The never-ending project to fill my hole in
the ocean while bailing it out
The Sweet/Lange Homemade Mast-Raising System
Since joining the list I have been
absorbing all the comments and advice you have had to offer and very
valuable it is too. Much of it has been relevant to our needs for
information on a system for raising and lowering the mast which requires
least physical effort and which one can make oneself. The
following is our result:
a. A mast-supporting scissors-type crutch which is mounted in the rod
holders on the taff rail. This holds the mast up so that there is 18.5"
(20" would be better) of clearance between top of the taff rail and
underside of mast. It is made of wood and folds up.
b. An 'A' frame about 6'8" high off the deck, the feet of which are
bolted to the forward shroud plates. The legs are of 1.25" OD aluminum
tubing with 1/8" wall thickness. The legs are joined at the top with a
piece of 75mm equal angle, 6 mm thick, pop riveted to one leg and bolted
to the other so that the legs can be folded up for storage. On top of
the angle is a wooden block with a cover piece which is grooved to
receive the forestay and secure it in a position immediately above the
turnbuckle. The bottom of the legs have aluminum flat bars riveted to
them so that the tubes are carried outboard of the chain plates --
otherwise they foul the cabin top.
c. A guide block which fits over the rigging (chain) plate at the prow.
This carries the trailer winch belt safely over the prow. The block is
made of hardwood and fits snugly over the rigging plate assembly and is
secured with an 5/16" bar inserted through the aftermost hole. A piece
of polythene chopping board is inserted between the block guides to
reduce friction of the winch belt.
The procedure is simple enough. The mast is down and supported in its
crutch. The 'A' frame is bolted loosely to the forward lower chain
plates and the forestay clamped to the top of the frame. The winch belt
is then connected to the forestay turnbuckle by means of one or two
shackles depending on their sizes. If the winch has two speeds then the
higher is fine for raising the mast until the the forestay is
sufficiently close to the prow that the winch can be disconnected and
the forestay connected. At this stage, of course, one has good control
of the mast and by leaning one's body on the 'A' frame two hands are
then free to complete the operation. The frame is then easily detached
and the remaining shrouds connected.
Nick Sweet and Dieter Lange
1985 C-22 #10285 - "Kyla"
Lake Swartvlei, South Africa