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Columbia 30 Sport Yacht mast lowering information needed


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Hello SA, I just bought a Columbia 30 Sport Boat 2005 in Bayfield, WI and I need to trailer it to my place: Saguenay River, Quebec Canada. The mast is stepped on a hinge and is carbon fiber. I guess it is quite easy to lower it without the need of a crane. Someone can provide some instructions or information on how to proceed?

Thanks!

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Congratulations!

I was looking at that boat pretty seriously but am not ready for multi-state travel yet. Cannot advise on mast, sorry.

Best of luck with the mast and transport

FB- Doug

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Congrats on the boat! For written mast instructions, perhaps obtain a copy from Columbia?

I'll describe our process but best to get the detailed info from the builder.

Moving this to the Columbia thread...
 

 

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please post picture of mast hinge and shroud locations relative to the mast.  I've stepped 40' masts weighing 100#. it is not hard with the right set-up. First task is to determine if the hinge is designed to rotate forward or aft and if the lower shrouds will stay attached during stepping.

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Hello Sailhmb,

As you can see on the first photo, the hinge is set to rotate the mast forward. The spreaders are swept back so I guess I have to remove one set of shrouds for lowering the mast. I didn't saw the boat yet, and bought it with a good survey done on it. I want to be prepared when I will get there to set the boat for the road. The pictures comes from the ad.

Hinge.jpg

Mast.jpg

Sailplan.jpg

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Hinge forward- use the boom as a king post. Unstring the main sheet system to a 1:1 to provide enough line for lowering.  Cleat the main sheet.  Two lines would be attached from the aft end of the boom to port and starboard deck locations at the rail 90 degrees to the mast.  The respective lowers must be move and attached to these points too. Release the uppers. Do not release the forestay.  No one stand under the mast during lowering.  After the mast is rotated down, someone is placed in front of the boat about 18' from the mast base (mast balance point).  They might have to be on a ladder to be high enough to hold the mast. Then a total of two or three people lift the mast and move it aft.

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These are precious information for me. Thanks! As I'm french speaking, I don't understand exactly what you mean by '' Unstring the main sheet system to a 1:1 to provide enough line for lowering'' Could you explain? There is a jib furler installed on the forestay, I guess I have to remove it before?

Proue.jpg

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3 hours ago, sailhmb said:

Hinge forward- use the boom as a king post. Unstring the main sheet system to a 1:1 to provide enough line for lowering.  Cleat the main sheet.  Two lines would be attached from the aft end of the boom to port and starboard deck locations at the rail 90 degrees to the mast.  The respective lowers must be move and attached to these points too. Release the uppers. Do not release the forestay.  No one stand under the mast during lowering.  After the mast is rotated down, someone is placed in front of the boat about 18' from the mast base (mast balance point).  They might have to be on a ladder to be high enough to hold the mast. Then a total of two or three people lift the mast and move it aft.

good information. I've never actually done it on mine, and the PO didn't really provide instructions. as to the issue if you have a furler, you can't disconnect it until the mast has been pitched forward as the mast definitely will want to come back.

@Jeannic2, "unstring main sheet" just means that you only need it to go through one block on the boom and one block on the main sheet block, it provides enough purchase and makes sure your main sheet will be long enough for the entire lowering procedure.

I don't know how much the carbon masts weigh but my Ballenger spar seems pretty light.

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I can copy that page from the manual for you but probably won't have that until next week. Je peux aussi aider un peu en Francais mais malheureusement je ne connais pas le vocabulaire du bateau! Nous avons essaye de monter notre mat avec le "tabernacle" mais nous avons echoue... D'apres ce que je comprends il faut enlever tous les shrouds et utiliser des halyards avec blocks dans les chainplates. Ha ha. J'echoue en franglais egalement :) 

Quand est-ce que vous allez faire le manœuvre?

 

IIRC the manual says... Use halyards to blocks in the chainplates as temporary shrouds while going up or down. You will want to run those back to winches so that you can adjust as you're going up and down (tighten as you go up, loosen as you go down). You use the main halyard, again on a winch, for the main lifting/lowering. Probably to the end of the boom, down to a mainsheet block and then over to a winch. I imagine!

