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Author Topic: Stepping the Mast  (Read 1417 times)

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  • Guest
Stepping the Mast
« on: September 07, 2001, 04:20:14 PM »

We need to step our mast for maintainence, fix our wind speed indicator, rebed the chain plates,  and check the step for deck compression, etc.  Our boat is not a tall rig.  Is it possible to step the mast ourselves?  What is involved in doing so?  If we have the yard step the mast, approx how much will we pay?  Thanks.


  • Guest
Mast stepping
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2001, 10:21:30 AM »

 Prices vary considerably with geography.  I sail in Central NY and I pay $60 ($50 if there is more than one boat to be done) to have a local crane-truck operator (he's in construction, does boats on the side) come to my marina.  He stays with the truck, will not step on the boat.  It's up to me and usually three helpers to do the boat work and give him directions.  If my marina had a big enough gin pole they would probably not allow me to bring in an "outside contractor."  If your marina has, or you can get to, a self-serve gin pole it usually costs $60 to $75 if you do the work yourself (another local marina requires you to have at least four people involved if you do it yourself, but it's "free" if you keep your boat there and put your name on their waiting list for a scheduled time).  If they provide the labor it is $100 plus $2 for every foot of mast.  The dealer I bought my boat from (Lake Ontario, NY) normally charges $250 for our sized mast and they do all the work and will normally not let you help.  Some very narrow minded marinas won't let you do any work yourself or employ your own contractors on their grounds.  Make sure you ask first.
 You also must have to a place to put the mast once down.  At a minimum you can lay 2" x 6" planks (about 4 ft. long) across the bow pulpit and angled across one corner of the stern pushpit and lay the mast across these.  It should also be supported in the center with a stack of wood blocks.  I made a set of heavy A-frames to support my mast for storage on the boat.  These can be as fancy as you want to make them.  Higher is more convienient to get under, lower is more stable.  Depending on the maintenance you will be doing, it might be better to set the mast on three or four sawhorses on the ground.  In any case, be sure to tie it down well.  Some marinas have racks they place the masts in.  Ask for a low one so you won't need a step ladder to work on the mast.
 I have seen a mast raised by using two similar sized boats tied on either side and using their halyards and winches to raise the middle boat's mast.  This looked like an accident waiting to happen, but they pulled it off smoothly.
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