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Raising the Sabre's mast by myself

Postby blubrick on Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:14 am

On many boats the mast step is located way down at the keelson and the mast can be held captive by a thwart with a hole in it or a similar device while the shrouds are fitted and tightened. Obviously, this is not possible on a Sabre with the mast step on the foredeck as it is. I can always enlist the help of others to help me put the mast up, but as the Sabre is a single hander, I would half expect it to be possible for one person to completely rig it.

Are there any special tricks to raising the mast by myself?

Postby Excuse Me Two on Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:20 pm

The Sabre mast can be raised quite easily single handed, albeit with some practice!

I lay the mast along the top of the boat (front of the mast upwards) then attach the two shrouds to the boat. Standing alongside (for some reason I always stand on the port side), my left hand is at the lower end of the mast (probably just below the gooseneck) & holding the forestay to the front of the mast. My right hand is probably a metre up the mast & on the underside (rear) of the mast. The weight and balance of the mast is such that it does not take too much effort to lift it up to vertical, bringing it back far enough in the process so that the base of the mast drops neatly into the mast step (this is when you discover that various dangly bits want to find their way under the mast!). Once the base of the mast is in the mast step, the right hand pushes forward pulling the mast against the shrouds (so that it is upright and stable). My left hand then takes the forestay and applies enough tension to allow the right hand to leave its position. A step to the front of the boat, keeping the tension on the forestay so that the mast does not fall over, and I secure the forestay onto the front of the boat.

Hopefully you can make some sense of these notes! It does take some practice (I have few small dings where I have stuffed up) but once you get the hang of it becomes a fairly smooth process.

Bringing the mast down is effectively the reverse (untie the forestay, hold the tension in the forestay to stop the mast toppling, step to the right to come portside, right hand up the rear of the mast, allow the mast to drop back onto the right hand while steadying with the left).

Good luck! :)

Phill Johnstone
Excuse Me Two
Sabre 1511
Excuse Me Two
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:51 pm

Postby blubrick on Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:51 am

Thanks Phill,

I made good sense of your notes and gave it a go yesterday. I had troubles raising the mast by myself, but I was able to lower it.

I think it was partly because it was on the road trailer (I don't have a beach trolley yet) and therefore the deck was a bit higher than is comfortable. That and the simple fact that, as you said, it will take some practice.

Postby matt westland on Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:58 pm

Hi Matt

I too seem to have trouble raising the mast . I have tried the way suggested by Phill but seem to have to strain....getting old!
Another way i have found works well for me is to attach one side stay and the forestay(but about 50 mm looser than where it finishes up).
You then lift the mast up from the side, putting the base into the step as it comes upright. Having the forestay looser allows the mast to flop over and sit there by itself on the two stays. Then it is easy to walk around, connect the other side stay and then tighten forestay. I had to try a few times to get the forestay length just right but is now marked with texta and i find it real easy. Where it doesn't work so well is when the rigging area is small and the boats are close beside each other.
Lowering is easy using Phill,s method. Something about the way my muscles work i think.

Matt Westland
matt westland
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:43 pm

Postby Slow Hand on Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:48 am

Hi guys,

I use the technique Matt outlined, with a slight modification.
I have the boat at a bit of an angle to the wind, and always attach the windward shroud and forestay, that way, when the mast is up and I walk around I don't have to worry about a gust of wind blowing it over!
I do the same technique for lowering the mast.

Winnie the Pooh
Slow Hand
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:57 am
Location: ... somewhere ...

Postby blubrick on Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:51 am

I had a chance to try the loose forestay and one shroud method and it worked beautifully for both raising and lowering. It sounded a little risky, but it really is remarkably simple and safe once you see it work.

Thanks, Matt.

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