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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:48 pm 
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The tripod is a nice idea. That first two to four feet of lift is the back killer, for sure.

The FX needs a resting position for the mast so you can attach the mast to the mast ball and keep the spreader wires off the rear crossbeam enough to not damage them. A mast stand like that would certainly work.

So, let's contact the Chinese and have one built and sell it! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:57 am 
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if you are stepping the mast by yourself, with a winch attached to the trailer, or, say, to a retaining wall (a possibility for me), don't you have to have a way to keep the mast rotated 90 degrees as you do this?

If so, how do you handle that singly?

Dan


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:58 am 
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send4help wrote:
if you are stepping the mast by yourself, with a winch attached to the trailer, or, say, to a retaining wall (a possibility for me), don't you have to have a way to keep the mast rotated 90 degrees as you do this?

If so, how do you handle that singly?

Dan


Do you mean keep it from leaning 90 degrees port or starboard? If so, I made temporary extenders with "S" hooks that I connect to the ends of the trap wires. I run them over the front of the front cross bar and connect them to the dolphin striker where it bolts to the corner castings. You need to size the extensions right- too long and the mast can still swing to the sides, too short and you can't raise the mast.

Something mentioned earlier, is getting the mast base connected. I stand on the trailer tongue, lean over and put my weight on the mast, roll it aft, align the base, and insert the pin- but for me it is more difficult than it sounds. I have a roller assembly that rests on the aft cross bar that partially supports the mast, but it would be better to have some sort of "A" frame that sits on the ground at the mast head, since I must really push down to get the mast foot connected.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:57 am 
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No, this is what I'm getting at:

Say my mast is up (it is) and I want to lower it (I do). In order to lower it, I have to take the mast and rotate it 90 degrees right or left before I start lowering it, do I not? (actually, raising and lowering my mast is not something I've done a lot, or recently, but as I recall this is correct.)

So, my question is: If I'm at the winch lowering or raising the mast, how do I keep the mast rotated?

But, while we are on the subject of the mast tipping over sideways, in the past what I've done is loosen the side-stays (shrouds?) but keep them connected as I've raised or lowered the mast. Does using the trap wires the way you describe offer more stability than my way?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:41 am 
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The mast on the 17 absolutely needs to be rotated 90deg when raising or lowering. If not, you will crack the mast base, destroy the mast ball, damage the front cross bar, bend the mast step pin or all of the above.

The mast also needs to be supported side-to-side when raising or lowering, otherwise it will swing out to the side which would be very dangerous to anyone around the boat. The shrouds will not prevent swinging since they go slack as soon as the forestay is loosened.

Many people are able to manually step the mast on a 17 as it is one of the lighter Hobie masts. However, if you need to use a mechanical system (winch), there are commercially available gin-pole systems you can buy and you can use the trapeze wires tied to the front crossbar to stabilize the mast and prevent swinging.

sm


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:04 am 
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which brings me back to my question of how do you keep the mast properly rotated while dropping it or raising it with a single handed system.

Dan


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:27 pm 
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send4help wrote:
which brings me back to my question of how do you keep the mast properly rotated while dropping it or raising it with a single handed system.

Dan


Well if you're doing it by hand, you just rotate the mast 90deg and then lower it. If you're worried about doing this by yourself because you're not sure if you're strong enough to handle the mast by yourself, I would suggest having a helper assist you with lowering the mast. In my opinion, having a second person help lower the mast is the safest and best system for lowering the mast.

If you use a gin pole system, the gin pole should hold the mast in proper rotation.

Otherwise, you may be able to tie a line from the rotator bar forward to the bow to hold the mast in rotation- not sure, I always raise and lower the mast by hand. Plus you still need a system to stabilize the mast side to side.

sm


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:13 pm 
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If you use the Tripod method I described above, the mast is rotated when sitting on the tripod and then you lift it the rest of the way by hand (the tripod lifts it to about 10-11 feet). It's easy to hand lift beyond that point....

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e-mail: ab at medjet.net
H17S, Hobie Bravo, A cat
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:26 pm 
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Quote:
which brings me back to my question of how do you keep the mast properly rotated while dropping it or raising it with a single handed system.

srm (and abbman) answered your question with this:

Quote:
you can use the trapeze wires tied to the front crossbar to stabilize the mast and prevent swinging.

The trap lines -- or some type of side-to-side support -- have to be in place to stop side sway and keep the mast rotated.

On the FX, the mast rotator sticks out so much that it won't rotate out of sideways until you get the mast at least two-thirds up. Also, of course, it won't allow you to lower it but so far until you have to turn the mast flat side down.

From my hassles with mast-stepping, there have been three problems to overcome if you're doing it by yourself.

1. Pre-step mast support. After putting the mast on the step ball, you have to a support somewhere along the mast to keep the spreader wires on the FX from getting crunched on the rear crossbeam. The mast has to be about a foot off the crossbar for spreader wires not to get damaged.

