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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 12:05 pm 
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I just wanted to mention that there's a lively discussion going on over on the H16 forum about preventing your mast from swinging to one side when raising your mast. This issue became very important to me the other night when I tried out my EZ-Step (which wasn't), and I almost broke someone's window in my apartment complex. Mine is designed for a Getaway that has no jib halyard or pylons. Just thought I'd share the same info over here in case you missed it. I know there's a couple of us Getaway folks that like to design stuff like this. The discussion can be found under the "steeping the mast" topic.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:06 pm 
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Really, this should be done with 2 people but if you have to put the mast up by yourself, this is how I do it. The key is to place the bow of the boat at a downward angle. The best way to do this is NOT still on the trailer (imagine what happens when lifting the mast with all the weight on the back of the boat, with the trailer not hitched to anything. SCARY!) since the trailer will want to flip backwards from the weight. The first step is to launch the boat into the water (minus the mast) and drag it up on shore with the bow facing the water. Most of the time, this may give you the angle that you need to raise the mast by yourself, but if not, prop up the back of the hulls with pieces of wood or something that wont hurt the hulls. Attach the mast at it's base, attach the shroud wires, and lift the mast to vertical. This is the scariest part, the mast will be very heavy and you will have to use your shoulder. Slowly walk the mast up until it reaches vertical. With the boat leaning forward, you should be able to let go of the mast and the shroud wires will hold it in place. Gravity takes over and the mast leans forward enough so not to go anywhere. If you feel that the mast is close to falling back, DON'T let go! You will need to lower the mast and prop the back of the cat higher. Better safe than sorry! Once the mast is upright, walk ever so gently to the front of the boat and attach the forestay wire. Voilla! Don't forget to tighten everything after.

Hope this helps.

Scott


Last edited by Scott on Fri Jun 11, 2004 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:16 pm 
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Interesting point. I had a similar situation one of the first times I went sailing. I took the trailer straps off the hulls before raising the mast. When I leaned forward to attach the forestay, the boat tipped forward about 35 degrees until the hulls hit the ground. It was much easier to attach the forestay, but I felt like an idiot.

My thoughts on your procedure are as follows. If you trailer your boat facing forward, then you have to rotate it about 180 degrees to get it to face downhill, toward the water. Then you have to turn the boat into the wind to raise the sail(s). My boat weighs 390 pounds and is quite difficult to throw around, even with two people. This seems like a lot of work, much less than just using a set of lines. Do you use Cat Trax or something? Can they be used to develop the proper incline without all the turning? Do they facilitate the turning? I haven't used mine yet, so admittedly have no experience.

Caution: Soapbox Alert!

Yes, I agree, it's much more safe and enjoyable to have a second person there to assist. However, as many of us know, getting someone to go sailing with us as often as we'd like is not always easy. There are times when you just have to go sailing, even if no one else does. This discussion is for those times. Last weekend, I went sailing with a woman that weighs just over 100 pounds. How likely do you think she would be to help me in the very physical procedure of raising the mast? I used to never go sailing without someone else. I thought that experiences like that should be shared to increase the appreciation. However, after a breakup, I had to singlehand often. At first, it detracted from the experience, but later, as I got over myself, I came to realize that singlehanding can allow you time for quiet contemplation, without external distractions, other than actually sailing the boat. This becomes a pure endeavor, and a classic example of man against nature, or more importantly man in harmony with nature. I think that one of the main reasons sailing has survived the industrial age is that it is a pure example of man harnessing nature and putting it to his own use, but one of the rare examples where nature isn't lessened by it. Sorry, but I warned you.


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 Post subject: Shroud wires
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:49 am 
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First off, I ment to say shroud wires will hold the mast in place, not halyard wires...DOH! Should proof read my post before sounding like a dope.

In regards to Clarsons post, I too had the same thing happen to me, but the trailer straps were securely fastened. The mistake I made was not keeping the trailer attached to the vehicle! As soon as I started to raise the mast, the whole front of the trailer came up and I went flying backwards. It was ugly! The mast fell and so did I. Nothing was hurt, but it was very embarrasing! This is why I do not step the mast while still on the trailer. I launch the boat into the water, turn the boat around so the bow is facing the lake (while still foating in the water) and then drag it up on shore. I have a lot of shoal on the beach so I use five 2x4's that I have attached to one another to look like a square (the fifth 2x4 in the middle of the square) to drag the boat up onto. The wood when wet makes the boat slide up easily and will prevent scraping the bottom on the rocks. Once the mast is up, I will put the boat back into the water and turn it into the wind where I will beach it again and then rig the sails. Since most of the time I do this by myself, I let the water do all the work turning the boat. All I have to do is move it on and off the wood launch I built.

The girl that is 100 pounds can help quite a bit when stepping the mast. She can sit back and watch while you flex and grunt while manhandling the mast. Make sure she can see those muscles straining, so she has something to rub later while out on the lake. LOL.

I sail about 80% of the time by myself so I know what you mean. I really enjoy the traquility and relaxation you get while sailing. I love my wife dearly but sometimes when she is with me, I have to tell her to keep quiet so I can enjoy the sail. That is until a jet ski decides to see how close he can come on a cross run in front of my bow! But that is a totally different story!

Scott.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 11:31 am 
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Great idea about using the water. Probably wouldn't have thought about that one either. I also dig your 2x4 idea. I love to see/hear what other sailors come up with. "Necessity is the mother of invention."

