The Catalac 8M and the Catalac 9M are unique in that they have a tabernacle designed to raise and lower the mast. Chainplates are mounted at the pivot point and the procedure is both simple and convenient. Read how I dropped my mast, replaced everything at the top and rewired it, all in an afternoon. (click here) . Note the mast support wires in the drawing below. These are necessary.
- Remove all Sails, The Boom and the Mainsheet ( rope & Blocks ). Slot your 50mm Mast Lowering Boom into the base of the mast.
- Shackle the forward end of your main Halyard to one of the eye at Front of Pole, Then lifting the pole so that it is horizontal & secure, tie the other end of the halyard to a cleat on the lower part of the mast. For added security you can also connect the jib halyard in the same way.
- Shackle the end of your mainsheet block and tackle that normally attaches to the cockpit cowling, to what is now the lower eye on the mast lowering pole. Shackle the other end of the mainsheet to the Anchor Cleat on the foredeck. (This reverses the normal orientation of the mainsheet. The idea is for you to use gravity to help you when it’s time to lift the mast)
- Make sure you are using good quality rope and Shackles ! Double up on these connections and make them strong & secure !
- Shackle the s/s mast support wires (see drawing) from the top eye of the mast lowering boom to the forward lugs on the port & starboard cap shroud stanchions. This is what prevents the mast from twisting off on lift.
- Tie up all unused halyards, insert crutches into transom fittings.
- Tighten the mast support wires to prevent the mast from twisting on lifting or lowering.
- Loosen off the tabernacle mast support Bolt / Nuts.
- Slightly loosen the Cap Shrouds & the Lower Shrouds. Back Stays can be left alone. Loosen and Disconnect the Forestay & inner forestay.
- If you have 3 persons position one on the mainsheet, to lower away and the other 2 at the port & starboard shrouds, to check sideways movement and tension.
- The mast will need a bit of persuasion to get it started, but once underway Keep lowering nice and steady until in the crutches.
- The mast can then be positioned & secured as required.
- The reverse procedure can be used for lifting. The mainsheet can be led to a Winch to make the job easier.
- The reverse procedure can be used for lifting. I discovered that if the mainsheet is installed upside down, it allowed for body weight being added to the lifting force necessary to raise the mast
The mast lowering pole is steel, 2″ in diameter thick wall tubing, 8 FEET long with a 6 inch stainless steel tip. It weighs around 25 lbs.
Please see a gallery of useful mast lowering/raising photos from a Calatac 8M in Greece. The strange construction on the bow of this 8M/16 is a motorbike support bracket. A previous owner was sailing with his motorbike on the bow for Greek island exploration!