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Old 11-18-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
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Question To Cut the Mast Down or Not

Newly registered but have read the site for quite some time and enjoy the discussions. Finally gave up on gas guzzlers and bought the Great Lakes 33 for retirement (soon). To get her home to Lake Simcoe I have no choice but to go through the Trent Severn waterway either from the east or west and will have to make the same trek any time we want to get back into the Great Lakes. Problem is my mast is 22.5 ft high and there are many fixed bridges at 22 ft. and the lowest is approx. 20 ft. Do I cut the mast or rig up some better way of lowering it. It is currently a 2 man job and a pain. Any suggestions?

Allan
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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It appears that your mast only supports your radar. Is that correct? Send some photos along on your next post. Oh, welcome aboard!

Ray Muldrew
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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Our Aluminium mast has to go down to fit in the boathouse, not hard to do single handed. When we got the boat the anchor touched the front and the mast tip poker the curtain. Cut 18" off, replaced the welded top cap with starboard. Before I cut I did it on a photo on the computer to see how it would look. Now I can walk in front of the anchor in the house and the mast is even with the dinghy on the stern with 8" clearance on the curtain. I think it looks better as well.

What uses does your mast have beside radar mount?
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:37 PM   #4
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cut...
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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Allan, I did the cut job almost identical to the one by MIke. It was a one man job to raise and lower. We did the Great Circle and transited the Trent and Lake Simcoe, very nice cruising.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:48 PM   #6
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Here is a little playing around with your avatar
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:30 PM   #7
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I have to clear a 17.5 ft bridge on my canal to get to the dock at my house. My mast on the little DeFever was 22 ft, so I cut it just above the flybridge sole.

I built a removable support to hold the boom up so that it would not need to be supported by the masthead block and tackle.

I welded a hinge to the upper and lower sections of the mast.

I have watched 2 of my friends who own DeFever 41's raise and lower their mast. Itís a job, and not one done on the spur of the moment. Thatís not for me I thought.

I designed a system using a gas spring/hydraulic piston between the mast and boom. It is now so easy to raise and lower it that my wife just goes out, removes a bolt, pushes the mast down and were done. After we clear a bridge she just gives the mast a slight shove and the mast slowly raises itself. The key is figuring out what the weight rating you need for the gas spring. My mast launches my Avon rib so I needed to keep the strength.

You can see it here

Mike


Previously posting as Mike since 2007. Took a long break to go cruising.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giggitoni View Post
It appears that your mast only supports your radar. Is that correct? Send some photos along on your next post. Oh, welcome aboard!

Ray Muldrew
Thanks everyone for your replies, The mast is used for more than the radar, it has the anchor lights, vhf antenna, radio antenna, used for the stay sail (which I will likely never use) and the jib supported by the mast can be used for hoisting things aboard. I think the stay sail could be modified to still function with just a little less square footage and the hoisting ability may be reduced due to the new support angle but lowering everything else should not be an issue. There are so many bridges I am leaning toward cutting about 3 ft. off as the radio, radar etc. would not be functional if left down during the 5 to 7 days locking thru and to put it up and down between bridges doesn't sound like much fun. The mast is currently 14 ft high from the upper deck mount and the radar is heavy.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:31 AM   #9
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Cut enough to be usefull even with highest water.

A hassle , once , after that always a pleasure.

Cruising is about cruising , not how tedious you can make cruising.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:17 AM   #10
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I would cut the mast such that the radar is just above the bimini top. That's all you need for height.
Then if it's too high, you can do what I do to cruise the Trent and Erie, see below.
This gets me under 19 feet and is easy and quick to do with a simple cheap block and tackle.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:00 PM   #11
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Sceptic: I like your arrangement. Nicely thought out to keep the original look and operation characteristics.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:47 PM   #12
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I would cut it.
It looks a little odd being as tall as it is without need for the height.

Sorry don't mean to offend just an observation.

Very nice looking boat by the way and Welcome aboard.

SD
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:33 PM   #13
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Unfortunately SD mine is hinged to lower to the bow for some reason and it hits the bimini if you don't put it down. I think I just need to cut enough so I don't have to tilt it except for winter storage. Thanks
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:52 PM   #14
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People I know with a GB 52 fitted a hydraulic mast raise/lower system to easily pass under the road bridge into Middle Harbour. (They also use gold leaf for the letters on their teak name boards).
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:51 PM   #15
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Sounds real nice BruceK but my boat is pretty basic right now and I kinda want to keep it that way not to mention the cost. More toys, more trouble is my motto and I only dream of gold leaf. Gotta love it.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #16
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Holy crap, another Great Lakes 33!!!! They only built like 20 of them back in the 80'.

The mast on my boat, hull #7, was trimmed to 10' before we bought her, probably so one of the previous owners could get her into a boat house without needing to put down the mast. I would suggest getting it cut down and then re-rigging the stays/shrouds to support the new dimension. My mast is about 10' with a 10' boom. I don't have a steadying sail so it just hold my radar, anchor light, masthead light and wind anemometer. Honestly you will probably never use the steadying sail.

PM me if you want to kick around the ownership of Great Lakes 33s, we have owned ours since Dec 2003 and taken her north to Alaska three time and put over 2400 hours on my Volvo Penta.

Enjoy
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:50 PM   #17
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Oh, and the photo shown to the left was an interim mast I fabricated in my garage. I removed the modified OEM mast and boom and fabricated a raked mast out of marine plywood and fiberglass. That mast (the one in the photo) lasted for about 6 or 7 years and last year I reinstalled the original mast and boom. The photo below shows the modified OEM mast at an anchorage outside Glacier Bay in Alaska.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:11 PM   #18
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Sounds real nice BruceK but my boat is pretty basic right now and I kinda want to keep it that way not to mention the cost. More toys, more trouble is my motto and I only dream of gold leaf. Gotta love it.
No gold leaf for me, I use bright yellow high gloss paint to pick out the letters,and put Cetol varnish over the whole board, incl the yellow painted letters. Those guys (pay someone to) renew their varnish,and gold leaf, each year. Sigh.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:30 PM   #19
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I agree it looks to tall now
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:57 PM   #20
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Oh, and the photo shown to the left was an interim mast I fabricated in my garage. I removed the modified OEM mast and boom and fabricated a raked mast out of marine plywood and fiberglass. That mast (the one in the photo) lasted for about 6 or 7 years and last year I reinstalled the original mast and boom. The photo below shows the modified OEM mast at an anchorage outside Glacier Bay in Alaska.
Steppan, I wondered when I joined if I would see another Great Lakes, wow. There are at least 2 others in the area around me possibly 3. Most have the covered deck at the rear like yours, ours is not, only by canvas. I believe ours was #4 with a side door layout, yours has the rear door it looks like. Where are you located to get to Alaska? Can't wait till spring. My mast is actually 24.5 ft above water level including 2 ft. for the two small antennas, way too high. Yours looks good at 10 ft, I think that's where I am headed. Ontario Yachts built primarily sailboats and I guess that is why they put so high a mast on. Bad idea. Keep in touch.

Allan
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