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Posted (edited)

New to the forum, looking for help!

Newly purchased sail cruiser, modest, elderly but functional!  

Currently has a deck stepped mast on a hinge but only with a crude mast-crutch which was used to transport her to the broads.

This is a pretty bargain basement bilge keep cruiser (Sunray 21) but as a family we are now happily on the water and looking to expand our range on the broads.

I see many enviable a-frame, tabernacle, gin pole arrangements all around on similar boats.

Im looking to get the hinge converted to a tabernacle.

My question is - who should I approach to do such a job and does anyone have any idea how much it might cost?  

For reference the boat was bought for less than £1500, and although I’m looking to upgrade, any improvements have to bear in mind the value of the boat!

If I don’t go for a full A-frame solution and tabernacle can anyone suggest a different one I may have not thought of?

Thank you for any suggestions!

 

 

Edited by MarthamMarmite
I misspelt gin pole...

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a picture would give us an idea of what she currently has and make suggestions easier.

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I built a simple A Frame for our Swift 18 with metal tubing. It attached to the toe rail on each side, and the apex just lay on the fore deck when not in use.

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18 minutes ago, grendel said:

a picture would give us an idea of what she currently has and make suggestions easier.

Thank you - mast step picture attached!

 

D3FC455E-22CF-4C72-8999-5AC663AB6099.jpeg

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Try Martham boats they can make bespoke items and are well versed with sailboats.

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the issue I can see is that to go to a full tabernacle and counterweight system would possibly require a hatch to be cut through the deck, you will excuse me please if I am wrong, but most of my experience is from wooden yachts with timber masts, which do generally require counterweights for the ease of raising/ lowering required for the broads bridges.

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8 minutes ago, grendel said:

the issue I can see is that to go to a full tabernacle and counterweight system would possibly require a hatch to be cut through the deck, you will excuse me please if I am wrong, but most of my experience is from wooden yachts with timber masts, which do generally require counterweights for the ease of raising/ lowering required for the broads bridges.

This is an example of a metal tabernacle fitted on exactly the same boat, I think the advantage of aluminium masts means that generally a counterweight is not needed, rather an a frame and then using the jib halyard as a winch off the bow roller.  

 

Im really not an expert but hoping that someone knows who might undertake this work on the broads!

F2EE1315-FE75-441A-BE5B-CB1CCBDDDEF3.jpeg

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ah yes I see now, that should be doable, you would just need to obtain the parts, I am sure there are many that could do the work, there are a few boatyards that could achieve this, martham boats has already been suggested, but there are also others, and there are others who might offer assistance here.

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If you go to tabernacle the pivot pin is moved up the mast so that the assembly is effectively hinged above its current fixing. Would your current rigging allow that? If you have wires/ropes running up inside the mast they would be affected by the new mounting system. It may be as simple as exiting such rigging further up the mast but, on the other hand, it could lead to a total re engineering of those areas.

Is the mast itself physically able to take the new pivot point internally? There would possibly need to be some sort of strengthened area within the actual mast tube to facilitate the bolt etc.

Because your roof already holds the existing rig it may well be up to holding the new set up. Any local fabricators ought to be able to make the actual tabernacle using your original and the photo you have included above. I would suggest you make sure any strengthening within the roof moulding was still up to scratch though.

Maybe Polly will have some photo's of the set up she talked about above that will help you formulate a plan?

Martham Boats certainly have lots of experience of getting boats through 'that bridge' and would be a very good starting point.

 

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8 hours ago, MarthamMarmite said:

For reference the boat was bought for less than £1500, and although I’m looking to upgrade, any improvements have to bear in mind the value of the boat!

I hate to put a damper on this, but you may have already answered the question for yourself. At a guess, I doubt if you could fit an A frame for less than £1000.

