In an article in NovemberI touched upon the use of a quick and easy way for the lone sailor to raise or lower the mast on the typical small cruiser. Ensuing months brought a number of inquiries clamoring for more details regarding rigging.
In truth, ponder as I might, I could never come up with a suitable mast-raising method on my own. However, I have a good friend, Gerry Catha, who is an airline pilot, aircraft builder, and fellow Com-Pac 23 sailor. He grew tired of my whining and worked out the following solution. I am grateful to him for redefining and perfecting the hardware involved and generously passing along the method to be adapted by his fellow sailors.
The instability of the stand-alone gin-pole has long made its use fraught with many of the same safety concerns associated with the use of trained elephants in mast stepping.
The greatest fear factor involved in the process has always been the tendency of the mast-gin-pole combination to sway out of control during the lift. This is the pivoting point for the gin-pole, which, of course, supplies the leverage. On the upper end of the gin-pole, two smaller, opposing eyebolts provide attachment points for bridles, halyard, and boom vang.
Again, I must say that I have already heard of a number of different variations regarding attachments, hardware, and so on, as each individual adapts the idea to his particular boat, budget, and attention span. The critical thing to understand about this mast-raising technique is that in order for the mast and gin-pole lines to stay tight and keep the mast and gin-pole centered over the boat, the bridles must have their pivot points located on an imaginary line running through the mast pivot bolt.
Terrel Chappell used to attract sympathetic onlookers to help with mast raising by appearing to struggle with the problem alone. These days she and Ron can raise the stick without help, and they prefer it that way.
There are two bridles. Each bridle consists of four runs of line, one end of each terminating in the same stainless steel ring, which forms the central pivot point of that particular bridle. In operation, this ring must be centered directly across from the mast step pivot bolt. The longest of the four lines will go to a point as high as you can reach on the mast secured to a padeye using a stainless snap.
The second longest run attaches to the top of the gin-pole, snapped to an eyebolt. The two bottom runs, your shorter lines, are attached fore and aft to stanchion bases, though a toerail will work as well. It is imperative that the steel ring be centered directly in line with the mast pivot point when all lines are taut. This is accomplished by the location and lengths of the two bottom lines. Clip the jib halyard to the uppermost eye on the gin-pole and bring it to an approximate degree angle to the mast and tie it off.
Next, secure one end of the boom vang cleat end to a point as far forward on the deck as possible and the remaining end to the top of the gin-pole opposite the jib halyard. With all bridle lines taut and the mechanical advantage of the boom vang facilitating the lifting, you can slowly raise the spar at your leisure.
Since the mast and gin-pole are equally restrained port and starboard, they will go straight up or down without wandering from side to side. Using the auto-cleat on the boom vang, you can halt the process any time shrouds or lines need straightening or become caught up. This reduces the stress factor tremendously and allows for a calm, orderly evaluation and fix of the problem. I might note that, due to variations in shroud adjustment and slight hull distortions, you may find the port and starboard bridle will be of slightly different dimensions, making it necessary to devise some sort of visual distinction between the two sides.
I spray-painted the ends of the lines on each side, red or green, for instant identification. Stainless steel snaps on the rigging end of these lines make for quick and easy setup.
I find that it takes us about 15 minutes to deploy the entire system and only 10 minutes or so to take it down and put it away. Each bridle rolls up into a bundle about the size of a tennis ball for storage. The bridles go into a locker, and the gin-pole attaches to the trailer until next it is needed.
Granted, launch time is extended by a few minutes, but the safety factor gained is immeasurable, especially for sailors who must perform the entire operation by themselves. I have used this method on masts up to 25 feet long and in quite strong side winds with no problem and have found it to be the most expeditious way to raise or lower a mast should trained elephants not be readily available.
Complimentary monthly supplement. Our website is getting some long overdue improvements! Home Projects No fear mast stepping!A gin pole is a supported pole that uses a pulley or block and tackle on its upper end to lift loads. The lower end is braced or set in a shallow hole and positioned so the upper end lies above the object to be lifted. The pole also known as a mastboomor spar is secured with three or more guy-wires.
These are manipulated to move the load laterally,  with up and down controlled by the pulley or block. The gin pole is derived from a gynand considered a form of derrickcalled a standing derrick or pole derrick distinguished from sheers or shear legs by having a single boom rather than a two-legged one.
When used to create a segmented tower, the gin pole can be detached, raised, and re-attached to the just-completed segment in order to lift the next. This process of jumping is repeated until the topmost portion of the tower is completed.
They can also hold a person if strong enough. Thus opening stage uses, such as in magic shows. Gin poles are mounted on trucks as a primitive form of mobile crane, used for lifting and relocating loads, and salvage operations in lieu of a more sophisticated wrecker. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A treatise on civil engineering.
New York: J. General and disaster rescue skills for emergency services personnel PDF 5th ed. Dickson, A. Archived from the original PDF on 21 March Retrieved 5 July Categories : Tools Cranes machines Lifting equipment Architecture stubs. Hidden categories: Commons category link is on Wikidata All stub articles. Namespaces Article Talk.
