Tips for stepping a 14.2 Expo mast

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by bernardd, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. bernardd

    bernardd Member

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    I just saw the thread on stepping a 14.2 mast when the boat is in the water and wondered if anyone has tips, hints etc. for stepping an Expo mast when the boat is on the trailer? For those not familiar with the Expo mast, there are basically no fittings etc. on which you can attached lines, stays - it's essentially smooth to the tip.

    What I find most difficult is you have to get the mast perpendicular to the hull in both planes so that the foot of the mast drops over the bottom pin, however it's VERY hard to judge the angle when you're supporting the mast with your shoulder with the trailer on even a slightly inclined entrance to a boat ramp. Once I had to resort to getting my Wife to stand at a distance to judge the angle.

    Does anyone have any tips for making this easier? I've wondered about a small guide (basically a plastic drawing square / triangle from a kids school kit (do they still use them?) that I stand on the fore deck as a guide, then leave in the car when I'm sailing. Are there other ways to judge the alignment to make this easier?

    Thanks,

    Bernard
     
  2. jc9767

    jc9767 New Member

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    Bernard,
    I feel your pain. I usually have two people holding the mast while I try to set it on the pin. It helps if you have someone looking down the mast hole to help guide you. It is more a hit and miss with us, just kind of moving it around until it seats. We also put the boat on the beach while trying it, it seems to be easier if the boat is lower and you can have people on either side.
     
  3. bernardd

    bernardd Member

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    Thanks for the feedback - it's reassuring to know it's not just me.

    I've started looking at another idea. The foot of the mast is about 2 1/2" dia and the (stainless?) pin is about 3" long so I'm wondering if I can fix, say, a 3" dia tube about 6" tall with a taper top around the pin so that I have to aim the mast into the tapered top of the tube, and then it will slide down pretty much aligned. There's about 14-15" between the plate to which the pin is welded and the deck so I could probably go beyond 6" in tube height, but I'm currently wondering how I fix the tube in the right position? If I can find a way to do that which doesn't require structural mods. I think I'll experiment to see if I can make it work.

    All other ideas welcome!

    Bernard
     
  4. Ed Conrad

    Ed Conrad New Member

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    I've only had my Expo for ten days and sailed it twice. Both times I stepped the mast while on the trailer. What I've done is have my crew hold the foot of the mast against the hole for the mast. I walk it forward until I am on the bow and over the hole. The first time I had to search around for the pin. On the second try, I was able to actually see into the hole and found the pin on the first try. Maybe just luck, but if the mast has started to slip into the hole, you can still see to the pin. I personally find the stability of the trailer a plus over trying to step the mast on a boat that is rocking back and forth as I move around.
     
  5. bernardd

    bernardd Member

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    I've been trying an experiment. I went to the local hardware store and bought some 3" waste pipe plus a 4"->3" reducer and found this helps to locate the foot of the mast while I'm installing it - the 3" pipe has a reasonable clearance over the mast dia. and allows it to rotate freely when installed.

    This is the concept (forgive the dirt!):

    IMG_0597.jpg

    Without the deck plate it looks like:

    IMG_0601.jpg


    I was able to test it by holding the bottom of the pipe with a piece of plywood dropped over the boom pin:

    IMG_0598.jpg


    So now I'm faced with the question of how to fix this pipe and (probably) one for the boom without cutting or ideally sticking anything to the hull. Also I don't have the facilities to drill and tap the locating plate at the bottom of the recess, which I suspect is stainless and therefore pretty hard.

    The idea I'm looking at is to mould a "plug" in-situ with the two pipes in position so I can pull out the whole assembly if I need to get to the plate and/or the drain. I'd probably trim and push the ply down to the bottom of the recess and line the space above it before pouring in a couple of inches of resin with filler.

    Has anyone had any experience of doing something similar?

    Can anyone suggest the optimum type of resin and filler for this application? There should be any continuous load on the resin because there's clearance between the mast and the pipe, but it could get some side loads when I'm installing the mast if I don't have it upright.

    Thanks,

    Bernard
     

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  6. T. W. Nelson

    T. W. Nelson Member

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  7. T. W. Nelson

    T. W. Nelson Member

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    Due to the fact that there should be no lateral stress I would think that some silicone sealer chaulk around the base would work. We use it to put on kitchen counter tops with no other fasteners and it holds fine. I think you're on to something.
     
  8. cnw1995

    cnw1995 New Member

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    This is a clever idea. I'm looking forward to hearing how it works out for you.
     
  9. Donald1

    Donald1 New Member

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    How is your mast stepper guide working out. Any pictures of it in action would be great/ Perhaps something on
    You Tube showing it in action. Don
     

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