My shrouds were all attached and properly pre-tensioned, but because of their geometry (aft of the mast's pivot point), they have considerable slack (2ft) until it reaches the full upright and locked position. This slack in the shrouds allows the mast to pivot about 35 degrees to either side until the opposite shroud is taut. A 25ft mast, with Hobie bob, swinging 35 degrees is a pretty serious thing. This geometry is what allows a cat to forego a backstay, so how do your shrouds work, or are you just using the mechanical advantage the angle gives you from jacking the stern up?

Yes, watching her oil up gave me the strength to lift the mast. She was very solicitous the entire weekend, but especially while actually sailing.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:05 pm 
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You are absolutely right about the slack in the shroud lines until vertical. I don't have an answer for how to take up the slack while steping the mast. That's why I never understood how those EZ mast steppers worked. I have to just push the mast up to vertical every time, keeping the mast straight and balanced with my body. It can be tricky with the Baby Bob up there since the wind seems to blow against it at the worst possible time. You just have to push it up slow and steady. Another thing too is not to attach your shroud lines too far down on the seven hole adjuster. I attach the shroud lines to the very top of each adjuster. This will add to the degree of sideway motion (if you let it) but will also allow the top of the mast to lean farther forward at vertical when you have to attach the forestay. Again leaning the boat forward will allow the shroud wires to hold the mast in place (at vertical) so you can attach the forestay by yourself. once that is done, go back and tighten each shroud wire by pulling on the halyard to the left side for tightening the left shroud wire, and then go to the other side and do the same thing. This is also something you should have help on, but if you have to do it alone, make sure you DON'T let go of that halyard when unpinning the shroud line to tighten it. I usually wrap the halyard around my arm a few times, then I will unhook the shroud from the top hole in the adjuster. Also don't let go of the shroud line! One time I let it slip out of my hand and the line swung towards the bow of the boat just out of reach! Talk about a stupid thing to do. The only thing holding that mast up was the tension I was putting on the halyard line! I stood there for must be 5 min thinking about how I could get that shroud line without the mast come crashing down. If I tried to move forward with the halyard in hand, the mast would start to fall forward. Then the solution struck me in the head. I just tied the halyard line to the Getaway wing on that side! Those wings are good for more than just your butt for sure. Then I walked over and grabed the shroud line and pinned it in place.

There are two advantages of leaning the boat forward while stepping the mast. The first is it makes the mast easier to lift since it is already slightly higher up just resting on the tramp. Have you noticed how it is much easier to handle the mast when it is close to vertical? By the time you get the mast lifted and on your shoulder, the mast is at least at a 30-45 degree angle. This is where it seems to be the heaviest. As soon as you push the mast up a little, the weights seems to get easier a lot quicker than if you were to be on level ground. The second is as I stated before. It just allows you to let go of the mast at vertical to attach the forestay.

Again, you shouldn't try to do it alone. But in my case, it is either do it by myself or I don't go sailing most of the time. I rather take that risk.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 8:34 am 
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I used your inclined plane idea this weekend. Very cool! I parked on the hill facing down to the lake, and was able to maintain the mast with very little, if any tension on my raising line (you need to overcompensate for rake). This may very well become part of my regular routine whenever possible. I may even build some chocks to tilt the stern up since the beach is so flat.

I got a big kick out of visualizing you holding your mast up, watching the shroud swinging just out of reach. I've done the exact same thing myself. I know how it feels to sweat out a solution to such a silly dilemma. It's a lot funnier when it happens to someone else.

BTW, those EZ steps don't do anything for swing, they're only a gin pole that has straps to keep themselves vertical to give you a better angle for when you're raising the mast with the trailer winch.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:14 am 
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Location: Warwick, RI
the place we purchased our new getaway came up with an ingenius way of stepping the mast yourself..using the EZ stepper, a couple lines wraped around the hull...and the trapeze wires....i havnt tried to do it all by myself yet...just not that confident yet(im only 5'10 140lb...so hauling that mast by myself is daunting)......however next time i go i'll take some pictures of the rig....its neat, and simple


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:55 am 
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If you want to step your mast yourself on level ground, then buy a small electric winch with remote (cordless preferred, but a cheap one with a rope line for pulling on/off will do). Attach a heavy rope above your jib halyard. Run winch line up the trailer’s mast holder like you see in one of those EZ steppers in the Hobie catalog. Lift the mast at the rear end of your boat. *You must lift here because the angle on the winch line is not conducive to lifting.* Lift it high enough to hold it on you leg with on hand and start your winch. I continue to help lift while keeping the mast rotated. Make sure to stop the winch when your mast pulls the side shrouds tight. The rest I’m sure figure out.

For safety Please Check the following.

* Make sure both tie down straps are still tightly holding you boat to the trailer.
* Make sure your hitch’s ball is the right size and that your tongue is adjusted properly.
* Make sure someone is around the first time you test this.
* Do not use this on a trailer with a weak tongue bar.
*You could bend the trailer if your winch pulls to hard at the start of lift or after your mast is up.

* I have only ever used a winch with a strap. Rope and wire winches should work…..
* Before the electric winch I used the hand one from my trailer and even raised my Mast with the bow up 15degrees. (with another person of course)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:13 am 
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If you can lift the mast just tie a rope to the end of the main halyard and tie it to the trailer mast support. Raise the mast (if someone lifts it up in the back it's not too bad) once rasied tie off the main halyard to the down haul or main hailyard cleat tight. Walk up and put the pin the the front. The main hailyard go's all the way up to the top of the mast so the leverage it has is better. If you let the mast rotate from 90 degrees when lifting you will hear about it. Just use good knots.

Neville


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