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- Raising the Mast
Raising the Mast
Matt's MethodHow do I raise the mast? Frankly brute strength.
My wife and I have worked out a great little system that currently works for us.
She stays on the ground (she get's really nervous) and holds the forestay and forestay turnbuckle. I attach the jib halyard to the bow plate in the aft-most hole as the middle I use for the forestay and forward most hole I use for the cruising chute's tack line. With this attached and the mast sitting in the bow stand on the transom I give the jib halyard a single wrap on the mast winch, then standing in-front of the mast facing aft, I get a good grip with both hands and lift 'er up. Once she's vertical, I move around behind it holding up with my chest and shoulder and take up the slack on the halyard (temp-forestay). My wife pops up on the tongue of the trailer and sets the clevis pin on the forestay turnbuckle in the second hole. I usually have to really lean into the mast to make it work. This means less tuning of the rigging later, so I like that.
I find the faster I get it vertical the better, momentum and the shrouds become my friends keeping it straight and plumb. Although from time to time a shroud with get hung on the roller furling cleat on the starboard side... what a pain!
I know eventually, as I get older I'll probably have to come up with something better and less physical, but right now I don't find the mast that heavy. I'm 42 and weigh 220lbs. so maybe I have a couple of things on my side, I can still do it and outweigh the mast by a few pounds.
I can lift the mast from on top of the cabin, but if anything
goes awry (like a shroud hung on the roller furler cleat, or the
backstay being under the tie down strap across the stern that I
forgot to remove - crap!) then I could not gracefully let the
mast back down onto the prop. So having someone snubbing the
fore halyard is my backup. And since it's there, it's a
lot easier to start the lift from the cockpit and then move to
the cabin top while the helper holds the mast.