Author Topic: Mast Stepping  (Read 645 times)

c.bmartin

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Mast Stepping
« on: May 16, 2016, 09:24:47 AM »
Any suggestions on a safe way to step the mast/sail on a WR16 while on the trailer?  Putting the boat on the ground is not an option as I use a paved boat ramp. 

I took a nasty fall last October while taking down the mast after an afternoon of sailing.  It became off balanced and while trying to correct it I stepped backwards and fell into the cockpit.  Scraped up my forearm and I got whiplash resulting in several months long bout with vertigo (severe dizziness)  Just now coming out of it and I really want to get back on the water.

In the past, I would find the balance point of the mast while standing on top of the boat, position it vertically, then lift it from the ground to the trailer frame, from there to the receiver.  Same process in reverse for take down. 

Thanks,

Barry Martin

Bryk

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2016, 10:25:23 AM »
Any suggestions on a safe way to step the mast/sail on a WR16 while on the trailer?  Putting the boat on the ground is not an option as I use a paved boat ramp. 

I took a nasty fall last October while taking down the mast after an afternoon of sailing.  It became off balanced and while trying to correct it I stepped backwards and fell into the cockpit.  Scraped up my forearm and I got whiplash resulting in several months long bout with vertigo (severe dizziness)  Just now coming out of it and I really want to get back on the water.

In the past, I would find the balance point of the mast while standing on top of the boat, position it vertically, then lift it from the ground to the trailer frame, from there to the receiver.  Same process in reverse for take down. 

Thanks,

Barry Martin

When I tried adding a jib to my WR I had a mounting point at the top of the mast.  If you add one and a line, or 3 with 1 that attaches to each outrigger for beam stability and use the last one with blocks attached to the bow of the boat or trailer you can try to raise it like it is done on the 17.  The only issue is that there isn't anything to actually step the bottom.

I have actually changed away from this to now launch the boat, then paddle/motor it over to the beach and put the mast in then. 

Fortunately my mess up last fall didn't involve a personal injury but instead my fiancĂ©e dropping the mast during a tear down.  Which is why I'm moving away from that idea.

Short of adding some sort of brace at the bottom, and using 3 lines, I don't see an easy way to put it on while on the trailer.  Maybe someone else will have an idea.

John Fischer

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2016, 02:53:58 PM »
Barry, I have the same problem of being force to step the mast while on the trailer.  I built a small platform of 3/4" plywood just below the point of mast insertion. (it spans the trailer where it forms a Y)  With the aid of blocks on the plywood, I raise the mast to the vertical position. That gets it maybe 18" higher. That's the easy part. Then I lift it the rest of the way into the hole.  It's getting harder and harder for me at age 78.  An enterprising young lady several years ago attached the akas and ama on one side then rotated the vaka 90 degrees so the mast slipped in horizontally.  Then she rotated the boat back to its normal position and then added the aka and ama on the other side.  I haven't tried this yet but I'm thinking more and more about it.
Good luck
John F1
John F

John Fischer

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 02:55:39 PM »
BTW-- I've dropped the mast several times both going up and coming down.  It's something that happens.
JF
John F

windridersailor

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2016, 03:06:22 PM »
Sorry to hear about you difficulty stepping the mast.  This was the only "downside" for me when taking the boat out.  What helped me tremendously was a very simple device that was an experiment by Don Maxwell to help in this situation.  He is sadly gone but a picture of his device is on the Yahoo windrider group site.  You would have to join the group to view the pics but that is a simple matter.  We had to restrict it to cut out the spam.  Once you have joined, scroll down in the pics to view "wire mast step device".  Anyway it is a vinyl coated cable with stainless eyelets on either end bent at a 90 degree angle.  Two bolts are removed from the plate that surrounds the mast step area and this is bolted in and the wire forms an arch that goes over the mast step.  This wire arch catches the plastic ring(s) at the base of the mast when you are stepping it and as long as you maintain pressure against the wire you can push the mast up to vertical without it taking off on you.  When you get near vertical the wire simply pushes out of the way and you drop the mast into the step.  Brilliantly simple yet effective.  I would still not do this while on the trailer, not a stable platform in my opinion and the lower the boat the easier it is.  I would back the boat off into the water and either pull it up on the shore or on the ramp if need be.  The hull is plastic and it does it no harm.  I used this for years and it worked great,  the key is maintaining pressure against the wire so the boat has to pulled up on the shore far enough for it not to be pushed into the water. (Don't ask) I also had installed a second ring at the mast base to spread the load the mast base was taking.  I had destroyed to many but after attaching the second ring that stopped happening.  I caught the wire between the 2 rings almost every time.  I'm not a big guy and this took the fear out of stepping the mast for me.  This should be easy to make once you see a pic of it.
Darrell

windridersailor

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2016, 03:24:33 PM »
Forgot to mention how to remove the mast.  I would sail up to shore or the ramp far enough to keep from going anywhere, roll up the mail, disconnect the boom and go to the bow and lift the mast up until I could lean the mast toward the bow and have the mast base ring catch the wire.  This was always the part that was a little scary but I never had a problem.  From there is was easy to walk back and let the mast lower itself.  Again the key was maintaining pressure against the wire.  It was like having someone hold the mast base for me until I got it lowered.
Darrell

