The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
I have read all the posts I could find and built my Aframe and Aft Mast Rest for raising and lowering the mast. Im ready to go but have a question on stays and shrouds.
I ran a sheet through my car blocks up to the large block I attached to the base of the the furler. its wrapped on the winch so I can slowly release the aframe attached to the forestay to lower the mast.
I added the extra tangs to the a-frame so that I can disconnect the forward stays and attach to the tangs on the aframe.
do I loosen the shrouds at at all? or the aft stays? or since Im lowering should they be fine?
I have attached the a frame to the chain plate next to the shrouds.
Yep. I had holes predrilled that were at 90° to the Aframe and I found I was off by like 30° or 45° so luckily there was a guy at the boatyard with a cordless drill which I used to drill straight through. I’d say the resulting angle between the A frame bolts and the chainplate holes was about 120°-135°. Now it works fine.
I wanted to take a moment to thank all of those past and present that have posted about mast raising and lowering. I did lower my mast successfully today. Ill post the video link in the next message its uploading. Attached to this post is a picture of the adjustment on the hole angle for the base parts to the A frame. The forward stay chain plate is at an angle so do not , like several of us have done, drill parallel to the the flattened part of the EMT tubing. Off set the hole by ~30 deg. Best if you make your part, hold it to the chain plate and mark the angle.
Another thing, as we were lowering , loosening forward stays 5 and upper shrouds 10, did not work well for me. As we were lowering we had to loosen the forward stays more. The center shrouds were fine.
It was so easy using the A frame we came down 20% and then as the forward stays tightened and the mast slowed decent, we re-raised the mast (so easy) loosened them some more and then came back down. You can see this in the video. Without the help of this support group it would not have been possible to do this so effortlessly. I just want to say again the ease of lowering was amazing. great setup.
I also made a modification and did not add blocks to my stanchions for the A frame sheet. I simple moved both my Car blocks to the same side to guide the sheet that went through the block at the furler base to the a frame.
18 more min for the video to upload to YouTube. Thanks again!
Heres the link to the video. you can see where we stalled, re-raised it. loosened the forward stays and relowered it. Next week adding a topping lift , fixing my jib halyard , adding Jiffy Jax and fixing the lights.
Looking at the photo of the tangs, they appear to be much shorter than mine were. Somewhere in many postings I gave the exact length I used, seems like 5 or 6 inches. Anyway, you will probably just need to loosen the forward shrouds more turns to compensate.
2005 Gemini 105Mc PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK Tampa Bay
An A frame is the best way to lower or raise the mast when you're shorthanded, but when you have at least 2 strong helpers, as in the video, the better way, IMO, is simply to walk the mast down.
Attach a line to the jib halyard, wrap it once or twice around the bow pulpit and have a person on the ground ease it out slowly. That line enables that person to control the lowering of the mast. The second person is on deck near the mast base. He can give the mast a slight push to start it leaning back, and he can also watch the stays to be sure they don't kink while the mast is lowered. The third person is in the cockpit, to take up the weight of the mast as it is lowered. If needed, the second person can move into the cockpit to help the third person. While the third person holds the mast about 12" above the stern pulpit, the second person removes the tabernacle bolt and helps carry the base of the mast forward, to lay it on the bow pulpit. I always lashed the mast to the bow pulpit so it wouldn't slip off while I was working on it. With a little practice you can prepare the boat to lower the mast in about 10 minutes, round up two helpers and lower the mast in 5 minutes. If you need to stop, the first person can hold it with the control line.
This method is more efficient because you don't have to take the time and effort to rig the A frame and later to remove it and put it away. The best use of the A frame is when you have trailered the boat someplace distant and you don't have helpers available. With an A frame, you can lower or raise it yourself.
Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen") Past Commodore
Davy J , Hey its easy I might just lengthen my tangs 2 inches. I had the stay fully realeased and it still went through a tight spot
Steve Milby, Yes your right, I could have done it without the a frame, but it was so easy they really didn't need to do anything. They were there as insurance because its my first time lowering it and I cant afford a new mast : . I subsequently raised and lowered it again just to see . Asking my neighbors every year to drive 45 min to lower my mast might be too much, but we went to captains inn tiki bar and I bought them drinks and lunch so that could work :) . Its all about experiencing things. this was a great experience for me. May seem small but I worried about it alot.
