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 Post subject: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 134
Location: Lugoff, SC
I posted a similar question on the 18 forum, now want to get some feedback over here. I'm having trouble stepping my masts solo. on the 14 I can get it up no problem but that's where I run into trouble. I've seen a you tube thing where this guy tied off his 18 mast, got off the tramp, and then hooked up his forestay. I tried to tie off my mast after rasing it but had No luck getting it to stay up. I'm scared that it will fall as soon as I get off the tramp.

I have the mast stepper from hobie (not the one with the gin pole), but the mast keeps falling to one side when I raise and lower. They say I can use my jib sheets to steady the side to side on my 18. How can I do this on the 14?

Anyway just want some feedback on how you guys step your masts solo...


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 4623
Location: Detroit, MI
This is almost too easy.

Connect the main halyard to the forestay adjuster. Raise the mast. Take the slack out of the halyard and cleat it. That holds the mast up while you connect the forestay. Undo the halyard.

Done.


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 134
Location: Lugoff, SC
Well I'll be :o


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:59 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Sydney, Australia
Mbounds I assume you mean that the forestay adjuster is connected to the bridles when you do this?

I used to do similar but my halyard is probably 20 years old. I was going to replace it but never got round to it. As I'm worried it will break when doing this I do the following:

I have the forestay adjuster attached to the forestay and attach a rope with a carabiner style clip on the end to it.

Then I have a block on my trailer (attached to the front mast support) that I pull it through. Of course this requires stepping and unstepping the mast on the trailer. Then I stand on the tramp, step the mast. Pull the line via the block/pulley and then cleat it to the halyard and or downhaul cleat. The bridles are already attached to the forestay, so I just need to fasten them to the bows. Then unclip the rope and remove the stepping pin. Then adjust the shrouds for more rake.

I also find that I need to use bungy cord on the mast base to keep it aimed at the step, this also requires being on the trailer, although you can probably wrap it round the crossbar somehow. Some guys don't have a problem with this, I think being tall helps getting the angle but I'm short.


Last edited by xnomad on Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 4623
Location: Detroit, MI
xnomad wrote:
Mbounds I assume you mean that the forestay adjuster is connected to the bridles when you do this?
Yes.

xnomad wrote:
I used to do similar but my halyard is probably 20 years old. I was going to replace it but never got round to it. As I'm worried it will break . . .
You really ought to consider replacing the halyard if you think it will break under this minimal load. It's nothing compared to the load the halyard normally sees.


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:19 pm
Posts: 357
Location: San Diego
Lakewateree wrote:
I've seen a you tube thing where this guy tied off his 18 mast, got off the tramp, and then hooked up his forestay. I tried to tie off my mast after rasing it but had No luck getting it to stay up. I'm scared that it will fall as soon as I get off the tramp.



It was my video on you tube. I don't understand why the mast wont stay up after you tie it off.

Wrap the line around the mast 3 times, than tie a regular knot to secure it. Once tied let go and jiggle the mast to make sure it wont come loose. As soon as it is tied I put the pin in the furler, because I don't trust it 100% either. Maybe like 98%. I always do it that way and so far I haven't had a problem. Instead of tieing it around the mast, you could run it through a jib sheet block. I might try that next time, the only problem it that I will have to remove the jib sheet from the block, its simple enough though.

I do the opposite to lower the mast too, the rope holds it up after I un-pin the furler then jump on the tramp untie to rope and lower. Also you can use the rope as a brake to slow the mast as it comes down.

I sometime wish I had a buddy to just pull the pin, it would save me 5 min of un-rigging time.

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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:25 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Woodstock ONT. CANADA
Last year was only my second season with my H14, and after the first few times trying to raise the mast, I had to find a better way. As most have already stated, it can get a little hairy trying to do this from the tramp, so I thought "outside the box" so to speak. I take it off the trailer and on to some grass or other soft spot. (make sure there are no sharp objects) Then with the mast on the ground beside it, and the side stays already attached, I raise the one side up so it's resting like it would if it was capsized. (Another person at this point is helpful) If doing this solo, use the boom to brace it up in this position and hold it there. Now you take the mast which is laying beside the boat, put the mast into the step( remembering to check for the bearing) and walk away from the boat holding the mast. As you go it will eventually come to the place that it looks like it would if it was capsized. At this point the stays will hold it up, and you can move around to the forestay and attach it without reaching over your head. This also allows you time to double check everything before righting it. To finish, go around to the bottom side and pull it back over as you would if righting it in the water. The H14 is fairly light so it's not to hard to do this solo. It's also good practice ( especially if your new to it like I am) for righting when you will be on the water. This way I found easier to attach the forestay, and make sure everything is ship shape!!


