Instructables
Picture of Free Yacht Chapter 13: Raise the New Mast!
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We've sailed Solara with giant kites all summer. It's been a hoot. Now we're going to put a new (to us) mast on it. We'll rig it so we can use either kites or sails.

Episode 13 - how perfect? We're all scared to death about this task.

Many thanks to Pete, Gus, Victor, Kenny, Joanna, Effie, and everyone else who helped -
you should all be collaborators on this instructable if you aren't already. please add photos and add/edit the text.

continues the Free Yacht saga
Here's the table of contents of the whole thing:
Chapter 1: How to Get a Free Yacht
Chapter 2: Maiden Voyage of the Free Yacht
Chapter 3: Fix Broken Stix and other Trix
Chapter 4: Outboard Motor Mutilates Foot
Chapter 5: It's sinking and it's on Fire.
Chapter 6: How To Give Away a Free Yacht
Chapter 7: Get an Even Better One and Fabulize it.
Chapter 8: Celebrate Freedom
Chapter 9: Technicolor Dreamboat
Chapter 10: Privateer Knot
Chapter 11: Dismasted!
Chapter 12: Kiteboat!
Chapter 13: Mast Raising

photo note: This first photo is mirrored so the "featured" banner won't obscure the mast it in case this ible gets featured.

 
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Step 1: Dig For Hardware and Pre Rig

Picture of Dig For Hardware and Pre Rig
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Here's the hinged pivoting step for the mast. I thought we'd have to make one from scratch, but digging in the junkpile, there was a gizmo that had some of the the parts we needed.. all of them.. In fact, we could actually just use it... because oh yeah, it must have come off this mast and is the missing part. Big relief - but what do I do with all this caffeine and gumption in my bloodstream? Proceed, I guess.
I went to the chandlery to buy some hardware to connect them to the mast. That last photo is how the three stays connect to the rotating mast on a hobie 18. What we have is  a scaled-up version of that.
Victor measured Solara, I measured the mast and the boat it came off of. I dug through the pile of rigging to find three stainless cables that were about right.

We've been collecting gear for the re-masting ever since the night the old one fell. Most important is the excellent mast itself, a gift from a friend. Our dock neighbor Alex gave us a nice pile of stainless cables.

Fiday night Victor, Kenny, Brie, Gus, Rebecca and I got together to prepare stuff. We burned scrapwood in Mr.Fireface and had a good time. Trigonometry ensued. What length of cables would we need? Victor and Kenny waterjetted chainplates.

mperrault12 months ago
I don't know a damn thing about sailing, or boats, but after reading through all this I'm at the very least impressed with all the bodgering you guys have managed to pull off! Nice work
raziz3 years ago
..everybody gives way for the Datsun..
ilpug3 years ago
the setup process is so incredibly rigged, but it turned out beautifully!
fweall3 years ago
What an inspiring story, have spent the last couple of hours being entertained! Cant wait till I cant get a big boat of my own.

I have been meaning to get my last build up on here for ages, a folding plywood boat with hinges made of cable ties and sealed with duct tape and rubble sacks.......

Boats make us do daft things, look forward to the next installment!
vincent75203 years ago
I'm amazed about 3 things :
1) how much is the mast's weight : it seems very light as compared to the boat's size. Is it a little bit too fragile … or undersized ?
2) What material did you use to treat the new mast step to be efficient in less tan a day (as I understand) ? Fast curing epoxy ?… I suppose of course that the wood was in good condition…
3) Why did you have the crew support the mast at the risk of a slippery handling causing bad injuries to the people below ?… Instead why didn't you use the principle of the tabernacle which works quite effectively with the English. The foot of the mast is set between two flanges that support a pivot that slide into the mast ; a boom or any other spar is set vertically at 2 to 3 foot over the pivot therefore at right angle with the (still) lying mast. The boom keeps the relative position to the mast by two halyards tied to the side of the boat at the same level and on the same plane as the tabernacle so that when moving the whole triangle will remain the same. The main's halyard goes from the top of the mast to the top of the boom then though a (strong !) block at the fore end of the boat which leads it to a winch. With precaution and a safe hand on the winch you can slowly raise the mast to its vertical position with crew handling tight (or giving some slack, depending on the situation) long halyards by the side of the boat or even from the shore (or pontoon / catway) or even from other boats, thus lessening the risk of injury if anything wrong happens. When it happens, it happens fast !… I saw one mast being raised wrongly collapse on 2 other boats with the end result of 3 masts to be repaired 2 weeks before the season started !!!… Owners of the two other boats were not so happy, so were the insurers !!!…
Try to find back issues from Practical Boat Owner : 10 years or so ago they were excellent in giving these tips !…
Your method worked ok, so who am I to put the blame on an obvious success ?But I'm afraid it could be more secured for the next time…

