keep the foot located on the stub ball? This is the exact setup of a Marstrom Tornado. With two guys, one stays at the mast foot, keeping pressure down onto the base to hold the thing on the little stub ball of the beam. Other guy walks it up from behind and hopes it doesn't slip off the ball.
Swicth to nacra mast base, Its possible A firend and I used an old tornado mast the put a 5.8 mainsail on a climax 18. We had to cut a little off the mast, but thats irrelevant. The nacra mast base fit in the tornado mast after a little grinding. You can then use the pin to hold it on, or keep it turned sideways like Danno descibes. Not sure if you would have to change the ball on the beam or not, i don't know what the tornado has.
We tried rope last time...and we found it still let the foot slip off the ball enough to cause "problems". The issue seems to be the fact that the ball & foot don't really fit together until you reach a certain angle. So anything you tie in place while the mast is fully down will not be in tight enough as the angle changes. The "ball" stub on the beam is only about the width of an index finger and about 1 inch high. One thing that helps is to have a helper apply pulling force from the trapeze line while holding the foot down in place. I'm thinking a gin pole arrangement that can keep some forward pull of the base on to the stub might work as a solo-up system.