Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

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

Click thumbnails below for a larger picture




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