Author Topic: Mast removal procedure  (Read 10967 times)

Eddy

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Mast removal procedure
« on: June 03, 2013, 11:53:20 AM »
Hi, I need to unstep my mast. I've looked on the site and have found multiple write ups on fixing the mast step issue but none that detail the actual removal of the mast. If someone could provide information on the procedure that would be great. I'm having the yard at the marina remove it but I'm sure there are some things I should do prior to removal. Thanks in advance.

Dolce_Vita

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 03:38:04 PM »
I took mine out last fall for a complete rebuild.  Here's what you need to do.

1) Remove the sails and boom.
2) Mark the position of all turnbuckles with different colored vinyl tape
3) Disconnect all the wiring at the base of the mast.  It can be accessed under the lift-out storage bin nearest the mast. 
4) The day of the removal, loosen all the turnbuckles, and remove the mast boot (or cut away the tape if it's sealed that way)

The wires at the mast base should all be terminated on terminal strips with screws, or with connectors in the case of the VHF.  If any of the wire goes elsewhere in the boat directly, be prepared to cut them in the region under the bin.  Later, you'll need to install lugs and/or connectors, and a terminal strip on the bulkhead there.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 03:41:37 PM by Dolce_Vita »
@(^.^)@  Ed
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with rebuilt Atomic-4

Eddy

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 04:40:09 PM »
Thank you for the info and pics. Did you need to number the mast wedges and their location so upon reinstall it goes back the same way it came out?

Dolce_Vita

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 10:41:17 PM »
... Did you need to number the mast wedges and their location so upon reinstall it goes back the same way it came out?

I didn't, as they all looked the same, and the yard riggers didn't particularly keep them in order as they pulled them.

Of course, I don't have the mast back on the boat yet!  These things always cost twice as much and take 5 times longer than planned! ;)
But I'm getting close.  Hopefully this Friday.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 09:51:18 AM by Dolce_Vita »
@(^.^)@  Ed
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with rebuilt Atomic-4

Eddy

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 07:05:31 AM »
So true on the time and cost factor! I am also looking to convert to internal halyards to free up an extra sheave fore and aft. Are you going to go back with the wedges or use something like the spartite urethane?

Dolce_Vita

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 09:47:07 AM »
My plan is to return to the wedges and use 2" rescue tape (self bonding) to seal the mast to the collar.  This appears to be what was used before, and we've never had a leak at the mast collar since we've owned the boat.

I thought about internal halyards too, because it would allow me to rig two extra halyards.

But eventually I shyed away from it for fear (rational or not) of having to deal with a tangle or hockle inside of the mast.  I also sealed off the two internal openings in the masthead to minimize water intrusion, which ends up pooling at the mast-step.
@(^.^)@  Ed
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with rebuilt Atomic-4

selene

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 10:45:42 AM »
My mast is sealed/kept in place using Spartite, a rubber-like compound which you pour into the well around the mast, which then hardens into a perfectly fitting mast chock.  It replaces the wedges and provides a watertight seal.  There is even some flexibility allowing for mast rake angle adjustment - not a big deal for us :-)

If you pull the mast every year, it would not be a good idea as I am told it is not easy to remove/replace the mast without damaging the Spartite seal; but if your mast stays in for a few years it provides a tape-free watertight seal.

If you have not already thought about it, perhaps it is something for you guys to consider.

The Great Godsea

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 10:54:58 AM »
One lesson i learned when we had the mast stepped last weekend was KEEP track of all the Pins for the cables... they're not cheap to replace... just a little piece of metal, but they're >$25 each.

Dolce_Vita

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2013, 11:10:46 AM »
Yes, mine all went into a freezer ziplock bag. 

I bag n tag everything.  I had a canvas tote full of bagged mast parts.  It was so heavy, my wife couldn't lift it. I think I went thru several boxes of ziplocks!
Even supposedly identical parts were kept track of by which side of the boat they came off of.
@(^.^)@  Ed
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with rebuilt Atomic-4

Dolce_Vita

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2013, 12:40:40 AM »
I didn't, as they all looked the same, and the yard riggers didn't particularly keep them in order as they pulled them.

Of course, I don't have the mast back on the boat yet!  These things always cost twice as much and take 5 times longer than planned! ;)
But I'm getting close.  Hopefully this Friday.

Well Friday was rained out by Andrea, and Monday was a wash for rain too.  But the stick is finally back in today.  And guess what? Turns out you should number the wedges and keep track of where they came from.  It was like trying to assemble a 12-piece puzzle where the size of the slot the pieces fit into keeps changing!

They finally gave up trying to wedge it, and are going to have another go at it tomorrow.

@(^.^)@  Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Eddy

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2013, 07:42:50 AM »
Glad to hear you have yours back in. I had mine taken out on Tuesday and everything went very smooth. The actual time for the yard to remove was less than an hour. Thanks for the information on what to do that was key to having it done quickly. I had 6 wedges in mine made out of pvc and I did number them using a sharpie. The standing rigging on my boat is original and I'm going to replace it while its out. We found 2 pins that were the wrong size they were at the masthead end for the top spreaders. Did you remove the mast partner on the cabin top and rebed it? Mine looks to have been faired on the inside to the teak trim ring on the inside..not sure what they used but it's white in color and almost a plaster consistency.

Dolce_Vita

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2013, 11:25:57 AM »
My collar showed the remains of some fairing compound on the inside , down to the teak trim.  My trim had been removed and reattached sometime in the past, so it was no longer faired to the collar.  The rest was flaking off, and was quite thin, so I basically ignored it.

I left the collar in place.  It made it real easy to seal the mastless deck with a piece of leftover "cocooning" plastic and a bungee cord.  Didn't get a drop of water in all winter and spring.

The outside of the collar was covered with a lot of white aluminum corrosion.  I considered priming and painting the outside, but in the end just cleaned it up with a scotchbrite drill wheel designed for stripping paint.  Works much better than a wire wheel, and no steel wire bits left lying around to rust on the deck!

I too found that the upper shrouds had forks with 7/16" holes & pins, but the tangs on the mast had 1/2" holes!  This is generally regarded as a bad thing to do, an it increases point-loading on the tang holes and causes them to wear unevenly and elongate.  It seems that it is very difficult to get fork ends with 1/2" pins for 9/32" cable.  And they're expensive.  What my rigger did was to replace them with toggle-ends with 1/2" pins.  These fit properly, and are less expensive.

Also, in a departure from my previous plans, I decided to try a premade universal mast boot instead of the tape, since I could slip it on without cutting before the mast was re-stepped.  I figured if it didnt work, I could always cut it off and revert to rescue tape, but I couldn't go the other way around!
@(^.^)@  Ed
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with rebuilt Atomic-4

Eddy

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2013, 11:45:29 AM »
Mine had a universal boot in place as well and it was very dry. Could you tell me which universal boot you used? So I guess the 7/16" pin in the 1/2" hole was "standard" on our boats. My rigger also indicated this was a bad thing. How much play did you have in the forestay pin at the deck end? The hole on the chainplate was 9/16 and not elongated with a 1/2" pin. Rigger is going to make a bushing to take up that slack as well.

Dolce_Vita

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Re: Mast removal procedure
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 03:02:05 PM »
Don't remember the exact brand.  I'll check it tonight.

I have a sunbrella wrap/shroud with velcro closure that goes over the mast boot to protect it from UV degradation.

Interesting about your forestay.  I'm pretty sure mine is 1/2" but not positive, as I never measured that one, and the rigger handled the removal and reinstall of the furler.
@(^.^)@  Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
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