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Old 11-25-2019, 08:44 PM   #1
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Raising and lowering mast on a GB 42

Can anyone help with a good process to raise and lower the mast on my GB. I tried to do it last weekend and came close to hurting myself. My conclusion at this point is that it takes three men and a boy and a woman to supervise. Any thoughts would be helpful.
Dennis
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:52 PM   #2
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I can’t say if your configuration would be conducive to it, but on my boat I use a line run from as high up on the mast as possible to the warping drum on my windlass to raise and lower. One person at the windlass to ease the rope out or power up and another at the mast to guide it. Very quick and safe on my boat to do it this way.

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Old 11-28-2019, 10:45 PM   #3
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Holy Cr*p!

Lowering the mast on a GB 36 or 42 is ridiculously difficult. It shouldn't be. Those masts are just way too heavy. They don't need to be,
The solutions I have seen are either way too complicated or way too expensive. I think all GB masts should be float tested. If they sink, let them go.

Now, first get a lighter weight mast. My OEM mast was easy to raise and lower but was far too short, in the wrong place, and poorly built, so it had to go.
first I had it relocated and rebuilt. It has now resided on the deck above the aft cabin for 20 years or so and I have had no trouble raising or lowering it since the rebuild.
I had it built of 3" Aluminum irrigation pipe. I took the spreaders from the original and had them welded on. The mast carries lights on the spreaders, an anchor light up top, radar and steaming light on the front, flag halyards, a burgee up top, and a lifting boom that can actually lift a load of 250# or more.
One complication of having a set of steps to the FB near a mast, as originally configured, is the stays for the mast are in a decapitation zone, so those had to go too.
If I have a very heavy load to lift, I can rig a temporary stay from above the spreaders to a fix point forward. I think I may have done this a few times when lifting my Laser out of the water, otherwise I leave the mast unstayed. The mast is attached to the upper deck where it rises past that attachment point, otherwise unstayed.
I had a stand made of 1" square aluminum tubing, that fastens onto the mast a foot or so above the gooseneck, and holds the mast off the deck when lowered. I use a line that attaches to the front of the radar mount for raising and lowering. The fully rigged mast weighs little enough that I use only this one part tackle. I have knotted it every couple of feet, so that it is easier to grip, but don't need to use a block.
My boat lives in a shelter, so the mast goes down every time I put it away and goes up again every time I go out.
Total cost of the new mast (20 years ago or so) was about 1 boat buck.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:16 AM   #4
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Google raising and lowering a sailboat mast....should be some helpful articles.

Depending on which way you need to lower it, using your boom helps.

I lower my mast on my Albin in minutes by myself....not shouldering any weight at all.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:53 AM   #5
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I built a rig for mine that lets me and my frst mate lower the mast in a couplwe of minutes without any strain.
The idea came from Rich Gano so I gotta give him the credit.
I installed a pad eye in the back of one of our flybridge back to back seats. Another pad eye on the mast as far up as I can reach standing. I hook a cheap ($9) block and tackle to the seat pad eye, and the other end to the mast eye(I actually made up a short line to make up that distance).
Then I disconnect the stays and pull the pin at the mast base as my wife handles the block and tackle.
Then we lower it. The B&T handles everything fine until the mast gets to about 45 degrees, then I shoulder it and help lower it onto it's crutch.
I also made up "extention" cables to keep the mast at halfway down to clear 19 ft (as in Eerie canal, etc.
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures.
Hope this helps.
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:32 PM   #6
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Mast

Thanks to everyone. I have some good ideas and will let you know how it turns out.
Dennis
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:47 PM   #7
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I don't have a Grand Banks but my Bluewaters mast was pretty heavy after I mounted a 24" radar dome on it.

I have a pipe davit for the tender so the mast is for the radar only.

I reduced the weight of the mast by hollowing it out.

The mast had a 1/2" hole up the center for the masthead light. I enlarged that hole so there was about 1/2" wood left on the perimeter. I fabricated a 12' drill extention out of steel rod with a hex adapter welded on the end that an auger drill bit could be clamped. I started with a 5/8" auger drill and increased bits by 3/8" at a time until the final diameter bit. I filled three garbage cans of sawdust.

I temorarly plugged the holes in the mast and filled the cavity with Smith's penetrating epoxy for a week, drained it and allowed the epoxy to dry. Glassed the exterior of the mast with 6 oz cloth and epoxy and painted it.

The mast is significantly lighter and easier to raise and lower.

It's been 19 years since the mod and I find that as I get older, it's getting more difficult to lift and lower. I've been researching linear actuators and hydraulic pistons to facilitate the mast raising. Have not settled on a final configuration.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:08 PM   #8
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Three men couldn't raise my heavy mast without machinery. Used a stationary, dockside crane made to handle small craft to accomplish the task. Even that was a three-man task. (Mast is on a tabernacle.)
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:22 AM   #9
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We employed a rig similar to syjos on our old GB.We had a back-plated hatch latch bolted to the rear face of the starboard seat. But I found it easier to run the line forward to the hand rail at the helm. We had 2 double blocks, one went forward and the other ws shackled to the radar support on the mast. I disconnected the stays, removed the bolts at the base of the mast and lowered away to a cradle that stood just inboard of the railing on the steps aft of the fly bridge. We did have an aluminum mast, still a bit awkward given the shrouds and the height but I could single hand it. The line was long enough to allow me to work from the steps and guide the boom and mast into the cradle. Wish I could share a picture but we sold the boat 2 years ago.
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:01 AM   #10
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The trick to easy raising and lowering is to have the mast hinge pin and the attachment point for the lower shrouds on the same plane.


The mast is stabilized from side to side and the windlass can easily pull it up.
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Three men couldn't raise my heavy mast without machinery. Used a stationary, dockside crane made to handle small craft to accomplish the task. Even that was a three-man task. (Mast is on a tabernacle.)
Pretty sure if you use your boom (or equivalent if boomless) as leverage and either tackle or a winch it could be done solo.

I have done it o. 25 foot sailboats a d seen it done on larger ones....but you do have to have a good tabernacle mount. I fo it that way with my trawler and countless times with my 23 O'Day and 19 Cape Dory Typhoon.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
Lowering the mast on a GB 36 or 42 is ridiculously difficult. It shouldn't be. Those masts are just way too heavy. They don't need to be. The solutions I have seen are either way too complicated or way too expensive.
Agreed, the one on my EB47 is a beast, and for no good reason. But it ain't currently broke and we don't have regular need to raise/lower it. So I haven't put any effort into making the pitch to the financial committee (aka, the wife). But first sign there's anything wrong... I'm replacing it.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:55 AM   #13
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For a new build the concept to copy is a lutchet.

The Thames barges would mount the mast high in a tabernacle that was hinged so the boom mounted to the tabernacle .

The deck in front of the mast had a long hatch which could be opened before a bridge , the mast stepped to the keel and was weighted to balance the mast and sails.

A man and a boy could lower the mast and right it before the barge lost way going under fixed bridges.
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