Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

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Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby JoeCapeCod » Sat Mar 05, 2022 6:53 pm

Hi, Can anyone tell me if masts made for the models 1,2,and 3 can be switched and stepped on all, some, or just the correctly designated model? I am considering purchasing a hull but need to become informed about whether there are significant differences in the mast steps and masts themselves that would prevent mixing rig models and hull models. Thanks!
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby GreenLake » Sun Mar 06, 2022 6:07 am

The answer is something neither yes or no. Generally, the rig is the same for all models of DS. However, masts can be keel-stepped or deck-stepped. (With a tabernacle or hinge, and either a section of mast profile or something else as a "compression post" below the tabernacle). Because many owners have converted their boats from keel-stepped to deck-stepped, there isn't a fully standardized height for the tabernacle.

Also, the hinges are of several designs, so you can't expect any mast with the top part of a hinge to work with the bottom part of some random tabernacle. Usually solved by fitting a new hinge. If the length of the top portion is longer than what you are replacing, you may have to trim it. Minor differences in mast height can be ignored, but you may need to readjust the shrouds or get new set.

But some masts have their "cut" at an odd location. If you can't replace the compression post for some reason, that is, you can't use the full new mast, then you may be out of luck.

Finally, even for keel-stepped masts there may be a slight difference in how the mast step is configured. You may need to replace of adapt the mast foot a bit.

If you are looking at a concrete scenario, start by carefully measuring old and new.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby itsmeken » Tue Mar 15, 2022 2:58 pm

I have a 1958 DS 1 with a Proctor mast. I will be sailing singlehandedthe vast majority of the time. This means I will be stepping the mast solo. Does anyone know if a tabernacle kit exists for the Proctor mast? Thank you in advance.

Ken
1958 Day Sailer 1
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby tomodda » Tue Mar 15, 2022 11:16 pm

Don't chop your Mast! A unchopped Proctor Mast is precious, if you weren't on the Left Coast, I'd offer to trade you. Main advantage of unchopped Mast is that you can control the bend much better. I've no experience with Proctor, but yes with Hobie Cats and you with Lasers. Putting in a tabernacle just screws up the whole geometry, I cry inside every time I see my Mast flexing at the hinge. My main way of controlling bend is with the vang, and it just pains me to see how much of my control gets lost by the Mast flexing in the wrong place. It's, only a bit (less than an inch) at the tabernacle itself, but I think of all the power I'm losing up high, where it counts.

Don't worry about raising the unchopped Mast. It's light enough (40 pounds) to lift single-handed, just awkward. GreenLake has a fancy sleeve system that he invented to help raise the unchopped Mast. And there's other tips and tricks here. You'll figure it out. Please don't chop it.
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby itsmeken » Wed Mar 16, 2022 6:22 pm

@tomodda...I'm convinced. I'll leave it unchopped!
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby GreenLake » Thu Mar 17, 2022 1:35 am

I posted extensively on the mast-raising sleeve, but I did not invent it (came with the boat and I've maintained it). It's a darn useful device.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby itsmeken » Fri Mar 18, 2022 1:24 pm

I attempted unsuccessfully today for the first time to step the mast (Proctor mast) by myself. I'm 6'3", 235lbs. and strong. While it may be possible I did not feel the risk to me, the boat or my vehicle was worth it. So, I have to come up with another way as I will be sailing mostly single-handed. GreenLake, I did review your set up and it looks great! Just not sure I want to mount a plate to the cuddy deck. However, unless someone has another method that works well and is safe for one person to step this mast, I may have to do the same. Thanks!
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby GreenLake » Fri Mar 18, 2022 4:12 pm

Don't sweat mounting a plate. I found it's a great place to mount all sorts of other things you want to have close to the mast base. And, as it "came with the boat" I never gave it a second thought. It just means you need to fix the vang to the mast raising hinge, not the mast, but that seems to work fine.

The instructions I published mention a tripod - note that that is optional. Great for days you've injured your back, but at your size, definitely not needed normally. Just center yourself under the weight when standing in the cockpit, use one low and one high hand on the mast once it's upright, and make sure there's nothing to trip on in the boat.

Also, note any incline -- this works best if the bow is pointing up just a bit. I found that the mast partners will not let the mast slide down if not at the good angle, with a bit of practice you get it on the maststep in one.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby tomodda » Fri Mar 18, 2022 11:25 pm

@itsmeken , you'll figure it out, no reason to expect it to work the first time. I had a hell of a time with my hinged mast the first few times, including almost twisting off the tabernacle as it fell sideways. So, there's definitely a learning curve. I think with the keel-stepped mast, the trick is to get it vertical OFF THE GROUND, while you are standing on the seats as far forward in the cockpit as you can go (or maybe while standing on the side deck? or the cuddy top?). Anyway once it's vertical, then ally-oop, lift it up and place it down into the partners.

On the other hand, GL's sleeve arrangement means that you can raise the mast the same way as you do with the hinged/tabernacle one. Much more convenient than trying to stab a 22-foot toothpick into a 2.5 inch hole! Anyway, practice, practice....

Tom
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby GreenLake » Sun Mar 20, 2022 12:15 am

I dropped my mast once (only) when I managed to raise the bottom too high so it came out of the sleeve. Other than that, the thing's been genius. I've used it over 300 times by now.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Are mast steps/ masts compatible?

Postby Champlaner » Sat Apr 16, 2022 3:09 pm

Ok ok, I confess!! I made the sleeve/hinge in question. Just stop the brutal hinting and sending spies to the boat ramp! ;-)

Starting a new thread in this section....
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