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In-Situ Mast Step Replacement

Started by PeteW, February 08, 2013, 03:29:24 PM

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I was led to believe this was not feasible on this site, but in the marina I call home its a fairly common procedure. Plus I saved myself around $3K not getting a rigger and ship yard involved in this. But Kids, don't try this one at home.

Jacking up your mast requires some forthought, a solid deck house, and a bit of nerve. To get the mast to lift 2" I had to remove the jib stay and both uppers. Replace the jib stay with a halyard, loosen the mizzen completely including the back stays and mizzen sheet. The mizzen mast must tilt forward slightly for the main mast to go up. The mast collar clamp is home brew. I had to wedge it under the mast cleats to keep it from slipping. (slipping is not good)

The bottle jacks work nicely. Loosen the lower shrouds as you go. If the mast doesn't go up easily, check the rigging and keep loosening. Its not all that heavy.  Be sure to remove the lag bolts on the old step prior. The old step will probably come up with the mast. You will need a large drift and sledge hammer to get to old step off. Grind up the keel surface, clean up the base of the mast and slip the new step in. I had to shim this step level with a small block of wood. Keep your fingers out of there!

The mast is suspended in this picture. The wedges are to position the new step over the old mounting holes prior to dropping it down completely. Once in position, I dammed it up with cardboard and flooded the voids though the 3/8" mounting holes with a funnel and structural epoxy. When that sets up drill out the holes and install the four 8" SS lag bolts.

This step is made from phenolic, sometimes called micarta. The micarta shoes are bolted to the base with 3/8" SS concrete anchors pushed in from the bottom side. There is a fifth anchor for the tensioning rod.

Pearson 365 Ketch ,SV "Tartanic"


That was an awesome clinic on "How to".
Thanx very much for the info. is our cruising blog.

Dale Tanski

I would gladly exchange $3k for a finger or a hand any day....

Dale Tanski
Pearson 365 Cutter Ketch
1976 Hull #40
Buffalo, N.Y.


nice job out of the box thinking,not quite with the 3k tho is that what it cost there to step the mast as in the UK it's £120.0 at my yard,