(Still, as I wrote in French, we failed at raising in this fashion! We raise on the water using the gin pole off a J/24 hoist. That's quick, easy, safe and we've got it more or less worked out at this point. I think rotating to raise/lower would be easier if we added chainplates and a temporary wire triangle specifically designed and sized for the purpose - like I've seen on the F28.)

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Forgot to mention on the other thread regarding this topic -  there is supposed to be a retainer pin that keeps the mast plug connected to the cradle.

Pretty obvious but make sure this is in before you attempt lowering/raising.

 

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1 hour ago, c56602 said:

I can copy that page from the manual for you but probably won't have that until next week. Je peux aussi aider un peu en Francais mais malheureusement je ne connais pas le vocabulaire du bateau! Nous avons essaye de monter notre mat avec le "tabernacle" mais nous avons echoue... D'apres ce que je comprends il faut enlever tous les shrouds et utiliser des halyards avec blocks dans les chainplates. Ha ha. J'echoue en franglais egalement :) 

Quand est-ce que vous allez faire le manœuvre?

 

IIRC the manual says... Use halyards to blocks in the chainplates as temporary shrouds while going up or down. You will want to run those back to winches so that you can adjust as you're going up and down (tighten as you go up, loosen as you go down). You use the main halyard, again on a winch, for the main lifting/lowering. Probably to the end of the boom, down to a mainsheet block and then over to a winch. I imagine!

(Still, as I wrote in French, we failed at raising in this fashion! We raise on the water using the gin pole off a J/24 hoist. That's quick, easy, safe and we've got it more or less worked out at this point. I think rotating to raise/lower would be easier if we added chainplates and a temporary wire triangle specifically designed and sized for the purpose - like I've seen on the F28.)

yes, the main and spinnaker halyards can be used instead of the lowers. Building a special set of support rigging if you will be doing this a lot is recommended.

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When the lowers are used to stabilize the mast during lowering the main halyard is attached to the aft end of the boom.  If you use the halyards for mast stabilization you will still require a line from the mast to the boom, such as a topping lift. 

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2 minutes ago, sailhmb said:

When the lowers are used to stabilize the mast during lowering the main halyard is attached to the aft end of the boom.  If you use the halyards for mast stabilization you will still require a line from the mast to the boom, such as a topping lift. 

As far as I can tell the lowers are way too short to be used. The stabilization that I lacked was side-to-side. I believe halyards have too much stretch to be useful for this. At least, we had too much side-to-side!

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On my Elliott, the mast was lowered aft, but much of the same still applied. I used to use a line tied around the mast in the middle that would go down to the stanchions, which just happened to be at about exactly the right spot to not require adjustment while lowering. the jib halyard through a loop would keep tension on the line, pulling it up to the spreaders. Then you used the spinnaker halyard/tack line to raise/lower. A quick look at my lumbo and it seems like the stanchions are in about the right place to do something similar, the only question I ever had was whether the line going only to the 1st spreaders would be high enough to provide the needed stability. sounds like it would be. May have to try this on a windless day 

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5 minutes ago, c56602 said:

As far as I can tell the lowers are way too short to be used. The stabilization that I lacked was side-to-side. I believe halyards have too much stretch to be useful for this. At least, we had too much side-to-side!

Correct. If the lowers are left attached to the chain plates they are too short.  That is why they are attached to a location further forward that is abreast the mast.  Since this a 37' carbon mast, i'm estimating it weights 70-80#.  Not too bad.  You can put a person adjacent to each lower to pull laterally to keep the mast centered as required as the mast is lowered.  There is usually some cross wind which pushes the mast to one side or the other. therefore the centering load is on one side.  

Another question is how loose is the hinge.  A really tight hinge requires the mast to stay centered or the hinge will be damaged or fail.  

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The procedure sounds clear to me. Pretty simple. We will be 2 people to lower the mast. I will conduct a close inspection of the hinge before to proceed as the previous owner told me that he never unstepped the mast. Do you recommend to remove the spreaders for the trailer ride? As they are swept back, should I rotate the mast for 180 degrees to have them pointing downward during the transport? We'll see how it looks once it will be done. It will be easy to flip the mast if it is needed.

Now, the only thing I wish is that the Canada/USA border opens. Probably no sailing this summer. They announce that the border is still closed until June 21st. Some cleaning and small repairs to do on the boat. The season is short up north, on the Saguenay River.

Thanks for all the advices!

