Putting up/Taking Down the Mast Advise

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Postby Guest » Thu Aug 22, 2002 8:20 pm

I am getting into the J/80 class having sailing mainly Lightnings (which I will continue to pursue). I have crewed on other big boat and have helped in raising/lowering the mast using gin poles etc. Sometimes I may not have a gin pole or hoist to use. My question is whether it is feasable to put up or take down a J/80 mast on the trailer in a fashion similar to what I do with my Lightning. If so what is the technique and how many people does it take?
Terry Burke

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 22, 2002 10:51 pm

Don't know what you do on a Lightning, but I wouldn't try it without a gin pole. Many of the class assoc. members have fabricated their own poles which they take with them when they travel. I'm sure they will share the plans with you.

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 23, 2002 5:30 pm

I am showing my lack of knowledge on gin poles and the weight of the J/80 mast. With a little research, I have determined that it is obvious that a gin pole is needed for stepping the J/80 mast. I look through the J/24 web site and found information about constructing either A-frame gin poles or using an old mast section stabilized with stays. My new question is there any plans for constructing such units for the J/80? How high does the pole have to be over the deck? How does one stablize the pole's step on the deck?

Postby Guest » Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:44 am

1. Do not attempt to raise your J-80 mast without a gin pole or mast crane, no matter how many people you have to help you.
2. Standard (16 ft?) gin pole sold by Hall Rigging for J-24's is about 8 inches too short for a J-80, but you can fabricate a box to mount it on the deck that will add the required height.
3. If using a standard tube or old mast, all you need is a pad of thick carpeting and three "stays" to support your pole.

Postby Guest » Tue Aug 27, 2002 12:14 pm


Another helpful piece of iniformation for your mast/raising project is that the balance point for the mast is 15-18 inches above the lower spreader.

Many owners lift the mast with a loop tied under the lower spreader. Others (as I do) lift the mast with a rope tied around the mast around a foot above the lower spreader. The rope tail is cleated on the cleat for the main halyard. The mast is just a little easier to handle when lifted from this point. So you may want to construct your gin pole to accomadate this heitgh in case you decide to lift the mast above the lower spreader.

Let us know how the project goes and if you come up with a great design-please share it with us! (or better yet build an extra one for me-I've wanted to do this for a year).

See ya;


USA 334-"Boomerang"

Postby Guest » Sat Oct 02, 2004 9:49 am

Hi All, Thought I would chip in here

I build the gin pole for Kikiyon (Hull 220)
Here's what I built.

I agree the balance point is just above the spreaders, I have found though that is very manageable if raised lowered from the lower spreaders

Basic design: 18' 6" total length.
I used this length so that the top is far enough above the lower spreaders that all Pole rigging lines are clear during the raise and lower.

I used a 2.5" .125 Wall Aluminum tube - I got this from a local Metal supplier. If I were to do another I would spend the extra $$ and use a 3" tube. The 2.5" tube is adequate but dose need the proper tension of its shrouds. Over tensioning flexes the pole.

I started out with rope shrouds for the pole and this was not working. I experienced to much stretch in the inexpensive rope I used. I have since switched to steel cables. The steel is about the same price as good low stretch rope if you put your own eyes on the ends.

I included a cheap trailer crank winch on the pole that locks so that the person rasing and lowering can stop and help out if necessary. This allows for the mast to be raised with a minimum of people. We do it with 2 people

The pole has three shrouds, Two side shrouds attached to the pole about 3' below the head and a Bow shroud attached at the head. The bow shroud attaches to the bow cleat. The two side shrouds run to the base of the middle lifeline stanchion and then back to the primary Jib Winches.

The base I make of a plate of aluminum then add a layer of plywood that is wrapped in carpet. I made the base so that it pivots. this really helps in rasing and lowering the pole.

If you want you can email me, I'm happy to discuss this further.

Robert Kannair

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