Topic: Mast Lowering and Raising While Underway

I live in Sarasota Florida and may be moving to Minnesota.

I am considering sailing up the eastcoast and then west through the Great Lakes to Duluth, MN.

To do this I will have to lower my mast in the St. Lawrence and raise it again when I enter the lakes.

Have any other members developed a mast raising and lowering system that a single hander can use for a trip such as this?

I am considering tilting the mast forward using the boom and mainsheet.

Advice will be much appreciated.



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JJT Contessa 26 #320

Re: Mast Lowering and Raising While Underway

Re: Mast Lowering and Raising While Underway


I have been looking at Klackso's twin A frame idea. 

It does look like a good approach.

Maybe I'll have to measure up my Contessa for a set of such frames.

Also, because the tabernackle has provisions for a pivot bolt on both the fore and aft side, I have been considering placing a pivot bolt in the forward position and tilting the mast toward the bow using the boom as a gin pole. 

The forward-tilt approach would also require A frames or some stout above-deck pivot points for stabilizing lines, possibly the halyards, to keep the mast and boom in line but the compression forces would be handled by the boom.

I think that the main advantage of a forward-tilt method is that the forestay, mainstays, forward lower stays, boom, and mainsheet would remain in position.  Only the aft lower stays and the backstay would be disconnected.

Upon hoisting, the mast would become stable as long as there was tension on the mainsheet and the rig would become fully functional and tuned as soon as the aft lower stays and the backstay are reattached.

However, I have never seen it done using the forward-tilt approach I described above so I am searching for advice.



JJT Contessa 26 #320

4 (edited by Dave Aultfather 2013-06-26 15:42:17)

Re: Mast Lowering and Raising While Underway

Well, I just looked at the Repairs/Modifications/Upgrades section and saw the reference to Steve Stewart's forward-tilt mast raising system.

It looks a lot like what I was considering.

JJT Contessa 26 #320

Re: Mast Lowering and Raising While Underway

You could take a short cut up the Hudson River and then the Erie Canal.  It's a very pretty route but you'll have to lower the mast and motor for most of the way. There are lots of marinas that will raise and lower your mast for minimal cost if you shop around.

Re: Mast Lowering and Raising While Underway

That is a good alternative route.

Right now I am considering sailing her north but, because available time might be a problem, I am also considering the possibility of having her transported over land.

My third alternative, and least attractive, is to sell her here in Florida before relocating.


JJT Contessa 26 #320