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3 hours ago, Jeannic2 said:

The procedure sounds clear to me. Pretty simple. We will be 2 people to lower the mast. I will conduct a close inspection of the hinge before to proceed as the previous owner told me that he never unstepped the mast. Do you recommend to remove the spreaders for the trailer ride? As they are swept back, should I rotate the mast for 180 degrees to have them pointing downward during the transport? We'll see how it looks once it will be done. It will be easy to flip the mast if it is needed.

Now, the only thing I wish is that the Canada/USA border opens. Probably no sailing this summer. They announce that the border is still closed until June 21st. Some cleaning and small repairs to do on the boat. The season is short up north, on the Saguenay River.

Thanks for all the advices!

For a long road transport I would suggest to remove spreaders and standing rigging. It just makes life easier. It also forces you to inspect everything once you put it back together which seems like a good idea if the previous owner has never unstepped the rig before.

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10 hours ago, neuronz said:

For a long road transport I would suggest to remove spreaders and standing rigging. It just makes life easier. It also forces you to inspect everything once you put it back together which seems like a good idea if the previous owner has never unstepped the rig before.

And label everything as you take it apart.

FB- Doug

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14 hours ago, Jeannic2 said:

Do you recommend to remove the spreaders for the trailer ride? As they are swept back, should I rotate the mast for 180 degrees to have them pointing downward during the transport?

We remove the lower spreaders and leave the uppers. We face them downwards. The uppers are small enough to be inside the lifelines but the lowers would rest on them.

We remove the standing rigging. Since the lower spreaders come off anyway half of the job is already done.

You will need a crutch for the mast at the aft of the boat and depending on the height of that another cushion on the companionway hatch as the mast will/should rest at least some there.

We have an additional taller crutch that we put under the mast on the foredeck when we have our boat parked for the winter. That moves the mast a little higher and makes it more likely that more snow slides off of our tarp.

The rear crutch that came with our boat was 2 (short!) hockey sticks bolted together. It mostly worked but we've since built a set of sturdier stands.

Here is a picture of our boat with our trailer extension attached. This was just when I was making it and test fitting - you can't drive like this! But you can trailer launch (and haul) the boat with it. If you look carefully you can see the hockey sticks...

IMG_5144.jpg

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On 5/27/2021 at 9:43 PM, c56602 said:

We remove the lower spreaders and leave the uppers. We face them downwards. The uppers are small enough to be inside the lifelines but the lowers would rest on them.

We remove the standing rigging. Since the lower spreaders come off anyway half of the job is already done.

You will need a crutch for the mast at the aft of the boat and depending on the height of that another cushion on the companionway hatch as the mast will/should rest at least some there.

We have an additional taller crutch that we put under the mast on the foredeck when we have our boat parked for the winter. That moves the mast a little higher and makes it more likely that more snow slides off of our tarp.

The rear crutch that came with our boat was 2 (short!) hockey sticks bolted together. It mostly worked but we've since built a set of sturdier stands.

Here is a picture of our boat with our trailer extension attached. This was just when I was making it and test fitting - you can't drive like this! But you can trailer launch (and haul) the boat with it. If you look carefully you can see the hockey sticks...

IMG_5144.jpg

Wow! this is a long pole. Good system to keep the truck far from the water, especially when it is salt water. Do you have the hinge on the mast foot? It looks like the foot of the mast is on the bow, right?

 

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4 hours ago, Jeannic2 said:

Wow! this is a long pole. Good system to keep the truck far from the water, especially when it is salt water. Do you have the hinge on the mast foot? It looks like the foot of the mast is on the bow, right?

 

The truck still goes into the water - you need a lot of length to launch from a trailer!

We have the hinged mast plate but have not successfully raised using it and haven't tried lowering.

The three times we've transported the boat we've had the base of the mast forward as shown. Most of the weight and strength of the mast is down low so we've had that in the bow pulpit while trailering - it is more solid and less likely to move than our crutch is.

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The manual pages! I think they’re out of order but you can hopefully figure it out :)

 

We haven’t really taken advantage of our new giant A2… That needs specific winds!

 

We still managed to take line a couple of times yesterday…

3824C62E-C7EE-4248-A107-3D3DFF23E4A7.jpeg

051BDCA9-E5B1-46AA-A473-428BCCD120D5.jpeg

E34211D8-CD41-4858-9C60-10EE948D0691.jpeg

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