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Stepping the Mast....
Hi All,

After recently purchasing my timber 125 I am just going through the process of checking all the rigging etc for seaworthiness, before taking the kids out. I've managed to sort out all the running rigging, however I have a quick question about the standing.

What do you find is the easiest way of stepping the mast ?

Currently the timber mast step is only about 20mm deep. I've tried the following:

Mast is laid down the centreline of the boat (head to aft) with the shrouds connected. With my son in the boat, place the foot in the step and begin to raise the mast. However as you begin to raise the mast, the foot then lifts out of the step and requires me to place one hand on the mast to keep the foot down, leaving only one had to secure the forestay.

Surely there has to be an easier way ?

Thanks for your help.
Roy Worner25-Aug-2010    Edit    Delete 
Re: Stepping the Mast....
Hi Roy

There are a few different methods to do this....depending if you are alone or have someone to help, and if your boat is attached to a roll over cradle, or if your rigging on a lawn etc or beach.
The method your using is fine. Have you son hold to foot of mast in place as you raise the mast by walking forward. Then once vertical have him hold it that way while you walk to the bow with forestay under tension.
Or, you can roll the boat on its side, connect the sidestays while son holds boat on its side, then attach forestay....rig up then stand boat up once completed.
Hope that helps...
Andrew25-Aug-2010    Edit    Delete 
Re: Stepping the Mast....
Best method I found over the years was to lay mast on boat as you've described, attach but furl jib and thread spin halyard and tie it off.

Then stand mast up and lift into position. This method does need an off sider to attach the stays but you retain full control. Furled jib limits windage in strong winds though it can still be a struggle and no need to lay boat on its side or get into the hull.

Lifting with stays attached tests your back muscles and then threading skills as you loose space to step the mast with the stays limiting motion.

Give it a go.
steve low26-Aug-2010    Edit    Delete 
Re: Stepping the Mast....
Thanks all for your prompt replies...!

Sunday looks like a nice day with light breezes so I'm hoping to head up to Lake Lysterfield.

I'll try a few different methods and let you know how I go.

Roy 26-Aug-2010    Edit    Delete 
Re: Stepping the Mast....
Make sure your 125 is head to wind.
I found it very easy by having the sidestays always attached. Standing alongside the port side of the main bulkhead, grasp the mast with the right hand approx 1/4 of the way up and lift the mast to your shoulder using it as a pivot. Push down with your left hand which is placed as low on the mast as is comfortable. Stand the mast vertical with the base on the ground alongside the hull. If on sand use your thong (shoe) to prevent filling the mast section with sand. With a life jacket on the deck between the mast step and the gunwhale, it is easy to just lift the mast vertically onto the deck (cushioned by the life jacket).
The jib can be rolled up and held against the mast or the crew can be a great help holding it and giving slack as you lift.
The mast is now vertical on the cushioning life jacket and will not fall forwards because of the sidestay support. The crew should not let it fall backwards. It is a simple matter with both hands near the base of the mast to lift it into the mast step, naturally having the crew give some jib slack as you lift.
Take a trapeze handle forward and tension the rig whilst the crew attaches the jib tack shackle.
Lowering is a reverse of the above except that as you lift the mast out of the step and bring it quickly to the right shoulder you can control the rate of descent by pressure on the lower part of the mast with your left hand. The crew should be at the rear of the boat to catch the mast in its last part of the drop where the leverage is greatest.
Don Barnett28-Aug-2010    Edit    Delete 
Re: Stepping the Mast....
Hi All,

Well we did get out to Lake Lysterfield for a very short while yesterday.... but no wind !! Managed to get a few runs with No.1 son, but any breeze subsequently died when No.2 and I went back out.

We spent Saturday preparing all lines and rehearsing the mast step again, so Sunday morning was a breeze (no pun intended!), I find it easiest to raise the mast vertically alongside with no shrouds attached, lift and place into the mast step, then attach shrouds and forestay, whilst No.1 son simply holds the mast upright.

Thanks again to all of you for your input.

Roy 29-Aug-2010    Edit    Delete 

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