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 Post subject: Solo Stepping Problem
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:27 am
Posts: 34
Location: Coastal NC
Hi all,
This is my first post. I looked for previous posts & FAQ's to find out is this is a common problem before I clogged the forums, but had no luck so here goes...

This is my first boat ever. I've taken sailing lessons and only sailed Sunfish-style boats, so that's m)y limited experience.

I just bought this boat on the 16th of March and spent a good part of St Patty's day learning it's ins & outs (sober, so no stupid alcohol-related mistakes). With the help of YouTube and some creative engineering, I finally got the mast stepped solo, but when I tried raising the main, I didn't realize why it wouldn't go all the way (figured that out later- rookie stuff, obviously), so I lowered the mast (which I could not do solo so I got help).

When I tried to step the mast again, I couldn't. There was something stopping it from going up beyond (approximately) 30 degrees. I could get it on my shoulder and press up slightly, but not even enough to extend my arms. All the cables were clear of snags and had slack. It felt like it was at the base of the mast but no blockage was visible. I ensured that the pin was in the step hole marked "16" not "14" and tried several times with no success. I tried minor twists while it was on my shoulder and that didn't work either. I'm stumped.

Has anyone ever had this problem? Any tips?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:27 am
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Location: Coastal NC
Well, I discovered my problem... cables were getting hung up on the trap corners and I couldn't tell until a neighbor came to help. Rookie mistake.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:23 am
Posts: 522
Location: Lake Norman NC
ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE HELP EVEN IF HELP HAS NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON ALL YOU REALLY NEED IS SOMEONE TO PLACE THE PIN IN THE FORESTAY AND YOU ARE HOME FREE AFTER THAT

I REMEMBER BY FIRST MAST PRACTICE IN THE APARTMENT PARKING LOT STRANGE HOW LOUD A MAST SOUNDS WHEN DROPPED ON THE TOP OF A CAR
FORMER HOBIE ADMIRAL GARY


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:10 am
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Before you step the mast, make sure that the shrouds are laying OVER the top of the trampoline. They like to slide back under once you start raising but if you pull them in as far as possible they shouldn't get snagged underneath.

Also, if you have trap wires, just keep them attached to the mast while you are stepping the mast. I use those bungees with balls on the end to secure them to the mast. That way you only have to worry about the shrouds getting caught.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:21 pm
Posts: 267
Location: Winston Salem, NC
I recently found the best way to keep wires and shrouds under control while raising the mast solo. I use a tripod to hold the mast off the crossbar. I set the mast in position, put in the pin then pull the hiking wires around the front of the front crossbar on both sides. Because of the bungee cord, there is tension on them. I then lay the shrouds inside the taut wires and can raise the mast without any problem.

To raise the mast solo, tie an extension line to the jib halyard with the other end tied to the bridle. It should be around 7' long. Raise the mast, lean into it, reach down and uncleat the halyard. Pull the line tight and re-cleat. You can then get down and fasten the forestay with no problem. Lowering the mast is just the reverse. Getting the mast to toggle down into the socket is sometimes a problem. Murray marine sells a link the eliminates the problem but it must be completely removed for sailing. The tripod is pretty important. I used three old tent poles.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:17 pm 
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Location: Coastal NC
I did just get some of those bungee loops with the plastic balls. I'll give that a shot. Yeah, today I attached a bungee to each of the cables to ensure that they didn't catch on the corners and it worked like a charm.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 280
Location: Pittsboro NC
Ok so some things that help:

build a tripod to hold the mast above the rear crossbar so you can pin the mast step system
Fit a block on the mast support arm on the trailer (hang off a shackle) and leave in place
Tie a length of line from the jib halyard through the block and back to the tramp
Lay shrouds and forestay on the tramp
As you raise the mast keep your line to the trailer block in your hand loose and whent he mast has clicked in to the foot then take up the slack and tie/cleat off - you can now leave the tramp and poin the forestay

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:29 am 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 8:28 am
Posts: 636
Location: Clinton Lake, KS
I have found wrapping the trap wires around the front crossbar is VERY helpful.. It even seems to steady things just a bit..

and then you only have to worry about the shrouds..


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:42 pm 
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This is how I step it solo: Take the jib clew blocks and shackle them down low on the jib stay adjustor. Take the jib sheet and tie it to the shackle on the end of the jib halyard, you should have plenty of line to run through the block to get the mast up. Secure the halyard. Now run the free end of the jib sheet through one of the clue blocks and back through one of the jib blocks (on the forepart of the tramp frame, I use the port side). Run it through so you can stand behind the mast and pull the sheet toward you. You are ready to step the mast. Make sure that the shrouds are on top of the tramp (you know that now LOL). Take the jib sheet and drape it over your shoulder. Now with both hands lift the mast and push it forward till vertical and hold it there with your shoulder. Grab the sheet and pull it tight and lock it in the jib block. Now the mast is secure and the shrouds tight. Go up front and secure the forestay wire to the stay adjustor and you are set to go, and can release the jib sheet from the block and finish rigging the boat. Been doing it that way for 25 years or so, and can still do it by myself. Good luck. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:27 am
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Location: Coastal NC
Well, I finally got my solo-stepping technique down, but Friday I had an experienced friend join me and finally got out for my Maiden Voyage. Had a blast and was real glad I brought him along; if I hadn't I would have been way over my head. How some of you solo with both the main & jib boggles my mind at this point. Eventually, I hope to learn that skill. We did manage to fly a hull on a few occasions, but that was only in the gusts. I think the longest was only for about 30 seconds. Winds were between 6-8 mph (roughly). I opened a log book, too. I made an inventory and will eventually begin routine inspections (I'm thinking once every 3 months for a thorough inspection- of cousre I will inspect everything each time, though) that will help me prioritze which items will need replacement first. I'm keeping a journal of each day's events and lessons learned with hopes that it will help me improve my skills a bit faster.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:26 am
Posts: 140
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Tarheel, I am fairly new to this too ( 1 year ), and I came up with a winch set up which allows me to raise the mast without using much force at all. I will take pictures next time and post them. But for now, let me give you a bit of advise;
*Before you raise or lower the mast, place a good safety rope around the lower first foot of the mast, close to the pivot point. This will prevent the mast from shooting forward in case the lower pivot pin comes loose or breaks when you are raising the mast. If you do not have a rope to hold the mast next to the pivot, it will suddenly unbalance and it will just end up on the ground and can even kill somebody.
*Replace ALL the pins with new ones, if a pin gives up, same, mast down. It happened to me while sailing.
*Always keep eye contact with the Boom bar when the main Sail is up, it will whack you and you`ll learn why they call it the Boom !!!
*Learn to do ererything solo, from Home to Sail and back to Home, you will enjoy your Hobie even if your girlfriend does not show up ( Well, she will always show up if she knows you can solo )
* Always watch where is the wind going, towards the Sea, or towards the Land, if you have winds that will push you away from safe land, carry a portable-waterproof VHF handheld, it can save your life.
* Carry a portable GPS and always look at your speed while sailing, this will help you learn how to adjust the Sails for better speed, as you can see the actual effect on small changes.
* Make sure your Hobie is rigged in such a way that if you fall from her, it will self point upwind ( in irons ) and just stops sailing by itself.
Carry water and food bars with you for just in case you have to sit and wait.
Good luck !!!!!

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Every second that passes cannot be recovered, so make good use of every one of them that you have left.


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