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Adding Foot Holds/Steps To A Mast


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#1 tomfla

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:51 PM

Disclaimer, I am an old fuddy duddy who has only sailed on boats with cotton sails and hemp lines.

I am considering buying a Seawind 1000 catamaran. One of the issues I have is raising the main sail. To attach the halyard to the main requires climbing up two steps on the mast because the batten in the main prevents anyother method of being used.

The current owner is probably six four and has to stand on the top step and put his leg between one of the spreader stays and the mast to be at the hieght to connect the halyard to the main. Since I am only five nine, and an old fat white guy who cant jump, I would probably have to add at least one more step.

How hard/expensive would this bee and are there other issues with putting holes in the mast to attach something I will be standing on.

#2 _Vegas_

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:08 PM

While with the proper prep and the right glue, you could bond a step system to the base of the mast - I think a few rivets and a couple of these http://www.westmarin...CFc5cMgodjw8Aqw

and you are in business -

#3 Soley

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:23 PM

It looks like the 1000 has an alloy mast. So drill and tapping decent size bolts will hold you fine. It may also be worth while to insert helicoils to strengthen the thread. Make sure you use plenty of barrier protection of you use helicoils.

#4 Mr. Fixit's brother,, Mr. Fixit

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:55 PM

These are pretty cool. I think properly drilled and tapped would be fine without the helicoil.. Make sure you put some tef-gel in the threads and isolation tape on the back of the plate.

http://store.marinep...t316fomas1.html

#5 One eye Jack

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:36 AM

And you need to use Monel rivets. They won't react with the aluminum, like stainless steel does.

#6 Mr. Fixit's brother,, Mr. Fixit

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:26 PM

And you need to use Monel rivets. They won't react with the aluminum, like stainless steel does.


Monel isn't quite the miracle metal you think. http://corrosion-doc...water/monel.htm

#7 Fat Point Jack

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:00 AM

Referring to the below "Engineered Polymer Fastner" thread. Are there more of these types of fastners? Pop rivets, machine screws or sheet metal!

#8 Mr. Fixit's brother,, Mr. Fixit

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:07 AM

http://www.tiodize.c...efasteners.html

google is your friend

#9 Call Me Boomvang

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:12 AM

I dunno how much throw you have from the main halyard sleeve to the headboard on the sail but if you have any...before I started drilling holes in my spar I would play with adding a dyneema changing strop to the main sail that would hang down from the headboard so you would not have to climb so high. Dude, I am so high.

#10 blackjenner

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

I dunno how much throw you have from the main halyard sleeve to the headboard on the sail but if you have any...before I started drilling holes in my spar I would play with adding a dyneema changing strop to the main sail that would hang down from the headboard so you would not have to climb so high. Dude, I am so high.


This is brilliant. Why would one not do this?

#11 _Vegas_

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

Because when you attempt to fully hoist your main sail, the shackle you attached to the changing strap would peg out in the turning sheave at the top of the mast and you wouldn't get a full hoist , If I'm reading this one right.

#12 blackjenner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:33 PM

Because when you attempt to fully hoist your main sail, the shackle you attached to the changing strap would peg out in the turning sheave at the top of the mast and you wouldn't get a full hoist , If I'm reading this one right.


I was assuming one had room for this but yes, if you don't have room, you could jam the halyard in the sheave.

#13 Jim Conlin

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:09 PM

I'm assuming that the need for getting to the top of the stacked mainsail is to compact the stack and to get the slack halyard under control.
If there's enough extra length in the halyard, you could leave it attached to the mainsail and pull it down toward deck level by grabbing it with a boathook.

#14 Speng

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:59 PM

I'd just leave the halyard attached... put a sailcover over the thing and take the slack out... sorted!

If you want the steps I'd glue them on. You can find all kinds of high strength stuff to bond Aluminum nowadays which is certainly better than drilling holes in your mast.

#15 Mr. Fixit's brother,, Mr. Fixit

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:15 AM

I would think you still need to get up there to put a sailcover over the whole thing.

#16 tomfla

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:40 PM

The reason for the stepts is to attach the halyard to the sail. The square top has a batten that will not fit in the sail cover when the car is in the track. Once you push the car up into the track I can not reach high enough to get the shackle in the sail. The previous owner was probably eight inches taller than I am so he could attach the halyard to the sail.

I got a couple of the West stepts linked in the first comment to my OP. I would be interested in finding out more about gluing as an option. I have a rivet tool and a drill and my first thought was to drill the six holes, coat the rivets with tec-gel, put some type of rubber barrier between the step and the mast and rivet the steps in.

What do you guys think? Would it be worth while to try and glue the stepts in or just go simple with the rivets.

#17 hdra

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:36 AM

How are the two existing steps attached? Just for continuity it might be worth doing it the same way.

#18 tomfla

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:11 PM

How are the two existing steps attached? Just for continuity it might be worth doing it the same way.


Good point.

The current steps are the alloy fold out type with a few rivets. The West ones seem a lot more solid and have six rivets.

#19 Speng

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:07 PM

http://www.bsi-inc.com/index.html for glue. it's generally OK to put small holes near the ends of the mast panel but the further you get from the ends the more dodgy it gets... Plus I just like glue

Even with the steps I'm not sure why you wouldn't leave the halyard attached...




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