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Jay Westbrook's One Chance, Yankee #208 Mast Raising  

April 5, 2016. Jay Westbrook sent in the following detailed report on his successful mast raising on One Chance, his Yankee #208. He is looking for comments and answers to his questions. Click on all photos for a larger image. Click the return arrow on your browser to get back here.

Hi Ron,

I thought I would contribute my own experience with using the gin pole method for raising the mast, which I learned from the article, "Fred Gougen's System for Thankful." http://dolphin24.org/raising_thankfuls_mast.html

Background: At the Orchard Point Marina at Fern Ridge Reservoir, where One Chance spends the sailing season, We have a wonderful mast raising tower/winch that makes raising/lowering a cinch. But my goal is to be able to drive to any launch site in future and do this job without the need for assistance. Surprisingly, when I checked with marinas up and down the Oregon coast and on the Columbia River where I hope to launch in future, not one of them has a mast tower. So unless I am willing to pay a lot, I better become self-sufficient in raising and lowering my mast. Thus, rather than take the "easy way out" to launch One Chance on April 3, I raised her mast totally independently in the marina parking lot. It was a huge success!

Below are the pictures I took to document the process, which will look a lot like those already documented. But I do have a couple wrinkles that I believe are a bit unique. And as always, if there are any suggestions for refining/improving my procedure, I am always open to that assistance from you guys and gals who are much more experienced. Here goes:

I completed this lift with two helpers (three of us total), but two of us could have done it without difficulty. However, the weather conditions were perfect, with hardly a hint of wind, which perhaps made all the difference.

My mast tabernacle (yes, in need of re-painting). It hinges toward the stern.

Tabernacle in opened hinged position

Next is the mast fastened in place:

Next is the mast fastened in place:

The primary obstacle to me being able to get my mast into this position alone is being unable to manage so much of the mast's weight aft to connect it to the tabernacle. That is where I had my helpers hold the mast near the crosstrees and help me guide the foot into the tabernacle cup.

How might I negotiate this alone, if need be?

Next, let's talk about bow rollers. I do not have a boom sprit or any kind of anchor roller installed. But I do have a mast stand I use in the off-season to support the mast in the cockpit. Below is an image of the base of that stand, from which the vertical shaft with roller was taken:

The shaft with the roller on it is removable, so I decided to try to fasten that shaft to my bow and use it as a temporary bow roller. Above right is how it looks from above, using a strap to secure it to the bow cleat.

Because the forestay bracket is dead center, and I had to keep this clear so the forestay could be attached once the lift was completed, I fastened the roller off-center.

Would a slight angle of the roller cause a problem during the lift, given that the winch and mast were "straight on"? That was the question.

Here is how ratchet straps were used to cinch it down hard at the tip of the bow: We had to play with this ratchet strap a bit to get it tight enough to bear the load of the lift without twisting out of place. But it did hold well in the end.

Here is the gin pole set in place. Notice the eye screw used to fasten to the end of the gin pole. To this eye screw is a pretty large carabiner. The mast and winch lines will each fasten to the carabiner. Above left is a close up of the straps used to fasten the gin pole to the mast. (I had a lot of excess strap which is why it is wrapped around in extra layers to avoid long tails dangling down during the lift.)

Here is a view with the mast line and winch strap connected to the carabiner. I used an 3/8 braided anchor line to connect to the mast, which has a hook on one end. I made two passes with this line around the crosstrees and back to the carabiner, just to make sure I wasn't overloading it. I plan to use a better, more customized line in future, but this one worked OK for the inauguration


Here is a view of the anchor line around the crosstrees.

Notice also that the gin pole base was positioned just above the mast eyelet so that this eyelet would act as a foot to prevent any serious slipping downward, once the mast began to rise.


Here is an image just before the lifting begins.

Here is the mast in mid-lift. (Thanks to my patient assistants who stopped to give me time to take photos.)

Notice that I had rigged a line from the top of the gin pole bases to act as a safety, in case the mast wanted to move left or right. I simply ran the line through my deck pulleys and back to the cockpit winches.

To be truly effective, I know I need pulley points forward of the mast, not behind. Given the wind was not a factor this day, I rigged it as shown.

Ideas for future?

Here is the lift completed, with the stays and a couple of shrouds attached.
It also provides another view of that improvised bow roller.

Heading to the boat ramp for launch!

One Chance now snug in her slip for the season.

Nice job Jay, Thanks






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