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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
 Catalina 25 Specific Forum
 Mast Stepping
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TwistyMcFisty
Deckhand

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10 Posts

Initially Posted - 11/05/2022 :  03:55:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok…so my boat is still on the trailer and I want to raise/lower the mast a few times before I eventually get to the launch site.
I have a homemade A frame rig that the previous owner made. He said he used the trailer winch to raise the mast.
I should have asked more questions but I did not.
The yellow strap that is currently on the winch surely couldn’t be long enough could it…??
I was thinking of maybe buying a dedicated strap just for raising/lowering…?
If I need to get one, any suggestions on length/width??

Also, any other tips for a first time mast-raiser-upper?? #128540;

1977 Catalina 25
Standard rig, swing keel

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5762 Posts

Response Posted - 11/05/2022 :  05:14:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I only raised my mast once with an A frame, and I used the mainsheet instead of the trailer winch. When raising the mast without using an A frame, I added a piece of rope to the jib halyard. You can probably do the same when using your trailer winch. My advice is that you use the mainsheet instead of the trailer winch. It eliminates that issue, and I think the mainsheet is much more reliable than a trailer winch, which gets rusted and the strap gets sun-rotted.

Also, I'd recommend against practicing it a few times. Once is enough to get the procedure clear in your mind. Each time you raise the mast, you risk bending a shroud, and they're expensive to replace. As the mast rises, sometimes a turnbuckle gets turned, and the threaded fitting gets bent. An easy way to avoid that is to align the stays so that they will be straight when the mast rises. Then tie them to the lifelines with a rubber band. When the stays become taut, the rubber band will break.

Steve Milby J/24 "Captiva Wind"
previously C&C 35, Cal 25, C25 TR/FK, C22
Past Commodore
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TwistyMcFisty
Deckhand

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10 Posts

Response Posted - 11/05/2022 :  06:01:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bending the shrouds???

I assumed everything would be unattached while raising…?

1977 Catalina 25
Standard rig, swing keel

Outer Banks, North Carolina
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5762 Posts

Response Posted - 11/05/2022 :  06:27:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Only the forward lowers are disconnected. The uppers should be attached, but slightly loosened. The aft lowers should be just slightly slack when the mast is fully raised.

When you lower the mast, there's no reason to disconnect any of the stays except the forward lowers. The uppers should be slightly loosened. When the mast is down, coil each stay and tie, tape, or bungee them to the mast.

Steve Milby J/24 "Captiva Wind"
previously C&C 35, Cal 25, C25 TR/FK, C22
Past Commodore
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5109 Posts

Response Posted - 11/05/2022 :  07:55:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steve basically hit the nail on the head regarding a great method for raising and lowering the mast. I like using the mainsheet because I know that it’s solid and won’t break, and I can control the action right from the cabin-top.
Yes, when tight, the stays and shrouds keep the mast erect when raised, so the backstay prevents the mast from falling forward, the port upper shroud keeps it from falling to starboard, likewise the starboard upper shroud prevents the mast from falling to port. That’s why you need the stays and shrouds to be attached while raising and lowering the mast.
I’ve encountered the backstay starting to kink during raising the mast one time as it coiled into a small loop. If I had gone any further it would have bent and the backstay would have been ruined. It’s easy to see how a turnbuckle bolt could get bent too. There’s a lot of force in a small area. Using long rubber bands to keep tension on shrouds is a good strategy, if you can find long rubber bands. Short bungees work too.
While raising the mast, I always ask a friend to stand in the cockpit to keep the mast from swinging out to right or left during the rise. It’s less of a problem while dropping the mast, but it’s good to have someone help aim the far end of the mast into the cradle at the stern. This cradle should be tall enough to prevent the mast from resting on the companionway cover when it drops, which could damage the mast.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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TwistyMcFisty
Deckhand

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10 Posts

Response Posted - 11/05/2022 :  13:44:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
These are a big help!!
I definitely plan on using the winch.
The PO fabricated a cradle and an A frame for mast raising using the winch, so I’m just going to stick witb what has worked in the past.
Maybe I’ll just get some 40’ strap and go for it.

1977 Catalina 25
Standard rig, swing keel

Outer Banks, North Carolina
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3956 Posts

Response Posted - 11/05/2022 :  14:06:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A little heads up, when you have the mast down and go to remove the bolt from the mast step the mast is going to want to come up so keep some downward pressure on the mast.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Davy J
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1511 Posts

Response Posted - 11/06/2022 :  06:50:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi there Twisty,

You may have come across some of my videos on the topic if you have used the search function. And I've lost count on how many times I've discussed this here, but watch these.

One other thing, I used a few items that were needed to speed up the process, but that are not needed for lowering the mast infrequently, such as the quick disconnects and the furling line blocks. One of the items that I think are a very good idea is adding the small tangs on the A-frame legs. They greatly add stability to the rig as it comes down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r33VCObNroY


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsLxujYRsMQ/url]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwrmxKPdaY4/url]




Davy J


2005 Gemini 105Mc
PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK
Tampa Bay
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5109 Posts

Response Posted - 11/08/2022 :  06:21:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow! That’s the first time I watched “Mast Underway”. Pretty radical! I love the casual approach with your lines led to the cockpit. While not shown in the video, I trust that once you put the mast back up, you went forward and reattached the forestay to the deck bow chainplate and the forward lower shrouds, and adjusted all the shrouds and stays for tension. Do you just count revolutions or use a gauge?

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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Davy J
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1511 Posts

Response Posted - 11/08/2022 :  07:28:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, once the mast is upright, the shrouds got tightened back up. Then the boom get attached and then the backstay get tensioned.

I counted the number of turns for the shrouds, however, I carried a Loos Gauge if I needed it. In my case, I had a quick disconnect on the backstay, no adjustment needed.

Davy J


2005 Gemini 105Mc
PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK
Tampa Bay
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5109 Posts

Response Posted - 11/12/2022 :  07:02:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Davy, is this the sort of
quick release
that you’re describing?

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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Davy J
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1511 Posts

Response Posted - 11/13/2022 :  06:56:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That one looks similar, but this is the actual quick release I used, purchased from Catalina Direct:

https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-by-boat/catalina-250/rigging/standing-rigging/quick-release-lever-c-25-rigging/?SearchResults=1/url]

Davy J


2005 Gemini 105Mc
PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK
Tampa Bay
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