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Pete McCrary

Mast-stepping aid . .

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Stepping the mizzen mast for my "Chessie," (a Core Sound 20 Mk 3), without assistance is a hazardous procedure.  Although the mast only weighs about 22 pounds, when near verticle, it has to be held overhead by two hands while standing on the cockpit deck -- and simultaneously monouvering (while watching) its base and aligning [the mast] parallel to its stepping tube -- and then lowering it into the tube.  It's a balancing act made without any stabilization other than two feet on the deck!  And if there are any gusts of wind -- it's quite dangerous.

 

Here's my concept that would add a stabilizing 3-D corner that would also guide the heel of the mast right into the tube:

image.thumb.jpeg.810e315f5c04f4b67cc8ce4129783ba3.jpeg

 

The stepping aid would be easily installed over the mizzen's partner tube.  Then, holding the mizzen at its CG with one hand and the mizzen almost horizontal, the heel is then placed at the 3-D corner formed by the stepping aid and the partner tube.  While pressing the heel against the corner, the mast is raised (i.e., rotated) to near vertical to the point where it drops into its tube.  No "balancing" is required and the mast is always under control.

 

At least, that's the concept.  I'll try it and report the result.

Critical comments and suggestions welcom.

 

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I built something very similar to this on the first Summer Breeze (CS-20, Mk-2). It worked pretty well except when the boat was rocking in the water. Never tried with much breeze. I can't find any pictures. On my last Summer Breeze (CS-17, Mk-3), I opted for a tabernacle---MUCH better solution.

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On my Sea Pearl, there is a PVC tube that holds the mast. When I replaced the tubes, I left the tubes about 3" higher than needed and cut a notch above the deck that serves the same purpose as your saddle. Once I get mast pressed up against this, I can walk it up pretty easily, even on the water. I think your plan will work well. I had planned something similar that was a bit smaller and pinned through holes in the seat. I think this is a worthwhile addition.

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Thanks, Steve and Chick.  The extended tube would do the same as my contraption -- and much simpler.  About the only advantage I see in mine is that it can be attached to whichever side of the partner is easiest for stepping.  I'll start fabrication today.

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I copied Don's idea for my CS 17, but with a smaller lip.  Even that much of an edge to push against makes a big difference.  So far I'm ok stepping the mizzen.

 

I've found that the real challenge is pulling the mast out.  I put some marks on the mast portions that are buried so I know when I have 5, 3, 1 inches left so I can be ready for the foot coming loose.  Again, even the small ledge on the foremast tube makes a big difference in giving something to wedge the foot against while bringing the rest under control.  No tabernacle on this design without major redesign..

 

mast collar.gif

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We are stealing Chick's idea and are cutting out thwart out this week to install a tabernacle.  If you ever pull the mizzenmast when afloat a tabernacle makes much sense.  (Also gives a permanent mounting place in the cockpit for "stuff")

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Pete, we haven't heard from you for a while. I'm wondering how you and Chessie are going. Have you been sailing? Have you seen any changes you would like to make? Are you travelling well? Love to hear from you and keep in touch through the forum. People who build and sail their own small yachts are a rare breed and the internet lets us form a helpful and friendly community of 'rare breeds'.

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No, Drew, I haven't been sailing.  "Chessie" has been on the water -- which revealed significant leak(s) around the CB trunk.  In rough water the ingress was approximately 1 to 2 gal/hour.  At a slip in calm water it was much less.  That was Memorial Day weekend (end-of-May).  Since then I've been investigating the sources of leaks into the port-side just aft of Blk 3 and also into the space under the footwell aft of the ballast tank.  Proper repairs will require tilting her to gain access to the CB under the boat.  My shop is not equipped for that -- so "Chessie" is now at B & B.  I expect to retrieve her in a couple of weeks.

 

In the meantime I'm getting things ready for regular sailing and cruising.  Hope to be at the Corsica River Yacht Club Annual Regatta on 7/22 ( http://www.cryc.org/migration/index.htm ).

 

The mast-stepping aid is just about finished:

image.thumb.jpeg.5568c6f488218185a6653ad17b4c2903.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.836e689439646c8ad400c8f7d6f658d9.jpeg

 

The half-tube was made from a 3" ID shipping tube, reinforced with epoxy and fiberglass.  Once the mast-stepping aid is fitted to the mizzen partner, the clamps will be replaced with brackets over the edge of the partner.  The aid is stowed after stepping.  The next photo demonstrates how I anticipate its use.  I think the process will feel very stable and safe.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.786520f970458e03c73dfe1fa3fc7126.jpeg 

 

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Sorry to hear about the leak and look forward to hearing where it was located so I can watch for it when I launch in the next couple of months. Mast stepping aid looks really functional. I now have a big post (tabernacle) standing in the middle of the cockpit to manage the mizzen mast.

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Half your luck. We thought we might go to LA to visit son and grandkids, so they up and go visit Rome. Go figure! Pictures of tabernacle tomorrow my time - promise.

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As promised, the tabernacle. I decided on a height that would clear the cabin top and companionway. The pic with the metre rule shows the top of the tabernacle at about 830mm above the thwart. I built it out of Pacific Maple and simply used the plans for the mainmast tabernacle as a guide. I haven't yet reinforced the area around the hinge point. The cockpit is almost ready for painting, and then I will fit the seat backs.

IMG_2024 - Copy.JPG

IMG_2025 - Copy.JPG

IMG_2026 - Copy.JPG

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Be sure to keep the mast rake as specified. Also, angle the tabernacle a bit so that the mizzen mast will clear the main mast when it's lowered. On "retrofitting" a boat with a mizzen tabernacle, the main probably wasn't angled, so when it's lowered, it will hit the mizzen tabernacle. Actually, not too big a deal, the main mast will bend enough to clear. I like to use a boom gallows to lower the main mast on to. I make my gallows to simply slide in place so it can be removed and stowed below when sailing. But I never do actually remove it.

 

I "boxed" mine in. The lower section is sealed. Be sure that the bottom is well secured to the cockpit sole.

DSCN1777.JPG

 

The cross bar has closet pole sections on the ends that slide into the upright poles that are made from 1-1/2 inch aluminum tubing. The tubing slips into sections of 1-1/2 inch PVC pipe that's built into the cockpit coaming. The PVC pipes are flush with the top of the coaming.

DSCN1889.JPG

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Drew and Chick......thanks for pics any thoughts. I'm sitting in an airport waiting for a plane. A thought occur that the mast must stick pretty far forward past the bow. I will review this when I get home. In any case I can build but not attach before the boat comes out of my walk out basement door. I have 3/4" clearance to get her out. 

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Thanks Chick, I forgot to mention rake and offset, both of which I have done. I decided not to enclose the bottom because I am keen to ensure no areas where moisture can remain undetected. Even with the seat backs I am incorporating weep holes and air holes to ensure ventilation and allow moisture to escape.

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Drew, ALWAYS good to allow water to escape and to ventilate.

Steve, My mast sticks 33-1/2 inches past the point of the bow. You could always pull the pivot bolt and slide the mast aft if it's a problem. The tabernacle would still act as a "crutch" to support the mast.

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