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:54 am
Posts: 80
Location: Tampa, FL
Wow Heavenbound, that sounds like a lot of work. I do as Matt Bounds suggested earlier and use the halyard as a temporary forestay. I do this on both my 14 and 16 and it works like a charm. I also trailer my boats backwards (bows to the rear of the trailer) so that I can use the trailer's mast support while stepping the mast. I do it on the trailer with the boat still strapped down. It makes solo mast stepping very easy. I am retired and often solo my 14 during the week when crew (wife) is not available. I have done the mast stepping solo for so long that even if I have help available, I just tell them to stay clear for a moment while I step the mast. I have my routine down and it's easier and faster to do the same thing every time. With a set of beach wheels, I can pretty much launch my boat anywhere I want regardless of whether the terrain is sand, gravel, asphalt or whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 134
Location: Lugoff, SC
Neat idea about trailering backwards. I tried using the halyard when stepping my mast and it works really well. I'm getting quicker every time I do it. One of the fishermen at the landing I put in at it even commented that I look like I know what I'm doing now!


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:59 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Sydney, Australia
I'm trying to find a method of solo stepping without the use of my trailer, so that I can rig from the beach rather than on the boat ramp which can cause a bit of traffic. I thought I'd try Mbounds way with the halyard, but two things stopped this from working:

1) It appears that using just the halyard, can only be done with a comptip mast halyard, which I don't have. The non-comptip halyard is half wire half rope and the wire has a thimble that hits the pulley in the mast tip and stops from running out far enough to reach the bridle. I wonder why the halyards are different as the comptip one looks like it would work in a non-comptip mast? Has anyone tried a comptip version on a non-comptip mast?

2) Using the halyard in a reversed fashion with the rope end pulled through the bridles and the shackle end up against the mast tip (requires a rope attached to bring the shackle down again when done). I just can't get the angle on the bridles so that the forestay reaches the bridles, it doesn't even get close. I used this method previously but pulled the halyard through a block attached to the mast support on the trailer, this gives it enough of an angle so that you can attach the bridles.

So until I figure something out, I'm still reliant on the trailer for stepping and un-stepping the mast when going solo.


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 2604
Location: Jersey Shore
Attach an extension line to the halyard if necessary to make it reach. Tie off the halyard to one of the bow tangs rather than the bridle wires. This will allow you to position the bridle wires where needed to connect to the forestay.

sm


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 134
Location: Lugoff, SC
I step mine using the halyard with a non comp tip mast and have no troubles. I have a fairly long line attached to the wire on my halyard. I like the suggestion of connecting to the bow tang, instead of the bridles, will try that next time


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:59 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Sydney, Australia
Nice suggestion there srm, I'll give that a try on the weekend!

It did cross my mind at one point but I was concerned that maybe using only one bow wouldn't support the mast properly, now when I think about it there shouldn't be a reason why this shouldn't work.

I swaged a new main halyard on Sunday so I'm now safe from the risk of the old one failing catastrophically. :D I hope I got that stop swage right I haven't hoisted the sail up yet, but it looks right.


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:31 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:59 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Sydney, Australia
Success!

I just tried it out in the driveway after coming home from work. I didn't need to use any part of the trailer to get the mast up.

For anyone new to this method (halyard connected to one bow) here are a few tips to save you learning the hard way.

1. Connect the bridle wire to the bow that you will attach the halyard to first. Then connect the halyard to the shackle of the bridle wire on the bow end, if need be with an additional rope if you have an aluminium mast halyard. Do not connect the other bridle wire to the other bow.

2. Raise the mast and pull in the halyard and remove the slack using the cleat on the mast. I found there was quite a bit of stretch in the line (maybe I should replace that part of my halyard too) as I really had to tighten it up hard. Then secure the halyard using the cleat.

3. Attach the forestay to bridles.

4. Attach loose bridle to other bow. This is much easier to do than having both bridles attached and trying to get the forestay adjuster to reach.

5. Double check everything is secure. Put your shoulder against the mast and uncleat the halyard and slowly let the forestay take the weight. All good? Then untie the halyard and/or rope from the bow.

6. Finish rigging and go sailing.

Great now I can completely rig from the beach in peace and don't have to worry about causing a traffic jam at the boat ramp. Thanks again guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Mast stepping
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 758
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
This will not work for everybody, but this is how my friend Kam raises his mast SOLO on his H14 Turbo and makes it look easy. He raises the mast the normal way, grabs the furled jib/forstay and while pulling it forward steps off the front cross beam to the trailer and hooks it up to the roller furler. It takes him about 2 minutes, total. He is about 5'4" and 150 lbs and hasn't lost it yet in 10 years of sailing. :wink:


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