By S/V Lealea | February 22, 2016 at 05:28 PM EST | No Comments
With a Tabernacle Mast Step
By Chuck Rose
Last week we uploaded a video to YouTube showing us lowering and stowing Lealea’s mast. That video generated a lot of comments and questions so I thought I would take a little time to show more details.
There are two keys to the process. First is the tabernacle itself. In this case, it is a simple stainless steel hinge with a flange to secure the base of the mast in place. It is made of what appears to be 3/16 inch or 4mm flat stock with a heavy bolt for a pin. Second is the stabilizing harness. The harness is in three parts. Two of these attach to the lower shroud chainplates and to the upper shroud clevis. The third part attaches to the after end of the boom and runs to the harness fitting at the upper shroud clevis on either side. The purpose is to keep the mast from swinging side to side as it is being lowered by keeping tension on the upper shrouds and to keep the boom from flopping over to one side. These guys need not be as tight as the rigging but must be snug enough to limit movement of the spars side to side.
The procedure is to attach the main halyard or topping lift to the boom holding it at 90 degrees to the mast. Then attach an extra-long four-part tackle to the boom and traveler or other convenient fitting on the vessel centerline (We shackle two mainsheet tackles together). Next we set up the harness, nice and snug, keeping everything square and the boom on the centerline. Now we can disconnect the backstay. With a hand on the mainsheet tackle, give the headstay a tug to get the mast started moving forward. Control the descent from the cockpit with the tackle.
Now you can work on that mast head tricolor from the dock instead of 35 feet in the air.
To raise the mast simply reverse the process.