Author Topic: Raising & Lowering the mast  (Read 6180 times)

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Raising & Lowering the mast
« on: April 06, 2014, 10:12:04 AM »

David Cawston
   
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 05:52 pm:      
I would like to think I have got a very good system for raising and lowering the mast. It is all done from the companionway and can be done on the run. The secret is to have a running forestay with a block at the top of the forestay, one on the bronze fitting up the mast (oh what technical speak!) and a halyard running down to the middle of the starboard triple block.

The roller reefing drum and lower end of forestay remain attached to the bowsprit. They can be quickly detached and stowed inboard when trailering.

The roller reefing line simply runs back through stainless hoops.

The time consuming part of the operation is the lowering of the sail and getting the boom jaws to the side of the mast (I had to renew the jaws after breaking one) and mounting the mast support on the transom. Here is a useful tip, once you have lowered the mainsail, tie as many ropes as possible to the mast and it keeps things tidy with less chance of ropes snagging when hoisting the mast.

Here is a link to a bit of grotty moving picture taken with my stills camera which shows me lowering and raising the mast in 45 seconds. The file size is about 8mb and you will have to turn your monitor through 90 degrees ( or twist your neck). If anyone can compress this file to a decent size please let me know. (if this post is too long for the forum Julian please let me know)
http://www.cawston.eclipse.co.uk/preparingmarkie014.avi


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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 10:13:56 AM »
Rest of photos for above post (only allowed 4 per post!)

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 10:14:16 AM »

Julian Swindell
Username: Julian_swindell

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 09:24 pm:      
Dave, this all fitted in fine. I'll have a go at compressing your video if I can, I've got some fiddling-about-with-video software on my laptop. I don't think you can turn video through 90degrees.
I haul my mast up with a tackle at the end of the bowsprit, but your halyard makes more sense. I was pleased to see that you use your teeth too. If God had meant us to be sailors, he would have given us three arms.

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 10:14:41 AM »

David Cawston
   
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 02:02 pm:      
Julian, I am so used to taking stills which I can then rotate on the computer that I forgot I could not do the same with movies. What a plonker! Of course it is even easier to raise & lower the mast with no sails/spars attached but this is what we did last year at the IWA National Trailboat Rally on the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal. Lots of bridges and we even did it at night as part of the illuminated cruise. No electrics on board so we relied on glowsticks up the mast. The festival this year is near Grantham on the Grantham Canal over the second May Bankholiday. Great fun but not much sailing. Anyone fancy joining us (your boat will need a BSC unless you come with no electrics, motor, gas etc. Markie has a BSC certificate).

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 10:14:58 AM »

Julian Swindell
Username: Julian_swindell

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 02:10 pm:      
I've never tried lowering the mast once launched. How far can you lower it with gaff and boom in place and sail still laced to mast? I was thinking of a quick lower to go under a bridge, say, and then yank it all up again the other side.

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2014, 10:15:14 AM »

David Cawston
   
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 04:33 pm:      
If you lower the mainsail and release the jaws of both the boom and the gaff from the mast, ie they are just hanging to one side of the mast, the mast can be lowered so it is totally horizontal or as low as your type of mast support will allow. Just be careful that the back of the boom does not catch on the transom or get trapped under the mast. The way you have your mast lacing affects how easy it is to reposition the jaws, a fair bit of slack is required to allow the boom to be pulled back off the mast. I will save that for another post. We always like to lower and raise the mast whilst underway especially if there is a good crowd of spectators stood by the bridge!!

