Reply To: Take down the mast for winter storage Dufour 1800

Mark Hillmann

    Although a crane is easier I have raised and lowered this size of mast many times.  We used to shoot the Medway bridge with the sails up.
    My 1800 has a Z spars mast weighing about 23kg with a pivot pin on the aft side of the foot plate, so lowering it aft is possible .
    You do need to set up temporary shrouds each side as the swept ones go loose when the masthead comes aft.  I connect a robust rope each side from the shroud anchorage to the mooring cleat with an eye or figure of 8 knot carefully lined up with the pivot pin and connect the main halyard one side and spinnaker halyard the other.  The spinnaker pole is then put in its working place, horizontally next to the forestay, with a rope from the end to the eyes each side and the jib halyard taken through the outer end and down to the bow.
    When all this is set up and you are happy that as the mast comes aft on the pin, nothing will go slack or get too tight, then take the boom off and disconnect the forestay.  The jib halyard then needs slowly easing out as the mast is pulled aft
    As previously said a lot of weight comes on to the jib halyard as the mast comes down but someone standing in the cockpit should take the weight easily and let the pin be taken out.
    At 9.8m the mast is longer than the hull so we have stored ours on chocks next to the boat.
    I agree with the previous writers that without a proper setup to control the mast it an become dangerous and that a mast hoist is much easier.