With the A fram if you want to change lights or add something to the mast its a great way to lower it way prep is 10 min one you know what your doing. I wont always have so many people.
I will also say getting the mast down is easy but getting off the boat required more than one person.
Just one caution on using the line from the bow pulpit: As the mast gets closer to being parallel with that line, the effectiveness of the line to bear the weight diminishes very quickly to virtually nothing, and won't prevent the mast from falling. The crew has to be ready to handle just about the full weight of the mast, which might be pulling up on the tabernacle depending on where it's being held. They had better be holding it aft of its midpoint when somebody unbolts it from the tabernacle, or there could be a surprise.
Dave Bristle Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can). Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
I'm getting ready to take mast down for the season, and this thread *especially* the video and links to Davy J info, is great stuff. My boat came with some interesting 2x4 "helper" hardware, including a lowerable fork-shaped unit that plugs into the rudder gudgeons/pintles, and a 8' A-frame. My yacht club does have a mast hoist, however, so maybe all that will be moot at least for this season (I sail on Fern Ridge Lake in OR which is drained every Oct.)
I was going to disconnect (rather than unscrew) the two forward shrouds, is that a good plan? Seems like if I loosen my single offset backstay it would give me the slack to pull the pin so I can keep the rigging "as-is" over the winter?
Also, those with furlers: should I plan to take off and store the luff extrusion in PVC pipe (sounds like a good idea for storage) *before* unstepping? Seems like that might make the whole process smoother, but it will be a lot easier with the mast "horizontal" I would think.
Does anyone rig the jib halyard through the small pulley for the anchor forward of the chainplate for lowering? Not sure if all C25s have this one or just older ones.
I found the forward shrouds had to be disconnected for lowering. I know others use extension tangs to position the anchor point further aft but I didn't know how long to make them. For lowering, I don't think you need them as the a-frame provides some lateral stability.
I just moved my mainsheet tackle up to the bow and rigged it with some longer line which lead back to a a jib halyard winch on the cabin top so I could raise/lower from the cockpit. This gave me 4x purchase plus winching.
My mainsheet cam cleat locked the line a few times so next time I will rig it backwards.
Check the comments above on loosening other shrouds.
Tim Keating 1985 C-25 TR/FK #4940 Midsummer Lake Don Pedro, CA
quote:I was going to disconnect (rather than unscrew) the two forward shrouds, is that a good plan? Seems like if I loosen my single offset backstay it would give me the slack to pull the pin so I can keep the rigging "as-is" over the winter?
You should be able to do it that way. Especially if you have helpers to lower the rig. In my case, lowering and raising the mast were done on the water while the boat was underway. I needed extra safety measures to keep the mast from swaying out of control.
As far as the furler extrusion, is it a CDI?
Edit to add: Don't forget about this part:
quote:You need to loosen the main shrouds for the reason you stated, the mast will rise slightly as it tips backward.
2005 Gemini 105Mc PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK Tampa Bay
For my furler I made a support out of 2 10ft 1x3 boards connected end to end, with a 2ft overlap. When the mast drops to horizontal and the forestay and furler are still under tension, I tie the bottom end of the board to the furler spindle and lace it up the furler to keep it supported and straight. Then I release tension on the forestay and tie the furler and board to the mast. The bottom of the furler extends about 2’6” beyond the bottom of the mast so the boards keep it all together.
I missed this thread when it was first active back in May, but since it has been reactivated I'm going to throw something in here about an alternative to the A-frame method. This is a topic that has been explored repeatedly in this forum, because one of the most important features of the Catalina 25 - especially the swing-keel and winged-keel models - is the ease with which they can be trailered and ramp-launched. These boats readily lend themselves to trailer-sailing; read the excellent articles posted by member 'zeil' (Henk Grasmeyer) about his Cat-250. They are also easy to take home for the winter or to a safe place when a major storm approaches. So for some of us, being able to drop and raise the mast SAFELY is important.
