Flying Scot mast raising system

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Mast raising video. Alison's second attempt at raising the Flying Scot mast, success! Our mast raising system has a line with clips, tied in the middle with a figure 8 to form a loop. The loop was passed through the spinnaker ring and tensioned with the main halyard to keep the mast from falling sideways. This has changed, I always worried about the winch releasing while the mast went up, even though it never did, so now I clip to the spinnaker ring directly and don't use the main halyard.

The first video shows building the 2nd part of the system, a bipod, two legs to hold the winch cable above the boat. I made one from a 10 foot 2X2, a bolt, short piece of chain, two end rubbers, and some rope. I've seen people use pipe or metal conduit successfully. WARNING: If the bipod slips on the deck, the mast can fall, and it has done so for at least one person. The rubber tips are fine for a stool or chair, but crutch tips are better. Even so, there is still the danger of them slipping and the mast falling, this must be prevented. The bottom of the bipod must be secured so the ends CANNOT move.
The last piece of the mast raising system is the boat trailer winch, which gives anyone enough strength to raise the mast.

Warning. Any mast raising system must be used with extreme care. Double check everything as thoroughly as a San Jose DUI lawyer might double check the facts of her case. I don't like using the trailer winch, because if you put the control lever in "down" and release the winch handle at the wrong time you've dropped the mast. Do not allow anyone to be anywhere the mast could fall at any time! When winching up the mast, be especially watchful for a shroud or stay hanging on something. If the winch gets harder to turn, stop and find the problem.

The 2nd video shows Alison (age 56 weight 120 pounds) raising the mast completely by herself. This is the first time in her life she has raised a mast. The Flying Scot mast weighs about 30 pounds, but when lifting it manually it feels like 100.

The 3rd video is Alison lowering the mast, which is a bit different. We had to tie the feet of the bipod to the boweye to keep them from slipping towards the stern. Again we found that the bipod feet must be secured with more than rubber tips, this is just not safe enough, period. Forrest and I are working on a better and truly safe system for the Flying Scot. The system on his Hunter 23 has the bottom of the ipod clamped to the stanchions, and they truly cannot move.


These videos were taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2. A $200 camera designed mainly for still photography, it will take a 30 minute 30 frames/second video with sound if you have the 1 Gig memory card.

Sailing Video Index

Making a bipod, 21 MB
Click to see video Raising the mast, 41 MB
Click to see Alison raising the mast video Lowering the mast, 40 MB
Click to see Alison lower the mast video

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