Adam uses a tripod. Karl uses a stepladder. I have read of some using three tent poles tied in a tripod. Whatever.

From this "resting position", I think it is easier to hook all the shrouds, etc. up.

The FX mast cannot even be attached to the step ball without laying the mast horizontal...

2. Side to side sway. Some system of trap lines, etc. is needed to stop the mast from falling off the side of the boat and from rotating off laying horizontal flat-side down.

The Getaway mast stepper uses a slug in the sail track. The slug is secured with the halyard off the top and two lines off the bottom that are tied to the ends of the front crossbeam and then back to a gin pole that is inserted into a special shell-like clamp at the mast base. The clamp, or adapter, holds the mast in the horizontal position.

Slug looks like this:

Image

The adapter: adapter.JPG

The adapter will not fit on the FX mast. I blew some money hoping that it would. Last year's catalog said it would work on the Tiger mast. So I assumed it would work on the FX mast. Not unless you beat it flatter with a big hammer.

The shrouds don't stop the side-to-side sway until you get the mast nearly raised; so they don't help when stopping the sway is most important or needed the most.

3. Securing the forestay to the bridle. You either use the halyard to secure the mast while you hop off the tramp and connect the bridles to the forestay or some other arrangement... Adam and others use a cleat or two to tie the mast in place with the halyard. Then you jump off and secure the forestay.

If you don't secure the mast, you can't take your hands off it to secure the forestay to the bridles... unless you got a tail (like a monkey) to hold it.

At this point, the mast is rotated so the sail track is facing the back of the boat.

From what I have read and tried, these are the big three hurdles to mast stepping.

Lifting the mast, you can either do by yourself or with some mechanical help; but still have to address these issues somehow...

All this to answer the email that I never answered, Adam. Obviously, I am still working on more efficient time for setup...


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:15 am 
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Ahhh. so you can use the trap lines to prevent sway AND keep mast rotated. I would think, then, that a fixed length rope or cable would be preferable for that, rather than a stretchable bungee, as was suggested originally?

I don't know what the "mast rotator" is? Can someone describe that piece for me?

thanks,

Dan


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:49 am 
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Dan, there is no mast rotator on a H17Sport, due to the boomlet (lack of full boom). A mast rotator is a U shaped rod that attaches via the ends of the U to the base of the mast and allows you to control (with an attached line) the angle of the mast relative to the wind (i.e., the mast angle can be set by the skipper instead of free rotating). I believe it is most useful on unirigs where there is no jib to help direct the wind around the main sail. 8)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:47 am 
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Dan,

If you are near a dealer who has a Mast Stepper III in stock, you might want to pull your boat to them and see if the kit fits your rig.

While I consider it a bust for the FX, the basic principle of it is good.

I have rigged the slug and halyard arrangement and it tightens and holds the mast very securely, preventing any side-to-side movement.

The clamp/adjuster -- which is pictured in Figure 3 of the "adapter.jpg" link -- has a lip that slides into the sail track that also holds the mast in the horizontal position. You can't really see it in the pic but it is there.

As fastcat said, the H17 is not the same as the FX. In fact, there may be some issues with the hinge arrangement at the base of the H17 mast that is not on the FX that may need to be addressed.

The reason I suggest going to the Hobie dealer is that the peace of mind while stepping is worth it, I think. The good part of easy mast stepping is that it decreases stress and time of overall setup. I can't tell you the number of times that I gotten to the mast stepping part and thought: Darn, now I got to step the freaking mast.

I somewhat resent the pics that some sailing sites have of a cute little girl/old lady stepping the mast solo. Like saying: See, girly man, even the ladies can step the mast! Bull. Stepping a 28' aluminum stick is not easy.

If I get time off work to go out and catch the wind at the local lake, I have a choice of either hooking up my Wave or the FX. To get out there quickly, setup, and have good time on the water, I choose the Wave.

Someday, I hope I will choose the FX as often. But it is all a matter of improvements and backyard practice...

This is, of course, for those who have to trailer their boats to a location and setup each time...

And I challenge anyone who says mast stepping is easy to offer their procedures here. I will pick holes in any of your "easy methods". What separated man from the monkeys is his ability to use tools -- and if you haven't got the right tools for the job, well, then... :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:21 pm 
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Here're some pictures on the tripod method for anyone interested:

http://picasaweb.google.com/AdamNeilBock/TripodMastStep?authkey=Gv1sRgCM71h97O7sbLQw&feat=directlink

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e-mail: ab at medjet.net
H17S, Hobie Bravo, A cat
Fleet 444


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:34 pm 
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is that the famous Rick "fricking" Adams there with you in the video???


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:06 pm 
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It might be him (or his stunt double) but I can't answer definitively since it's possible I'd have to pay royalties...

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e-mail: ab at medjet.net
H17S, Hobie Bravo, A cat
Fleet 444


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