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More Details - Raising and Lowering the Mast

With a Tabernacle Mast Step

lowering the mast

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.

 boom harness


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.

 mast down

To raise the mast simply reverse the process.

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"Jim's book is thoroughly, entertaining and honest and for us to be included is an honor. 

If you dream of sailing off into the sunset after you retire we suggest "Sailing into Retirement" is a must read."

Chuck and Laura

Fellow shipmate, Fran Taylor, writes about her many adventures as crew sailing aboard different tall ships and she mentions one voyage in particular  during her time aboard HMB Endeavour where she meets a couple on their honeymoon.  Read the humorous tale of the seasick groom and how a new "private signal" was born among the Endeavour crew.
The first book I read after moving aboard Lealea.  A wonderful journey that got me dreaming.
Looking for a read that will make your stomach hurt from laughing?  This one did it for us!  A definite page turner.
-Chuck and Laura

"This Old Boat" If you can only have one book on sailboat maintenance aboard, this is the one.

-Chuck Rose

"This old boat" If you can only have one book on sailboat maintenance, this is the one.
Chuck and Laura

“The Ashley Book of Knots” by Clifford W. Ashley is, quite simply, the definitive work on knots.  We think if you have more than a passing interest in marlinspike seamanship or decorative knotting this book is pretty much a “Must Have” This book is a high mass volume. 
                       -Chuck and Laura
Fran Taylor was born and grew up in Scotland on the banks of the River Clyde.  She has sailed all over the world in a number of “Tall Ships” and has had a number of articles published. She is a regular on the guest  speaking circuit around Perth where she lives when not pursuing her dreams and answering the call of the sea. In 2012 she took part in the Titanic Memorial Cruise, a special event to commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the sinking. This book tells that story.
The story of Margo Wood and her husband Charles who began the "Charlie's Charts" cruising guide series. When her husband passed away she began to sail as a singlehander.   A wonderful story about a lady I admire a lot. - Laura  
An excellent read for anyone interested in single handed sailing. An inspiration for women. Anne had quite an adventure and this book is especially interesting to Albin Vega owners.- Chuck
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