I just wanted to say thanks because I enjoyed reading your article even if I do not plan on doing it. I saw a T16 for sale and wondered if it was difficult to step the mast. Your description helped a lot. Jim Morrison, Hansville, WA.
Come to think of it there are way more than five bad things. I'm 69 years old. I love my Tanzer, Iteration If you are young, strong, and tall you can step the mast with a bit of a struggle. I could see the day coming soon when I wouldn't be able to raise it by myself. If you are not quite ready to take a hacksaw to your mast, see post April 23, for an idea that will take a good share of the grief out of mast raising. All of the Tanzer Overnighters have hinged masts.
The O'Day Daysailor has a hinged mast At the very bottom of this page, you can see another approach to making a hinged mast. It does not use a gin pole in this application, but does allow you to "walk" the mast up. In addition there is a section describing another way to get the mast up with less fuss. John Juday has come up with a way to keep the mast aligned to the keelson without hinges.
It is similar to D'Arcy Grant's method. D'Arcy's plan works on early boats while John's set-up works on "newer" boats. From Tanzer 16 plans. The Tanzer is a great boat, and part of that greatness is its simplicity -- non-tapered mast, no spreaders--but that mast is one heavy momma At some point you have to get this thing up at the vertical, then pick it up at the bottom and drop it on the keelson while it is spiraling around in mid air 20 feet above your head.I put the forestay and furler back together and bolted the top of the assembly to the hounds.
Installed the genoa sheets to the clew of the foresail, the main and spinnaker halyards to their respective blocks, and slid the entire mast back until I could install the mast base bolt into the tabernacle. I made it from a galvanized fence post, building a saddle to fit snugly around the mast from plywood, and a twenty-dollar winch. It cost less than forty dollars in parts and allows me to get the mast up and down all by myself.
Now I attach the spinnaker halyard to the top of the gin pole, at the same point where the opposing force of the winch will happen. So I pass one end of the spin halyard around and through the U-bolt that also acts as an anchor point for the winch pulley, and tie the halyard to itself. Then, the winch line is pulled tight and passed through an eye bolt I mounted just behind the foredeck cleat.
The gin pole should end up being perpendicular to the mast when you begin cranking on the winch and the lines go taut. The backstay can also get tangled up with the now-unused mast support in the cockpit, so there are a few things to watch on the way up. I believe that this very problem presented itself to a previous owner, causing yours truly to need to re-glass under the tabernacle when I first brought the boat home. Their function is to keep the possible swaying to a minimum until the shrouds can take over the job.
When the mast is vertical, I tighten the winch in small increments until I can pin the forestay to the chainplate. Looks like you are being very busy. Not so much here. Sharon had a knee replacement and then a stroke in the recovery room. I am still thinking of making my boat into a pilothouse — but Sharon wants me to leave it alone and use it or sell it. Maybe next year I get to go to Mexico.
Looks like you have been having fun down there. Very sorry to hear this, Bob. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email.
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The Amazing Gin Pole Lifter!
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I attached a photo of what I am looking for. Mast Raising Set Up. Gin pole designs vary widely based on the owners preference and investment and intent of use. I prefer a self contained pole system that I can use while on the water if needed. Our 1st gin pole was merely a 6 foot long 2x6 board with a notch cut at one end to fit mast and a u-bolt and a pulley at the other end. I bolted a trailer winch I had laying around to it and walla!
Wasn't pretty or sophisticated but it did the trick just fine. I've since built several other variations looking to reduce weight and rig. Current one is a light weight 6 ft galvanized steel fence pole with the same pulleys ubolt and winch and a steel yoke I put on the end for the mast end fits on the mast bolt. Some day when I'm flush with cash I'll make one from light weight telescoping aluminum tube and get a brake winch. Most of the loads are borne by the attachment of the halyard and the attachment to the deck cleat - the pole is really there to just support it all - doesn't have to be super over built.
Try searching these forums and I'm sure you will find many designs and opinions - choose your poison. Do you really need a gin pole on a 19 ft boat?? Apr 27, 1, Hunter 23 Lake Wallenpaupack. I don't have a 19 so can't help with specific dimensions. However, what you want is a pole that when the mast is vertical will extend forward to near but not quite as far as the forestay. You will be using some sort of block and tackle to pull the pole attached to mast via halyard down until the mast is vertical.
Then while held in that position you attach the forestay to its chainplate, in front of the fore end of the gin pole and the line from the mast down to the gin pole upper eye or other such fitting. Rick Webb. Jun 2, 2, Hunter Gin Pole Info Plus More is Available Somewhere on the site here are electronic files of the original manual and additional files that have a drawing with the specs for the pole.As designed, there is no easy way to hinge the mast at the deck for easier raising and lowering because the cabin trunk is in the way.
This forces one to use a crane or fixed gin pole at a boatyard or yacht club. My philosophy behind choosing the Sprite was to find the prettiest and most seaworthy all around classic keelboat that I could trailer, launch and store on my own, without a boatyard. There are plenty of deep water ramps where I live, and the 23 footer, at about lbs including a trailer, is not beyond the capacity of an average SUV or mid size pickup.