As Steve Milby pointed out above, the SAFEST way to lower the mast is with helpers if they can work together efficiently as a team, and if the boat is sitting where they can stand some distance on each side with tag lines to walk the top of the mast down.
For short-handed lowering/raising, the A-frame is a very useful tool provided you can store it somewhere between uses and bring it to the boat whenever you need it. However, this method might be questionable if you need to drop the mast while the boat is in the water, especially away from a dock and the still waters of a marina. As the mast comes down, the A-frame only provides limited lateral control, so if the boat rolls even a little the mast will want to swing. While this might never be an issue for most owners, it is an obvious limitation for sailing/motoring in places where a low bridge would be an obstacle. I think it might be possible to rig something up using the jibsheet blocks and the halyards to control the lateral movement of the mast, but that's an extra complication when the process is already nerve-wrackingly challenging.
If you want to be able to drop or raise the mast without help when you arrive at a distant launching ramp, and you don't want to have to carry the A-frame with you, or if you want to be able to lower it safely in the water, here is a relatively simple modification that uses the upper shrouds in place of the A-frame.
The challenge is that the anchor points for the upper shrouds are well below the pivot point at the bottom of the mast, so as the top of the mast comes down the shrouds go slack. There is much too much slack to keep the mast anywhere near the vertical plane, so as it comes down it begins to swing to one side or the other. This can damage the tabernacle bracket at the base, and it can be dangerous.
The solution is to add a pivot point in each of the upper shrouds about a foot and a half above the chainplate anchors, directly in line with an imaginary extension of the axis of the bolt through the tabernacle bracket and the bottom of the mast. As the following pictures show, the lower turnbuckle is connected to a ring at that imaginary axis, so it develops relatively little slack throughout the travel of the mast.
As a side note, it has been pointed out that both of the uppper shrouds need to be relaxed initially to accommodate the rise of the mast as it goes up on its rear (or forward) edge just a few degrees from vertical. I reduced this by grinding the bottom of the mast so the aft half is radiused instead of flat (for lowering it aft). Before anyone raises the fear that this compromises the compressive strength of the mast when it sits on the tabernacle bracket during normal operations, I would point out that the physical dimensions of this spar were based on bending strength, and the compressive strength is much, much greater than the loading that would ever be experienced. In fact, the forward portion of the mast base is already supporting most of the compressive force when the mast is canted slightly forward (I had it leaning quite forward before I replaced the old mainsail, with excess tension in the forward lowers and the backstay producing a substantial bow in the middle for that stretched-out old sail).
The complication is that the direction of any tension on this pivot ring moves aft as the top of the mast moves aft on its way down. The short cable running from the ring down to the forward chainplate anchor directly opposes this tension until the mast is down to roughly 45 degrees from vertical. Beyond that point something is needed to hold the ring up at that imaginary pivot axis. This is provided by a solid link between the ring and the upper shroud chainplate anchor. I used threaded rod (3/8x16), with threaded connectors and lifting eyes at top and bottom. I would have preferred a much smaller diameter eye at the bottom, but I had to settle for what was available sized for the threaded end.
As the mast comes down past roughly 45 degrees, the solid link goes into compression and the short cable link to the forward chainplate connection continues to accept the tension from the upper shrouds. I'll point out here that this tension is not substantial. Since the turnbuckles on the upper shrouds were initially loosened, the only tension in this system is from the weight of the mast as it swings in its restricted lateral travel. In theory, if it was possible to keep the top of the mast in plane as it comes down, there would be zero tension in these systems on each side. As a practical matter, the aftward forces on the forward chainplate connection approach zero as the mast comes down anyway, and the direction of those forces never exceeds roughly 45 degrees from vertical.
As wordy as this post already is, here are the pictures, saving 1,000 words each (so they say):
Just a few more things to point out that aren't evident from the pictures. The connections to the chainplate anchors are shackles, and they are semi-permanently secured with thread-locking compound. The forward lower shrouds need to be disconnected before the mast is lowered, so I do that at the turnbuckles. To make the boat road-ready, or for taking the mast back to my shop to work on it, I disconnect all of the shrouds and stays at the lower turnbuckles (recording the number of turns on each).
