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Mast Raising For the S2 7.9

By Dave Grover # 138

Considerable interest has been expressed in the rig we use in Fleet 7 to raise our masts, so I have tried to describe the assembly which makes it work and the procedures. Construct the mast raising assembly as shown on the accompanying drawings ( hardware & configuration ). The parts can be obtained at any well stocked hardware store. The dimensions shown will vary if you use different sized turnbuckles. The pivot point is adjusted with the turnbuckle and threaded rod.


With the mast in the step and supported with a crutch at the transom, assemble all the standing and running rigging(shrouds, backstay, halyards, etc.). Is everything on the top of the mast that goes there?

Attach the turnbuckle-rod assemble as close as you can to where you think it should go. It may need to be adjusted after all the raising lines, etc., are in place. (Once you do get it right, mark the toe rail for future raising and lowering).

The shrouds can be left at their previous adjustments because of the swept-back spreaders. It should not be necessary to back off the forestay turnbuckle either.

Attach the main halyard to one of the turnbuckle eyes and one of the jib halyards to the other to support the mast laterally as it is raised. These will need to be very snug once all the lines are in place.

Attach a four part tackle (the upper mainsheet block and a snatch block will do if the end of the sheet line is tied to the spinnaker pole).

The bottom end of the tackle should be attached aft of the forestay tang so that the forestay can be attached later. The loose end of the tackle sheet should be led back to a winch. The upper end of the tackle goes on the upper end of the spinnaker pole.The lower end of the spinnaker pole must be attached to the end of the mast pivot bolt with the special angle bracket so that the pole end will pivot as the mast goes up.

There must be a line from each turnbuckle eye to the upper end of the spinnaker pole which will keep the pole centered and can not slip. (Think what would happen if it did). These lines will be adjusted after all the other lines are in place. Attach the other jib halyard to the upper end of the spinnaker pole. Adjust this halyard so that the pole is at less than a right angle to the mast. (This is so that the tackle will not two-block before the mast is all the way up).

Tighten the lateral supports (halyards) for the mast and for the spinnaker pole (lines) so that things will not go .sideways.


Making sure that all the various standing and running rigging is clear of winches and other snags, pull the tackle line to raise the mast. It is a good idea to stop a couple times and check for snagged lines. Keep an eye on the tension of the lateral support lines and halyards. If the outer pivot points are not in line with the mast step pivot bolt, the lines will over-tighten or slack off too much. In which case, lower it back down and adjust the pivot points. Once they are right, the raising will be very easy except for the inevitable snags. Also keep an eye on the mast shoe in case it starts to come away from the mast. Attach the forestay and you are there. All that's left is to mark the location of the frod and turnbuckle so that the pivot points will be right the next time.

This method can be used by one person if the tackle line will reach a winch when it is extended all the way.

Lowering the mast is the reverse of this process. 






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