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2014, 10:15:57 AM »

nick jones
   
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 08:10 pm:      
My mast came off a converted lifeboat five years ago to accomodate the sails made to Eric's kindly provided sail plan. While the mast is slightly short, I suspect it is rather stout. Certainly raising it involves substantial effort as I stagger forward with the thing on my shoulder. I am very curious to know how much a WB mast should weigh. I'd tell you what mine weighs but it's getting dark and it's raining

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 10:16:11 AM »

Roger Parish
   
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 07:41 pm:      
The original mast to my Brig weighs 19kg, is 5235mm OAL ,4755mm from foot to the step which supports the mast band and 80mm diameter. I replaced this three years ago with a hollow mast from Noble Masts and that weighs about 14Kg. It was supplied as an eight sided blank for home finnishing. It looked like a giant pencil on top of the car!

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 10:16:37 AM »

nick jones
   
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 08:49 pm:      
Thanks Roger.
My mast weighs in at 16.3kg with its three mast bands, and is a mere 5.0m high; (the rot I inherited at the top just had to go). I could probably do a bit more work on the taper - but the real answer is a longer mast that would accommodate a topsail

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 10:16:53 AM »

David Cawston
   
Posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - 11:24 pm:      
As an addition to my posting at the top of this topic, I should add that the rope used to pull up the mast should be fed through a pulley attached to the fixtures on the leading edge of the cabin roof and led back to the cleats on the rear of the cabin roof (as can just about be seen in the movie posted in this topic. Be patient, it takes a little time to download and uses Quicktime).

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2014, 10:17:13 AM »

Pam Freeman
Username: Pam_freeman

Registered: 05-2011
   
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 02:32 pm:      
Hi David Cawston! The info you've given here is a real boon; thank you so much for sharing it. I'm only sorry that it's taken me since 2007 to find it now, in 2011!
If you ever have the opportunity, is there any chance that (in addition to all the useful photos above AND the video) you could squiggle a really basic drawing, showing the appropriate ropes etc in different colours, going to their respective cleat, pulley, block etc? No matter if you can't; it'd just help this nerd to make sure she's putting the right things where they're meant to go!
BTW, thanks for the tip re tying bits of string around the mast to keep things in place. One of those ideas you don't come up with - in my case anyway - until it's too late!
Many, many thanks - and best wishes, P.

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2014, 10:17:39 AM »

David Peck
Username: David_peck

Registered: 04-2008
   
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 09:00 pm:      
Hi Pam
Re rigging the boat. Have a look at the 'Resources' file at the top of this page, there are some very useful diagrams by Eric Bergqvist, used in conjunction with pictures in the forum on 'The Rig' should be helpful.
In addition you might look at www.capecutter19.com 'Owners' file which has good pictures and rigging diagrams for ideas. The Cape Cutter is a lovely boat, but is Heavy, Pricey,and has some problems of the deck splitting through the load from the rigging. Also lacks the lovely charm of the Winklebrig.
Best wishes
David Peck

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 10:17:54 AM »

Pam Freeman
Username: Pam_freeman

Registered: 05-2011
   
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 03:27 pm:      
Thanks for that David P. I'll indeed look at the Bergqvist-oriented Resources above. The capecutter19 bit will be interesting too but I can assure you the Winklebrigs have "got" me totally by the heart. Fingers crossed I might just be buying one for myself - at last - toward the end of the Summer. Time enough to get in some more knowledge and practice, practice and practice.... or should the "ice" be "ise..." I never did get that one right at school!
Best wishes to you,
Pam

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2014, 10:18:08 AM »

Adrian Evans
Username: Adrian_evans

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 11:00 am:      
I would add that I have copied the running forestay system that David outlines, and it makes it pretty easy to raise and lower the mast from the cockpit.

As a safeguard against anyone accidentally uncleating the running forestay rope, once I have cleated it off on the cleat at the rear edge of the cabin, I run it forward again, and tie it off on the fitting at the front edge of the cabin.

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Re: Raising & Lowering the mast
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2014, 10:18:25 AM »

Pam Freeman
Username: Pam_freeman

Registered: 05-2011
   
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 12:14 pm:      
Got it! Have had some dummy runs now on a friends rig and am pleased to report that your system works a treat, David. Many thanks.
Best wishes,
Pam