It also fits in my driveway. After getting a trailer made for the boat all I needed to do to be completely self-sufficient was solve the mast raising problem.
Assuming that the mast can be hinged somehow, the approach then is to rig a hinging gin pole at deck level, and in line with the mast step. The hinging gin pole acts as a lever, with a fulcrum at the mast base.
This is rigged using the jib halyard fixed to the end of the gin pole, a block at the stem-head, and a line lead aft to a winch, to raise and lower the mast.
His arrangement had a single pole butted at the base of the mast, and required guys to keep it vertical. But first, back to solving the problem of hinging the mast. The mast needs to hinge at a height that will clear the cabin trunk.
Mast Raising Gin Pole
Our design is loosely based on tabernacles seen on some classic gaff rigged boats, as well as a more modern interpretation that we saw on a Cape Dory 27 Pilothouse cutter, that had a similar cabin trunk clearance problem as the Sprite. The tabernacle needs to be strong enough to handle the loads associated with raising and lowering the mast, and once the mast is up, it needs to fix the base of the mast firmly. We designed it based on the specifications of the Dwyer DM mast section that came standard with my hull.
One can vary the design dimensions if using a different mast section. Repair the deck first, or as part of the project. The design also requires minor modifications to the mast. The bottom of the mast will need to be cut for two reasons; first to maintain the original total height of the rig, and second, a clearance relief cut is made to allow the bottom of the mast to arc into the step.
You also need to drill a pivot hole in the mast. The next thing to fabricate is the A frame gin pole. The gin pole needs to fit within the foretriangle; so it will be about The A frame design is made with two poles, a cross piece, and requires two hinging bases. I have been a windsurfer for over 30 years so I had alot of accumulated windsurf hardware and broken masts collecting dust in my garage. I used two carbon fiber mast sections for the uprights.
I realize that most people reading this article will not have the accumulated windsurf gear that I had. In lieu of that the key parts for fabrication are two poles, and a hinge assembly for each foot. I recommend a visit to the marine consignment shops. Two old spinnaker poles would work well for the uprights. For the hinging bases, cast aluminum spinnaker pole deck chocks will work well. I would cut off or remove the spinnaker pole ends.
This will be your hinge assembly. In lieu of spinnaker chocks, you can also source aluminum or other angle iron at most small hardware stores. Lastly, the cross piece can be any scrap wood you have, as long as it is not a soft wood, like pine. This piece should be about feet long. You will lash this to the pulpit in the center. Now for the moment of truth. Regarding your comment about the pivot point; I think you are referring to the pivot point of the tabernacle, which is not at deck level.
The mast does sway a little bit, but the tabernacle, coupled with the A frame gin pole, prevent it from going farther than degrees off center at any time. I usually align the boat into the wind stern first into the windwhich helps.Copied from the Fleet 20 website with permission from the Fleet 20 webmaster.
Thank you Dale Mack. Drawing inspiration from various gin pole methods described on the Internet, this photo essay walks you through the construction details of the rig I built for the February 25th Catalina 22 Fleet 20 Mast Raising and Rigging Workshop.
I built a temporary gudgeon mounted mast support with a roller to fill in for my homemade telescoping mast carrier, built by a previous owner, that was damaged in a wind storm more on that in a future article. I'll also cover a modification I plan to make to the gin pole now that I've used it several times. I've been very impressed with how easy it is to raise and lower the mast by myself using the gear. While it takes longer to setup than just grabbing the mast and swinging it up, it makes the whole process a lot less stressful particularly if something hangs up and you need to go and clear it.
You can do away with the winch, block, and line by simply using your boom vang between a cleat on the bow and the end of the gin pole. Whether its the ratchet locking mechanism of the winch or the cam-cleat of a boom vang, having the ability to lock the line in place is essential if you want to stop anywhere in the lift or lowering process and untangle something.
I plan to glue and screw a ten inch piece of 2x4 cut to the same curve as the mast to the top and bottom of the pole. This modification will provide a bigger foot and discourage the pole from moving. When you have a helper, they can steady the mast and keep it from swaying from side to side as you use the gin pole. What about doing it all by yourself? To do that you are going to need a bridle that can provide the side to side support you get from the shrouds once the mast is up.
The bridle you need two is made of a ring, a shackle, two carabiners, and some low-stretch line. None of the hardware has to be stainless steel since you'll probably be storing the gear in your garage when not in use. The shackle connects to your forward shroud's chain plate. I have open-style turnbuckles so I connected the carabiner to the aft shroud's turnbuckle. If you have closed-style turnbuckles then I'd look to using the aft shroud's t-bolt toggle as an attachment point since there is usually a gap between the clevis pin and the t-bolt.
With all the gear in place and tensioned, you are ready to raise the mast. Move to the winch and start cranking the mast up. Watch for shrouds and stays snagging along the way. The beauty of the gin pole combined with a bridle is that you can stop with the mast at any position if you need to step away to free something that has fouled.
Your aft shrouds will keep the mast from going too far forward. In fact you don't even need to have your backstay attached. Technical Tips. I've always used myself and one other person to raise the mast. We stand on the cabin top on either side of the mast, grab hold and pivot it up.