A Broads tabernacle is "hog stepped", which entails structural alterations to your foredeck, deck beams and cabin front which would not be practical and would also affect the sea-going integrity of the boat. You would also need a mast at least 3ft longer than the present one. Using the jib halyard as the purchase does not work either. It needs a purchase, or runner to a winch, from the stem head to the underside of the A frame. Unless such an arrangement was demountable when not in use, it would raise the foot of the jib and may well affect the cut of it.

Any standing rigging (shrouds) fixed forward of the mast step would have to be made demountable and the A frame would need need strong supports on the side deck directly abeam of the mast step at the "chain plates", where there may not already be a suitable shroud fitting.

One way or the other, if you are thinking of staying on the Broads I would sell the boat and buy another, more suitably designed for inland waters. 

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Sorry I don't have photos. The base of the mast wasn't a tabernacle either. Try the A frame first. 

I will try to draw it a bit later.

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Those nice people at Whelptons, Upton Dyke, have a few seagoing sailing boats converted for Broads use, worth a call.  An alternative is to come South, Waveney and Yare, lots of sailing without having to bother with bridges.  I have lowered  the mast on a Hurley 22 using the spinnaker pole and jib sheets to brace it.

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This picture look pretty self explanatory to me. Might even try it on my own boat! It looks to be a practical solution.

Mast lowering.jpg

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2 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Those nice people at Whelptons, Upton Dyke, have a few seagoing sailing boats converted for Broads use, worth a call.  An alternative is to come South, Waveney and Yare, lots of sailing without having to bother with bridges.  I have lowered  the mast on a Hurley 22 using the spinnaker pole and jib sheets to brace it.

Thank you very much for all of your help!

I got the mast down today with the help of two excellent friends, it wasn’t too bad!

My conclusion is that a gin pole system will allow this single handed probably without an a frame and then the easiest thing will be to detach the mast from the hinged base.

As always a bit of help from friends helped a lot.

I would definitely be looking for a tabernacle in the next boat, but fitting one to the current one would mean compromising the seaworthiness, not something I want to do!

Thank you

 

 

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Just one small point    Do not drop the mast on anyone’s head, Phill did that to me :default_gbxhmm: :default_biggrin:

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56 minutes ago, Polly said:

Just one small point    Do not drop the mast on anyone’s head, Phill did that to me :default_gbxhmm: :default_biggrin:

Accidently, or had he just lost an argument, as us men do ?

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He said ‘I will take this bolt out ,”

I said, ‘Don’t its holding the mast.’

He did, it was. :default_biggrin:

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6 hours ago, Polly said:

Just one small point    Do not drop the mast on anyone’s head, Phill did that to me :default_gbxhmm: :default_biggrin:

That explains a hell of a lot :default_hiding:

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That explains a hell of a lot

Doesn't it just!   :default_icon_e_surprised:    :default_gbxhmm:    :default_hiding:

Griff

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I seem to be putting a damper on this again, but lowering a mast is a potentially dangerous, indeed deadly, operation. It may be just a light aluminium pole but there are very steep moments of leverage involved.

At least a tabernacle gives a degree of lateral stability, especially with the short mast of a gaff rigged boat, for which it is designed. An A frame (known in the Navy as a sheer legs) also provides a lot of lateral stability when fitted properly. The danger with DIY devices such as seen above, is when you get a sudden gust of wind or when some day boat comes past making a wash and the whole thing twists off and falls sideways.

I am aware that the last person to be killed when lowering a mast - and there have been several - was only last year on Wroxham Broad, when a member of the Cruiser Class, also with a very light racing pole, was trapped in the forepeak by the heel of the mast when part of the new rig failed.

This is an aspect of Broads sailing which should not be played with or "jury rigged" unless you know about the stresses involved with purchases, tackles and especially, rigging shackles.

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Vaughan is right, they are dangerous:the mast hit me hard as I ducked then stopped at the pushpit rail, that probably saved me serious injury.

NB this was before I rigged an A Frame so that wasn't the cause.The design shown above seems a bit scary in relying on a foot not moving from the base, all sorts of things might happen to make you move.

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