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ROWDY'S Mast Raising/Lowering System (updated January 29, 2015)  

December 24, 2014. We have a Christmas gift from Jerry Slaughter - his mast raising/lowering system for ROWDY, his Marscot/O'Day #5 - emails consolidated with minor edits

Hi Ron,

I thought I might start explaining how I intend to raise and lower my mast. The set up is based on the systems used for the Corsair 31, the O'Day 23, and the PY 23. All of these systems have utube demo's on the web. (this is the link to the Corsair 31 demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqsbJn475_g)

I picked and chose aspects of each system and modified where I needed to. The guy on the Corsair 31 demo exudes so much confidence tossing that big extrusion around that I copied a lot from him. First I needed a roller for the mast to lay on so I could move the mast fore and aft and not have it tip overboard when unpinned at the step.

Click on the photos for a larger image - click the return arrow on your browser to get back here

For that I used a 10 foot pressure treated 2x4 with a keel roller attached at one end and an eye bolt at the other. The mast will set on the roller and the eye bolt will be used to attach the rig to the centerboard cleat. Since I haven't dropped the mast yet and I don't know the measurement from the mast base to the spreaders, I am not sure if the ten footer is long enough or if a longer board will be needed. If you have that measurement it would be helpful. (On Marionette's mast that measurement is 15 feet, 4 inches)

If my spreaders are 15' 4" from the base plate, they are at the mid (balance) point of the mast (my mast being about 30' long). What I'll have to do is measure from my base plate to the roller to see if the roller is at the least at, or preferably a little beyond, the balance point. That is where I need to be to maintain control over the mast when it is unpinned from the deck plate.

Secondly I needed a gin pole that would distribute the loads on the hoisting line and the mast base.

For this I purchased a piece of aluminum flat plate 5" x 15", 8 feet of 1" schedule 40 aluminum pipe, and a piece of 1/4" aluminum round bar 24" long. I made a pattern of the mast profile out of two pieces of 2x4 scrap and glued them up. This was used to form the gin pole saddle. The pipe was welded to the forward top position of the saddle. It was welded to the top because I wanted the pole to clear the fore hatch.

Next the other end of the pole was crimped down to the diameter of the 24" bar. The bar was bent into a "V" shape and welded to the pole. Two eye bolts were attached to the "V" end of the pole which will be attachments for stabilizing lines. The stabilizing lines will attach at the chainplates.

Finally, I drilled through the mast and saddle and made a pin out of a 6" x 1/4" SS bolt. The trailer winch will provide all the power, same as the Corsair's trailer. I'm having new halyards made for the boat and when that is done we will be ready for a test run

Click on the photo for a larger view

Click on above photos for a larger view

This set up is made for a boat with a stern pulpit (pushpit). A different stern roller would need to be designed for those without a stern rail to lean against. The gin pole saddle is pinned thru the saddle and mast down as low as it can go. My original mast step was an aluminum casting bolted to the cabin roof. It was about 5-6" tall so when I picked a spot to drill for the pin I made sure the pin would go through the mast and the step.

Here's the mast step setup

Click on the photos above for a large view

Keep up the great work on the site and I will be talking, via e-mail, to you next year. And, by the way, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your Loved ones.



January 29. 2015. Jerry sent in the following update

Hi rRon

All my work on the mast raising rig for Rowdy has been focused on this day, actually yesterday. The marina, at Corpus Christi, is in the process of rebuilding and as a result many of the boats in "dry slips" have been displaced so they can use the area for materials storage. My vacate day was yesterday so I was going to have to drop my mast and go seeking another home.

The crew

I got in touch with some of my fellow yacht club folks and arranged for a mini club meeting at Rowdy. I actually only called one guy and he put out the word.

The boss - Note the safety back up sysyem

We have a mast raising/lowering pole at the marina but I only wanted to use it to rig a safety line in case things got out of hand. Although this was supposed to be a one man operation I did use the enthusiastic helpers to loosen turnbuckles and tail the safety line. Mostly they were watchers and helpful critics. It's unfortunate but I only got a couple of photos at the beginning and half way through the process. The gin pole worked as advertised, thank you Corsair 31 and the mast roller at the stern was in the perfect position, one foot above the spreaders. When I pulled the hinge plate pin the mast stayed put and I was able to move the mast forward relatively easy. That sucker is kinda heavy!

A couple of observations are in order (lessons learned). The gin pole control lines, port and starboard, are tied off at the chain plates and I tied them snuggly. They need to have a bit of slack.

> The critics noted a significant bend in the gin pole about three quarters through the drop and that had to be putting a lot of pressure on the mast step. I used my jib halyard and trailer winch strap as my lowering lines.

Not a fair lead

> My bow pulpit was a bit in the way of a fair run from the mast head sheave to the trailer roller, at the winch, but that didn't seem to matter other than appearances and the potential for the pole to buckle.

When mast is down Jerry can unpin the hinge plate and move the mast forward with the other end riding on the roller

> My stern mast roller needs to have some ears on it to keep the mast from rolling off of the roller. That didn't happen but the potential was there. A wider roller would have probably fixed that, mine is only 4 inches wide so I could use a 2x4 as a pole.

I got to the boat at 10:20 am and the whole process, including setting the mast for transport was complete at 12:30 pm. It seemed much longer and I really had to do a double take to be sure I read the watch right. I don't think I'm going to have any problems with this system but I'm still mindful of the fact I have not raised the mast yet.

Sorry about the lack of pictures, I'll try to do better next time.


Stay Tuned



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