What's new

Laser 2: Stepping the mast solo?

Buttonwood

New Member
Hi Folks,

Complete newb to boat ownership/dinghy sailing.

I recently purchased a nice Laser 2 and I'm wondering if anyone has some advice on stepping the mast. Here's some questions:

1.Is it safe for the boat/trailer to stand in the boat while it is on the trailer?
2.Is it possible to dry launch the Laser 2 (pull it off the trailer on land)? Has anyone tried this?
3.Is the Laser/Laser 2 stable on its hull on the hard or am I better off just stepping the mast on the trailer? (It is already quite unstable on the trailer but I don't want to go through the effort of putting it on land if it won't be an improvement).
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
I'm not familiar with how the mast is stepped. Is it deck stepped on a hinge or does the mast fit into a hole in the deck? I would not recommend standing on the boat while it's on a trailer or on the ground. If it is deck stepped connect the shrouds and get the rear part of the hinge connected to the mast step. Then, take a line and connect it to the bottom of the forestay. Stand back for leverage and you should be able to pull the mast straight up.

It might help it you use a bracket to elevate the mast at the stern. You should be able to fashion a bracket that fits into the rudder gougeons.
 

Riv

Member
1) depends how it is supported. If it is supported on the Centreline in two places you can stand in the boat
2) raising the mast is easier with the boat on the grass/soft stuff.
3) boat will need chocks to keep it level when on the ground.

I do ours when it is on the launching trolley. I'm 6ft 1" and can step the mast standing next to it. If you have a soft place to put the boat and it's your first time you will find it easier
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
There are many ways to step a deck-stepped mast. The title of the thread indicates a basic problem: it's much easier to step when both crew members are doing it. You just bring the mast upright, position the foot in the step, and fasten the shrouds & forestay while your partner holds it from falling down.

If there are absolutely no people around to hold the mast up for a few seconds, what I'd do is to tilt the boat on its side, fasten the shroud on the high side, put the mast in the step, hold the forestay tight while attaching it, and lastly attach the shroud on the low side while the mast is leaning against the other two wires.

To answer your questions, 1) I would avoid standing in the Laser 2 cockpit when the boat is not in the water, as that can weaken the hull. But you don't need to do that. 2) and 3) Having the boat on or off a trailer shouldn't make stepping the mast significantly different.

Anyway, after you've managed to get the mast up, you need to do some tuning. I can give you some basic numbers and how to measure them when you get that far. (Many people who've asked for advice on this forum have thought that the work is done at that point. It's just the beginning!)

Rob, there's no hinge or hole in the Laser 2, just a slot in the mast step for the mast foot fitting. If you use the "walk-up" or "forestay pull-up" methods, you still need someone to hold the mast foot in place.

_
 

Buttonwood

New Member
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions.

I wound up dry launching the boat onto grass and I was able to hoist the mast and step it by myself. The trick I found was to use a piece of carpet to protect the cockpit floor and then use the forward cockpit coaming to support the base of the mast while I hoisted it. Once the mast was vertical I was able to lock off the forestay and simply lift the mast vertically to insert the base into the step.

Next time I won't dry launch the boat. I found that it was easier to stand on the boat while in the trailer when it was attached to the hitch. Trying to stand in the boat while it is on the trailer without being hitched is far too unstable to be safe.

I hope I did not do any damage to the hull by standing in the cockpit on the hard. I won't do that again, or at least I will make sure to do it on soft sand. I am not sure I would be able to hoist the mast by myself without standing in the cockpit, however.

Unfortunately while doing this experimentation I discovered that the floor of the cockpit is quite soft. I tapped every inch of the boat, hull and deck before purchasing, but of course I forgot to check the cockpit. I think it is probably due for repair but is most likely sail-worthy in the meantime.

Again, thank you all for the information. I think the Laser 2 is a very interesting dinghy, like a full-sized sloop shrunk down in miniature. I even plan to find a spinnaker (I already have the pole).

My ultimate goal is to take this boat on longer trips, cooking and sleeping on the boat (while at anchor, of course). I know, I know, sounds crazy, but I'm very committed to my vision. It's going to take a few months to get ready. I appreciate you guys helping me to avoiding sinking in the meantime!

Thanks,
Adam
 

Buttonwood

New Member
Anyway, after you've managed to get the mast up, you need to do some tuning. I can give you some basic numbers and how to measure them when you get that far. (Many people who've asked for advice on this forum have thought that the work is done at that point. It's just the beginning!)



_
The former owner has the shrouds set up but I have the feeling he didn't know what he was doing. I would be very appreciate if you would share your wisdom here!
 

Riv

Member
Look for Mike Croker on YouTube. 6 years ago he posted a good set of Laser 2 tutorials. I used them to set up ours. Saved a lot of time.
 
Top