Bon voyage for your next plans : please tell us ! … 

Petty soon I'll try fix my boat (and my bad heart condition !…) to make at least a small trip along the Normandy coast this summer. This limitation makes me think more of you !…
Be safe, be happy.

PS. Sorry for my broken english … its pretty bad when I try to explain something practical as I feel I lack the proper and specific technical vocabulary (it someone has any idea posting an instructable on this matter will be more than welcomed !! …  LOL)
Whales3 years ago
That guy in China has *balls* i'm surprised the ladders didn't break under the weight of them
ericocean4 years ago
Love the story! Excellent fun.
If you ever need (or choose to) change the mast again, you may consider balanced lug sails. They can be done very low budget and the mast can be unstepped so there is no compression force applied to the deck and virtually no stress to the hull. You don't require expensive stainless steel cables and hardware either. They have been used successfully for 1000s of years, long before bermudan sails were ever conceived.
Yo ho happy sailing! (and enjoy that bottle of rum)
rbodell4 years ago
 Might I suggest a coast guard boating course. Might save your life some day, all these adventures could have been avoided, a lot of work too. I used to raise and lower my 27 foot mast twice every time I went sailing to get under a bridge. It was a whole lot easier than what you all went through.
That class would result in avoiding all of these adventures?

If avoidance of adventure is what this class brings... I'm not so sold :p


(I really hope you've caught the sarcasm, but just in case, that was me being explicit).
 Just so there is no misunderstanding to anybody, I was not referring to the adventures of sailing, but the adventures of falling off the mast, the mast falling on you, dying, broken bones etc. THIS IS NOTHING TO JOKE ABOUT. Would you tie two step ladders together with rags and then use them to climb on your roof? If you fall off your roof you fall on soft dirt and bushes. If you fall off of a mast you fall on stainless steel deck fittings, sharp cabin edges, pipe and wire rope rails solid decks etc.

Look at the fool hanging by one hand from the spreaders.  Look at the pilings by his left foot. Think about falling on that piling from a mast or the two ladders tied together. Can you imagine living through that? How long will it take the rescue squad to arrive, cut it off and take you to the hospital. Take x-rays and decide the course of action before rendering you unconscious to remove it. Then you have to heal. All the time and pain.  

sailing can be a safe sport or a deadly one. There is no fine gray line between the two. It only takes one mistake or a second of inattentiveness to kill you.

I wouldn't even get on this boat with these people, much less leave the dock with them.
espdp2 rbodell4 years ago
I think one of "those people" started this website... Shouldn't insult the king... That being said, all this is only funny because no one but the outboard salesman got hurt through all the adventures. Be careful, folks!
lol thats one big toothpick awesome job well done thats what they call a big endevour
JeTexas4 years ago

These Instructables inspired my brother and I to procure our own 27' free yacht last July. It's taken 10 months of weekends doing woodwork, learning diesel repair and figuring out rigging, but we're finally launching this weekend.
 
And somehow in all the parts trading we got into with the locals, we ended up trading a dead Westerbeke inboard for a working British Seagull as our backup/dinghy propulsion.

We've had a great time. Thanks for your articles, and I hope you'll write more.

 

nice work!

