Lowering and raising the mast, while on the water. (By Coenie)
Only two crew are required to lower and raise the mast.
1. Remove boom and main sail.
2. Release tension on the back stay
3. If you have 2 pins on the foot of the mast through the tabernacle, remove the bottom one.
4. Secure the spinnaker or jib halyard to a strong place on the bow, like the anchor roller.
5. Winch the halyard in order to remove tension from the forestay.
6. Put some protection on the deck for the mast to rest on once it is fully down.
7. Remove the pin of the forestay while the halyard is firmly cleated.
8. One crew then stands right behind the mast and the other slowly releases the tension on the halyard.
9. The mast will then come down. The first crew member will then slowly walk the mast down and the other will slowly release the halyard until the angle of the mast will be as such that the halyard will no longer hold the mast. The second crew member then also support the mast and then lay it “softly” down on the deck.
Raising the mast requires some more preparation:
1. Take both bottle screws in hand, let it stand up straight and wind some masking- or insulation tape around it. Make sure that is stays up right through the raising process. The reason is if you raise the mast it will bend the bottle screws if it is not in the up right position.
2. Make sure the shrouds will not foul on the deck while raising the mast.
3. Make sure the loose end of the halyard is around the mast winch.
4. Two crew members will then lift the mast until the halyard can be used again to winch it up further.
5. Make sure the mast stays in the middle position while raising, if not it will put pressure on the tabernacle.
6. While raising the mast keep an eye on the bottle screws and the shrouds.
7. When the mast is fully up, secure the forestay.
8. Release the tension on the halyard and put tension on the backstay again.
9. Sit down and drink a cold lager!
10. Now put back the boom and main sail
12. Sit down and drink another cold one.
This is roughly how I lower and raise my H23's mast. Please help me to fine tune on more detail.
Shoo, this makes it sound easy. I guess it is if both crew members are strong and above average height! Personally, I only do it on the hard.
The ‘pole’ is indeed part of the process. You run the halyard over it to increase the angle between the halyard and the mast when lifting it. Some just have a ‘U’ at the top, others a deep groove wheel.
I found that the stays sometimes slip out the top fixing position on the way up-then you have to lower it again! I took to putting a single wrap of insulation tape (NOT masking tape-it sticks too well to the mast) around the stay sleeves at the top before it goes up-as they take tension, it breaks loose and hangs there-retrieve with a boat hook...
Coenie, one small comment to add regarding the mast exercise - - before lowering, make sure there is enough free aerial cable and or electrical cable for lights etc! I discovered this step the hard way!! (try joining aerial cable when its just out of reach up the mast!)
An idea for next article: A diagram showing all rigging in detail - I am still not exactly sure which sheet goes where and especially on the mast - which sheet is supposed to run over which pully etc. But then again I am a novice. Maybe everyone else knows?