Mast step bolt

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by tynwald, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. tynwald

    tynwald Member

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    Quick question. Does anyone know off hand the size of the bolt that holds the mast in the mast step? Mine came out when being trailered (apparently, I didn't screw the wing nut on tightly enough :(). The boat's out at the lake, otherwise I'd measure it myself.
     
  2. rick.nh

    rick.nh New Member

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    Looks like a 3/8-18 x 3" bolt. Does anyone have a problem stepping the mast? I sail alone, and it seems I need to raise the mast a couple of inches above the transom to fit the bolt through the holes. Should I elongate the holes, or is there a reason for this?
     
  3. tynwald

    tynwald Member

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    Thanks!

    Yes, I've noticed the same thing when stepping the mast. Also, the shroud spreaders are at a position on the mast where they hit the top of the transom right at the position you need to place the bolt through the step. With the weight of the mast, you'd like to place the spreaders on one side or the other of the transom when you're going solo. Think I'll try putting something between the transom and the mast that lifts the mast up enough to take pressure of the spreaders. Anyone have a tip for doing this?
     
  4. JGM

    JGM Member

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    I use a mast crutch which mounts into the rudder gudgeons. It's primarily for trailering but I noticed it really helps to keep the spreaders off the transom. I'll post a pic if you're interested. Takes a couple hours to make out of wood and some hardware.

    Jim
     
  5. tynwald

    tynwald Member

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    That would be great, Jim. I was thinking about something along those lines, but it would be nice to see what you've done rather than "re-invent the wheel" ;).
     
  6. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    This is my mast crutch designed for lite duty only, when travelling up and down the river. Notice, the weight of the mast is supported at the top of the transom. The SS rod does a good job of keeping things in place however, I would not recommend this set-up for road use unless the crutch is securely braced by some sort of diagonal bracing; the SS rod will not handle the side sway forces associated with towing, especially on country roads, "it will bend".
    Eventually, I will take the router to the wood and give it some shape, incidentally it stows comfortably in the cuddy when not in use.
     

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  7. MajorH

    MajorH Member

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    Elegant solution!
     
  8. JGM

    JGM Member

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    Well, here's my crutch. The board is 18" x 5 3/4" x 3/4" thick. I used a piece of mahogany laying around but any solid piece of wood should work fine. The u-shaped crutch is 2 3/4" wide by 6" tall and cut with a jig saw and lined with some self-adhesive rubber gasket material to keep the latex paint off the mast.

    The two pintle hooks were cut from a couple zinc-plated 5/16" u-bolts. The holes for mounting to the board are centered 9 1/4" and 16 3/4" from the top of the crutch. If you choose to duplicate this design, be sure to measure the position of your gudgeons to make sure they are spaced the same as mine.

    The unusual assembly on the top allows you to slide the mast rearward for bolting to the step. The two pins are 1/2" aluminum by 5" long and epoxied into the two ends of the crutch, and the PVC pipe is 2" diameter by 5 3/4" long. It's easy to use. Just unfasten the mast (remove the bungees), slip the pipe off the pins, lift the mast out of the crutch, replace the pipe and then set the mast top back down on the pipe. Go forward, grab the base of the mast, slide it backward until the hole lines up with the mast step. Then raise as usual.

    It works pretty well except since I replaced the main halyard this spring with a slightly smaller line, sometimes sliding the mast back embeds the halyard in the bolt rope slot. Fortunately a tug on the halyard pulls it back out when the mast is erect. There are no problems trailering and it's holding up well after a couple years.

    Hope this is helpful,
    Jim
     

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  9. tynwald

    tynwald Member

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    I really like what you've done here, Jim. I hadn't thought of adding something on top of the crutch to help hold the mast in the right position for securing to the step. Great idea. If I understand what you did with the pintels, it looks like you cut the threads off of one end of the U-bolt, then bent it to get the 90 degree bend? Anyway, this looks like the way to go! Thanks.
     
  10. JGM

    JGM Member

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    It's actually much easier than that. I just removed one leg of the U which left it in the L shape - no bending required.

    Glad you like it! :)
    Jim
     
  11. humble monkey

    humble monkey New Member

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    i was thinking about this yesterday & would have made this way more complicated than it had to be! great idea and excellent pictures. thanks alot. -dave
     
  12. tynwald

    tynwald Member

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    Thought I'd show you my variation of Jim's design. Just using items I had lying around, I cut a piece of poplar to the same dimensions as Jim's, then put a strip of Velcro (soft side) in the bottom of the cut-out. I also substituted the piece of PVC with a cedar 2X2 cut to length and covered with scrap carpet. I used the ends cut from the U-bolts to make the posts to secure the 2x2. I definitely need to get a longer bungee, like Jim's, but just used what I had. One thing to notice is that on closer inspection, one can see some chips along the lower starboard side of the crutch. I've learned that this thing can pop out pretty easily if you hit it just right with the mast!:eek:

    C14a.jpg

    C14b.jpg
     
  13. JGM

    JGM Member

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    Nice job! I'm flattered...:)
     
  14. daveredmon

    daveredmon New Member

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    securing mast to hull on trailer for travel

    I have the Catalina 14.2 EXPO with a long mast made of carbon fiber. My sail is transported and stored whlle furled around the mast and covered with a fabric sheath. I secure the mast & sail with bungee cords in two places: forward in the mast crutch and aft to the motor mount padded with my boat cushion/throwable life preserver. Simple, and it works!

    Dave in Kansas
     

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