I've owned two motorless sail boats and have had to remast both of them.

the first I took the mast down to trailer it, put it in the water, punted out, anchored went to sleep (it had been a long day). in the morning it was 25 knots. I had no way to move the boat, and couldn't row to shore in my tiny inflatable.

this was with a 20 foot mast. it was too heavy to raise without a mechanical advantage. I made a stub-mast crane with the boom. using spare rope and trucker's-hitches for guy-wires. Then, tied the foot of the mast to the mast-step and put the jib halyard over the crane. using two ratchet-strap tie downs to guide the mast i winched the jib halyard until the mast was back up.

the other time, I brought a boat that had dis-masted at it's mooring in a storm. this time I rowed some bamboo over to make a tripod and just winch the mast up.

the kite sailboat looked good. why did you choose to go back to the masted sailing?
TimAnderson (author)  dominic.tarr4 years ago
good remasting!
We went back to using a big stick to hold the kite I mean sail up because in light/nonexistent winds it's easier. Also variety is the spice of life.
Kryptonite4 years ago
You, sir, are a king amongst men. I have read all of The Free Yacht Saga and have come to a conclusion that you and your wonderful crew of friends are on top of the world and aren't looking back. You are what I aspire to be but never shall be (unless I move to the bay area from all the way over in Australia?), and I thank you for posting such a wonderful series of events.
TimAnderson (author)  Kryptonite4 years ago
thanks for the encouragement!
I bet there are a lot of free yachts and like-minded captains in Australia!

tim

p.s.
how about starting a grass tree farm? I get really impressed with what the aborigines did with grass tree resin. Modern technology hasn't produced anything like it. Make a spear by gluing a pointy rock to the end of a stick? There's nothing like it. And now I hear the grass trees are endangered.

Ahh but friends to help with it? Nay, it would be but a crew of two, me and my best mate!
Love these instructables. Can't wait for the next one.
Coltrabagar4 years ago
Hey, I'm betting the Chinese dude weighs a lot less than most American construction workers. . . . Well, it only matters for the ladder.  Does OSHA operate in Chine?

Yes that question was a joke.  It may have something to do with China's ability to outwork us as well.
dacarls4 years ago
I hope the cabin-top mast step is STRONG underneath.  What you did (digging out old tired wood?) sounds a bit scary, unless it is STRONG. 
Think about adding a length of mast underneath the deck down to a "plate on the floor".
Sail Load on the mast will put a BIG download on the mast step.
TimAnderson (author)  dacarls4 years ago
A proper concern. There's a lot of wood under the mast step, and a wooden chimney structure that carries the load to the internal crossbeam.
When we drilled the hole we got to see what a thick area of deck it is and that the wood underneath isn't rotted.
Yo- Tim...Knowing your past history  (delaminated wooden mast that "could have been" saved with inspection, epoxy, fiberglass wrap and binding with bungees over wax paper).... what do the outboard ends of the crossbeam look like
This is to avoid spoiling your whole day by the mast plunging thru the deck.

Re the rest of it---
Please PLEAASE Mr. Skipper--- NEVER put the mainsheet down on a multihull.
Keep hold of the mainsheet even when (ESPECIALLY WHEN) cleated
Head off in really big puffs, not up.
Signed A-class cat multihull racer (I've sailed em all).
wenpherd5 years ago
Me and my Dad made a sailboat www.instructables.com/id/My-Boat/
kill-a-watt5 years ago
did you forget to place a coin under the mast?
TimAnderson (author)  kill-a-watt5 years ago
We put a whole bunch of coins under the mast. This is going to be theluckiest boat since coins were struck. If we can find wampum, redfeathers, green stones, or IMF SDR certificates, we'll put them in there too!
'quantitative easing'
I'm impressed! That is a tradition that goes back to ancient Rome. Thenit was used as a good luck charm, but today is is used to date theboat's construction. So, the thing to do would be to re-use the cointhat was originally under the mizzen mast if it was recoverable from theoriginal step. Nice call!
PKM5 years ago
All I ask is a tall free yacht, and a Star to steer her by...
Yahoo!!! Go Captains!
I dub thee Reckless Wilhelm.
Adrian..
i get the first view WOOT!!
STEP 2 LOL!