Another thing to note is that the short cables to the aft lower shroud chainplate anchors seemed like a good idea at the time, but they don't really seem to be necessary; I leave them on there in case I ever need to lower the mast forward, but I haven't encountered such a situation.
I fabricated a roller assembly on poles that I erect on the transom; the mast lowers down onto this, and the roller makes it easy to walk the bottom of the mast forward to set it on a support on the pulpet.
This system requires a gin pole and a lowering/lifting line. I use my adjustable whisker pole as the gin pole, and I keep a haul line run through a block attached to the stem fitting. This line doubles as a forward guy when I use the whisker pole for sailing. There was a short track on the forward side of the mast for adjusting the height of the whisker pole when in normal use, with a locking sliding spinnaker pole ring. I fabricated an assembly to attach the forward end of the pole to the furler drum. The gin pole remains close to the vertical plan as long as the top of the mast stays close to that plane as it comes down. In order to keep the pole vertical from side to side once the haul line is eased, I have a pair of cables connected to the pole end assembly that attach to the shroud pivot rings. They are sized to remain slack until the pole is vertical.
When the mast is fully down the gin pole is almost vertical, and it has the weight of the furler drum attached to it about 10 feet above the cabin top. The two cables keep the pole vertical athwartships until I take my position on the cabin top and begin to lower it. To lower it under control I added a few sections of track to the mast, and a wedge to disengage the ring lock, so the bottom of the gin pole rides back along the mast track as I lower it.
I also fabricated three inverted U-shaped wooden brackets to sit on the mast after it has been lowered, with notches in their tops to accept the furler foil as the gin pole comes down. The foil rides on these, and the drum is supported on a cantilevered assembly attached to the bottom of the mast, when boat is secured for travel.
Aside from the possiblity of an emergency away from one's home marina - or away from any marina for that matter - most Cat-25 owners might never need this option, but I think even those who use the A-frame method might find this a preferrable alternate.
The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.
Lee Panza SR/SK #2134 San Francisco Bay (Brisbane, CA)
We have been using the A-Frame metal pole (never use wood) method for 30 years on our C22's and C25's. It is simple to make, low cost, and quick installation and removal. It stores on our trailer frame for short term or below deck for secure storage if needed. All those connections, and using a whisker pole for a gin pole defeats the whole idea of simplicity for our use. Very interesting concept and explanation and thanks for including the pictures.
Lynn Buchanan 1987 C25 SR/WK #5696 Sailynn Nevada City, CA
Well done John. I like that you were very attentive to all things as it moved and stopped the operation to make adjustments. Really watch the shrouds at the turn buckles...I’ve seen some very strange things happen there and it’s very easy to bend... A couple of points from my viewpoint... 1) try not to put yourself under the mast If it were to come down you’ll not be able to move fast enough to get out of the way. 2) be sure to check the mast plate and it’s attachment to the cabin top is very secure I have seen this point let go a couple of times. One because it was held down with only 1 short lag bolt that had been sealed with silicone. The downward force at that spot can be tremendous and changes direction as you come down. The force moves from vertical to diagonal to almost horizontal. The second was because the Vang tang on the mast was allowed to make contact with the cabin top. This changed the fulcrum point and now the mast was like a hammer pulling a nail...pop went the plate and the mast fell on the stern rail.. both were damaged beyond repair. 3) inspect the forward attachment to the deck. That area is prone to failure on our boats because the wood in the locker is not sealed very well and there can be a lot of moisture coming from your ground tackle. If your bow roller is the newer design and has a tang that extends down the bow you have less to worry about. The deck could still be compromised but that tang is bolted to the thickest section of glass on the boat.
Anyway, really good and cautious job bring it down. Fair winds
Mark- 'Impulse...’ 1978 C25 #533 SR/DIN/FIN ~_/)~ Bakersfield, CA.
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.