mast lifting system (MLF)
We redesigned and rebuilt MLF. It is now lifted by slider, pulled down
by mainsheet tackle while it is supported by couple of support bars.
Mainsheet tackle is connected between slider and shackle on the mast step.
Rope goes back to cockpit to existing winch, which is used to do the hard
work. Mast needs to be lifted partly before system can be used but it is
within easy reach height from cockpit floor. No babystays etc are needed
- support bars provide excellent positioning.
System can be use by single person and lifting can be stopped at any stage.
Mast can be even lowered and raised (partially or fully) on water if necessary.
Following photos were taken during recent lowering of mast. Comments:
Two crutches are used - none should be needed for most boats. The first
one is helping to control genua roller system with its internal thin
wall aluminium tube and it is not needed really. The second one is used to
support mast after it is lowered. It is needed because our MLF suport bars
do not clear top corners of stainless steel mast support frame
used for transport (design fault of mast support frame used for transport...).
We keep some tension on genua roller system with trailer winch. If plain
jib is used or roller system is controlled in a different manner trailer
winch is not needed. One possibility is to put a single block on the bow
and tension roller system with single line to cockpit (not much force is
needed or used). Trailer winch also provides backup mast holding system in
the case that something goes wrong with MLF. (I use it for this purpose only
once, when MLF rope on winch got tangled and jammed - I used trailer winch
to take off tension from MLF block & tackle. )
These photos were taken before raising of mast in approx 25kt wind, blowing
from side. After mast was fully raised we found out that backstay got tangled
and that we have to lower back to approx 45 deg to clear the mess. It took
about ten minutes and all contraption was vibrating in gusts but there was
never any loss of control or any danger. Not pleasant anyway because breakage
of any element of the system would be highly dangerous in such conditions.