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Raising/lowering RL24 Mast
I have a tapered,rotating mast with two sets of side stays the rear set of which is adjustable. I do not have a backstay. We are having trouble getting the nast up and down with only two of us. Because of the rotater, the mast cannot be left in the base without someone holding it up above the cabin. We have tried a rope tied to the forestay and pulled up from a distance but the mast seems to easily fall to one side or the other, sometimes with loud consequences. I find that holding the mast in the cockpit and then trying to hold it whilst climbingto the top of the cabin is rather difficult. Before I make some expensive attachments, can anyone with this type of mast help with out technique?

warren stalder29-Dec-2005    Edit    Delete 
Re: Raising/lowering RL24 Mast
Hi Warren
I have the same set up on Apache and I am still nimble enough to get up over the cabin top whilst restraining the mast from vearing sideways. I have been thinking about alternatives and the only thing I can come up with is extending the post and saddle I have already. The one I have fits into slots on the back of the wooden part of the mainsheet traveler and is usefull for lowering the mast when going under bridges. However it is not useful for raising the mast as the pivot point of the mast is to the rear of the traveller. I would need to have another post near the rudder assembly and high enough so that the mast clears the cabin top when resting on it. The mast could then be winched up with the other person guiding it. I am interested in what others may have invented.
Nomad29-Dec-2005    Edit    Delete 
Re: Raising/lowering RL24 Mast
Dear Warren,

Like you I have a tapered rotating mast although I only have one set of shrouds and have a backstay. This should make no difference in relation to mast raising.

First, I use a 6'length of 4"x2"(approx) timber as a stern post. At one end of the post I have drilled a vertical hole and jammed a pergola post ground fitting into the hole. This gives me a U shaped saddle at one end of the pole. I drilled a hole through this saddle and fitted a pin and small boat roller. This stern post fits neatly into the top tiller bracket and I secure the post with two sail ties lashing it to the pushpit top rail.

Second, when raising,I lift the mast head onto the saddle, then from about midships on the cabin roof, I push the mast aft over the post roller until the mast base reaches the tabernacle pin. I connect the mast to the pin.

Third, I tie off the jib halyard on its mast cleat and run the free end through the bow roller and take it aft to the cabin hatch. I coil the halyard and stuff it in my pocket for easy access.

Four, facing the bow and straddling the hatch, and with the halyard between my teeth, I push and lift the mast until it is vertical. I quickly take up the strain on the halyard with one hand whilst holding the mast with the other. This does require a little concentration.

Five, whilst keeping the strain on the halyard, I tie off the halyard on the anchor post and then connect the forestay.

Now I must say that it took me some time before I had confidence to attempt this basic mast raising by myself. It is tricky in moderate winds, even more so in cross winds and each step should be double checked when tired. On one occasion, when lowering after a week's tiring sail, only the third check revealed that I had connected the wrong halyard. I was just about to release the forestay.

Have a look at http://members.tripod.com/c22fleet77/id81.htm. There you will find a brilliant method using rope bridles and a gin pole. I use this system when I am tired or the wind is strong. For the bridles I use red flecked Spectra for the port side and green flecked Spectra for the starboard side. For a gin pole I used to use the spinnaker pole. I abandoned the gin pole by sticking a long post (about 10') with block into the trailer winch support post. This serves the same purpose as the gin pole which is to increase the lifting angle and do away with the need to physically lift the mast.
The rope bridles prevent the mast swaying from left to right.

A bit more on lifting. If you use the bridle / gin pole method, as said you don't need to physically lift the mast. You can either use a block and tackle connected to the jib halyard and raise it from the bow or you can run the jib halyard through the bow roller or block back to the cockpit and winch the mast up. I like this method as you can see what is going on and you can stop at any time to take a break or fix something.

One last tip, for a long time I used to get the shroud bottom connectors inverting on the U bolts whilst raising. If manually lifting the mast this was very upsetting. If winching the mast up it was less difficult to fix but still trying. As this is such a common problem I now make sure that the connectors are in the right aspect and tie the bottom of the shroud to a lifeline with a sailtie to prevent inverting.

A final thought. It was not until I lifted the mast off the yacht at home that I discovered how light it really is. Then, each time I raised and lowered the mast I reminded myself that there is no weight in it at all. Up until then I did not look forward at all to raising and lowering. Now it does not concern me in the slightest. I should add that I am 60 years old with serious leg, foot and back injuries.

Hope this is of use to you Warren. Whilst my method may not be readily understood in the absence of pictures be assured that a study of http://members.tripod.com/c22fleet77/id81.htm will solve your problems. I found this article so good I keep a copy on board in case of memory failure.

Best wishes,
Terry1-Jan-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Raising/lowering RL24 Mast
Hi Terry

Thanks for your great advice, I was about to ask were you a 25 year old brickies labourer before I read the last sentence. I will take what you've said and the link on board and hopefully can take some of the stress out of stick raising and lowering.

Do you use the rotator? It seems to be meant to be connected to the vang but this 4:1 arrangement doesn't provide much purchase with the boom's low height without using a winch?

Thanks again
warren stalder3-Jan-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Raising/lowering RL24 Mast
Dear Warren,
Whilst I have a rotating mast I don't have a rotator. I have not got round to making one as it does not seem as important for cruising as it would for racing.
Quite some time ago there was a discussion on the subject on this site. Rob Legg cast light on the subject as did Damien.
Do a search on this site for 'rotating masts' and your questions will be answered.
Best wishes
Terry Stannus5-Jan-2006    Edit    Delete 

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