DaCheez

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2016, 10:55:03 PM »
If I am not feeling utterly randy that day, I do almost as John F mentions he saw a lady do once (aren't they the brainiest of the sexes):
After attaching all akas/amas, raise one side of the boat up as high as you can while maintaining vaka stability on the center bunk, prop up a paddle or anything you can find under the raised ama, walk to the other side and stab the mast - significantly easier when about 45 degrees lower.

c.bmartin

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2016, 10:11:17 AM »
Thank you all for the solid pointers and personal experiences.  Glad to know I'm not the only one that's dropped the mast!  I checked the pictures on the WR Yahoo Group and found the shields and the wire gizmo.  While checking out my boat, I discovered yesterday that my pvc mast sleeve needs to be replaced (looks like it's too short) so I think I'll incorporate the shield and wire gizmo into the replacement project.  I constructed a 2'x4' plywood topper that fits over the cockpit extending forward to the point that it touches the top of the hull.  I believe that having the level walking surface along with the shield and wire will allow me to more safely set up and take down the mast by letting me walk it up and down rather than lifting vertically.  I considered the boat tilting process, but it's a bit unnerving to me.  I'm concerned that I could dislodge the support and have the entire boat tip the other way.  That would be a pretty violent and possibly damaging event.  I like the idea of beaching the boat, but it's not allowed where I sail.  (city water supply) They don't want anyone in the water there, even just wading.

Thanks again for your assistance!

Barry
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 10:23:27 AM by c.bmartin »

c.bmartin

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6 month Update to Mast Stepping process
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2016, 05:36:07 PM »
Finally got out on the water again in August.  (we were away for 7 weeks starting the last week in May)..I added a "stop" to my new mast receiver tube by cutting the 3" PVC pipe about 8" longer then cutting out the back half leaving the extra to stop the mast from sliding too far forward.  I also added a cable loop to snag the base of the mast.  The plywood 2' x 4' cockpit topper I added is far more stable with side ratchet straps and blocks added.  John, thanks for that suggestion.   It's now extremely easy to put up the mast and take it down.  The snag cable idea was pure genius Darrell!  I slip the mast base under the cable before I climb on top of the boat and when I lift the mast to my shoulder, it's right at the mouth of the tube.  All I need to do is walk it up and slide it in.  Taking the mast down is no longer a hair raising event.  As soon as the mast slips out of the tube, the cable snags it!   I will try to add some pictures as soon as I figure out how to do so.

Thanks again for the ideas.

Regards,

Barry

Ingbert

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2017, 06:35:55 PM »
I  made some tool that helps me to put the mast (24'). 
Let me know if you are intrested in details, I can send you a picture.

Do it youself  (30 minutes work at most) ,  costs 10-15$. 
It works just fine  even by sotrmy weather and on uneven surface.

Regards.
Stan.,

c.bmartin

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2017, 09:46:26 AM »
Hi Stan,

I'd welcome info on your technique for raising a WR16 mast.  The things I've done have worked well, but I'm always open to looking at different methods for mast raising and lowering.  My sail plan is the original 20' mast, not the newer 24'.  I'm headed to the NC Outer Banks at the end of April and plan to take my WR16 with us for a little fun.  The less "stuff" I have to carry means less to be tied down on the trailer.

Regards,
Barry
Roanoke, VA

Ingbert

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2017, 05:46:08 PM »


http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=1622



here we go.  Works just fine.  The loop prevents unbalancing when stepping.
regards.
Stan.

tewharau

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  • White WR16 in Lyttelton Harbour
Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 07:54:49 PM »
My wife and I usually go out together (moved seat forward so one of us sits behind) but we step the mast (with the sail on) while the WR16 is rotated 90 degrees on the trailer.  Then we rotate it all back to upright and then attach the amas.  To unstep, we load it back on the trailer, remove the amas, then rotate it 90 degrees and pull out the mast sideways.

It's easy with two because one can walk up/down the mast to rotate while the other juggles the skeg past the trailer bunks.

I'm not sure how clear my explanation is.  I'm sure photos or a video would be better.

Cheers.

c.bmartin

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Re: Mast Stepping
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2017, 12:11:36 PM »
That's an interesting concept for raising the mast.  I have only sailed solo so it would be very difficult to rotate the boat for mast installation or removal for me.  I just posted pictures of my mods to help step my mast alone.  They may be of interest to you as an alternate method.  I leave the boat strapped to the trailer during setup and take down.  I made the changes last summer and have sailed for months now and they have worked very well.  I've only missed the mast cable once since installing it.

Your comment about having moved the seat is something I've not read about before.  How did you accomplish this mod?

Barry Martin