Trouble Lifting Mast
June 10, 2018 at 2:11 pm #10194
As a new owner and relatively small woman, I find that raising and lowering the mast are creating quite a bit of anxiety for me.
I don’t have the upper body strength to lift the mast into place while standing on the ground. I have managed it a couple times by myself while standing on top of the boat. This gives me the ability to get the mast to vertical on the ground, then lift it up to the deck, using leg strength. I’ve added an extension to the forestay so I can “pre-cleat” it, so that once in place I can reach down and secure the mast while I hop off and walk forward to finish securing it. This has worked but still seems a bit dicey if the wind is blowing. I’ve also learned (the hard way!) to chock the wheels on the trolley while I’m up there.
I’ve thought about the folding mast base option but they aren’t available from Weta anymore. On my Hobie Bravo, I have no problem stepping the mast once it’s secured at the base.
Does anyone have other ways of getting this done? I am reasonably fit for a 57 year old woman but at 5ft, 7in tall the last part of lifting the mast up to the deck seems impossible.
Thanks in in advance for any help,
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June 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm #10195
I have the same problem. I was thinking of trying to figure out a way to tie the mast to the base, and then use the halyards to rotate it backward and up. So I’ll be watching this space for any answers.
June 12, 2018 at 9:13 pm #10196
I too have the same issue. I’m 5’1 and 102 lbs. I solved the problem by getting a yard cover made for it and keeping it assembled and mostly ready to go. HIGHLY recommended.
If the boat has to be moved, I have to rely on someone to wander up and help me get it up. There is a female Weta sailor in FL who has a system to lift it herself. It involves a sort of line-girdle around the mast. It’s not complicated. I was able, with a bit of difficulty, to raise it myself using that.
I’ll see if I can find a picture and will post it. This issue is a real hardship for we smaller folk.
June 12, 2018 at 9:22 pm #10197
Where did you get your “yard cover”? And yes, please, post photos of the system used to lift the mast into place. I usually have to wrangle 2 teenagers to get the mast up on my boat (and they often are grumpy about early morning sail rigging).
June 13, 2018 at 11:07 pm #10199
I have asked Roger at Weta about the hinged mast step and they have been let down by suppliers going bust so now are looking for a supplier in Batam.
You can get mast up covers from a number of suppliers including those listed here http://wetaforum.com/forums/topic/weta-boat-covers/
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Paul White.
June 14, 2018 at 3:15 pm #10203
If you’re talking with Roger at Weta again, could you pass on the idea that they could make a video on how a smallish woman can rig the boat? We could use tips on:
- How to rig the mast, when you aren’t strong enough to dead lift it onto the moosehead, and then onto the bow and somehow hold it in place while getting the forestay attached.
- How to slot the amas by yourself. Tricky!
- How to raise the main sail by yourself, especially when it comes out of the track. (I usually pull on the line with a rigging tool, while kiddo feeds the sail into the track.)
At this point, I need a teenager to (grumpily) come outside to help me rig, as I’m not strong enough to do these three things. I can (however) have a blast sailing my Weta!
~ Susie, with Weta 707, “X-Wing”
June 15, 2018 at 12:05 am #10209
I’ve passed on your request to Roger. In the meantime, you may be interested in the method developed by Linda Wright who shares your physique.
”I have posted some photos to help illustrate how I (being challenged in height and upper body strength) step the mast by myself. The mast is very light, but I still find it to be a shaky affair and prefer a more secure means of stepping and unstepping the mast, even though it takes a little longer to set up.
First, install a small pad eye at the base of the mast on the forward side.
The following steps are for taking the mast down. Putting the mast up is the reverse of it, but harder to describe going in that direction.
Step 1. Run a single, continuous line from pad eye at base of mast, through a downhaul block on the bar immediately behind the mast (starboard side), through a cleat (starboard side), through a cleat (port side), through a downhaul block on the bar (port side) and tie to pad eye again.
Cleat in such a way that there is enough room to move the mast forward by one diameter of the base.
Step 2. Tie on a second, much longer lashing line to the forestay, lead back to one of the jib sheet cleats and hang it on the horn cleat on the mast so you can reach it later. Now, you can unlash the primary lashing line completely. Then un-cleat the long line to let the mast rock back a little bit on the bar …enough so that you can just see part of it showing at the groove and re-cleat it.
Step 3. Get into the boat and lift the mast straight up off the bar and set on deck just forward of the mast base (base tether line should no longer be slack. At this point, mast is still secure, even if you let go of it.
Step 4. Now take long line off of horn cleat, but do NOT un-cleat from jib sheet cleat until you are standing sideways as far back in the boat as you can without tipping backwards (my back foot is just forward of the tether pad eye in the bottom of the boat).
Step 5. Put one hand on the mast approximately shoulder level and un-cleat the long line with the other hand. Now you can ease the mast back slowly, grab with both hands and ease it down until it is resting on the aft beam where it meets the socket (somewhat of a diagonal angle from mast base).
The ability to lay the mast a bit away from the centerline of the boat is one advantage of this system over a fixed, stainless hinge that forces the mast to lay straight down the middle. It gives you room to get into the center of the boat when lifting and lowering the mast. The lines at the base, if adjusted correctly, limit the amount the base can kick up to almost nothing. When initially raising the mast, you will have the mast base just forward of the step and can lean into the tether line for leverage as you are lifting it up off the aft beam.”
Note that the photos are from her boat which had been modified to take part in the Everglades Challenge with a self-tacking jib and bow steering system for use when paddling while sitting on the bow.
October 27, 2018 at 8:24 pm #10264
Susie asked :
How to slot the amas by yourself.
Put the boat on some grass or sand.
Lift the Ama from the trolley and lay it on the grass/sand so that the ama arms line up with the hole in the main hull (you may need to do this by moving the end of the arm so it lines up). Now lift the ama so it remains horizontal (lift just aft of the forward arm) and push the ama arms into the holes. Tighten the tramp ties to make sure they are fully inserted.
How to raise the main sail by yourself, especially when it comes out of the track.
If the mainsail is coming out of the track, then you need to replace the section of track!
Also use silicon spray to lubricate the track.
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Paul White.
June 15, 2018 at 4:36 pm #10212
Ingenious work on Linda Wright’s part!
October 27, 2018 at 7:52 pm #10261
October 27, 2018 at 8:03 pm #10262
Some more tips for mast raising:
1. Raise the mast on the trolley, not the trailer. It reduces the height you have to lift the mast.
2. Turn the boat stern-to-wind. This keeps you from fighting the wind when lifting the mast on deck (the shrouds keeping the mast from blowing forward).
3. Use the two-step approach, resting the mast vertically on the moose head before raising it onto the deck (or climbing on deck) this greatly shortens the final lift.
4. Tie an extension to the screecher halyard and run it through the bow ring and back through one of the jibsheet cam cleats. Put the bitter end, with plenty of slack, into a pocket before climbing on deck. When the mast is in its step, take out the slack and cleat it. Remove the halyard extension once the forestay is in secured.
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Paul White.
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