Unstepping 382 mast PreviousNext
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Next message john colpitts (John_colpitts) posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 12:32 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Our new (to us) 382 is on the hard in Annapolis, and I am in Canada. The yard wants me to pay for a rigger for 8-14 hours to unstep the mast and "pack" the boat for shipping by truck. I have an opportunity to go to Annapolis, and am thinking about doing this myself (it used to take us 3-4 hours to dismantle and drop the mast on our 30' boat and pack it away for the winter). I need the crane and the rigger for an hour or 2 to actually pull the mast out of the boat, assuming I have taken the sails & boom off the boat and disconnected the stays & shrounds. Then I need a couple of hours to remove & wrap up the rigging, and probably shrink-wrap the spar. I don't understand the "8-14 hours". The service administrator has no idea what the rigger is going to do, and so far any attempts to actually speak to the rigger have been fruitless.

Am I missing something? Or is this just an attempt by the yard to separate me from what is left of my life savings?

As far as I can see I can buy a $600 airplane ticket, do most of the work myself, and still come out ahead. Any advice on this?

Next message Ken Kurlychek (Kenk) posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 12:52 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Hi John,
Congratulations on your new boat.

I can't speak to the issue of what the rigger does in all the 8-14 hours, but if you are able to use other riggers aside from the one the yard is arranging for, I'd recommend that you contact Paul at West River Rigging. He's done a lot of work for me over the years on two different boats and I have always found him to be honest and very forthright about time and money for any project. His number is 410-867-1012 and the website is

If you decide you will be doing most of the work yourself and you need an extra hand, I'd be happy to volunteer if my schedule allows. I've never dropped a mast that was over 30 feet in length before, but would like to gain the experience. I live in Washington, DC and my boat is in Deale.
Next message Alan & Cheryl Shedd (Paragon) posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 3:19 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Hi John:

We bought "Paragon" last November - she was in Georgetown, MD - a little north of Annapolis. The survey turned up some rigging problems - cracked swages & turnbuckles. I priced new standing rigging and one of the rigging shops in Annapolis offered to come and survey the rig and take measurements on the day we hauled the boat and removed the rig.

I decided to use West Marine's rigging shop instead - I just boxed all the rigging up, sent it to them, and they went through it all, evaluated the condition and made new parts. Shipping it through a West Marine store saved shipping costs.

I drove up to Georgetown from Georgia to be on-hand for removing the rig, hauling the boat, and packing it up for transport.

I tuned the rig prior to removal so I could mark the positions of the turnbuckles and provide a more accurate length for the rigging shop. I took pictures and made sketches of things since I knew I'd have to reassemble things later. Then I removed the sails, boom, secured halyards, etc., disconnected the mast wiring, and removed the mast collar and floor boards around the mast. The service yard at Georgetown Yacht Basin pulled the rig - it is very straightforward - the only complication was that the mast base had corroded and fused to the mast step (crud in the bottom of the mast plugged the weap hole and water accumulated) - when they tried to lift the mast out, it tried to lift the hull with it. It was still in the water when they pulled the mast - had it been on jackstands it could have been interesting. Ultimately the bolts holding the mast step to the bucket pulled out. A torch on the mast step and rubber hammer freed the mast step. I was glad I was there to see it. (The surveyor warned me of the importance of being on hand. It's too late when it arrives at your house with damage or missing parts.)

We padded the mast with carpet pieces and tied the rigging and halyards at multiple spots - we didn't shrink-wrap it. It made the trip to GA with few issues - there were a couple of spots where the shrouds rubbed the mast - ok on anodized aluminum but it would have been bad if painted mast. One turnbuckle vibrated loose and was lost. I suppose if I'd had more time, it would have been better to just strip the rigging and spreaders off since I was going to replace it anyway. I spent a fair amount of time prepping the boat for travel - removing and padding stuff, sealing holes and hatches, and since it was late fall, I winterized the engine and plumbing.

Bottom line, there is probably little need for a rigger to assist with the process unless you need a rigging evaluation. Most boat yards who handle large sailboats regularly can certainly handle pulling the rig. It was worth the money and time to me to be on-hand to watch, help, and prepare "Paragon" for her road trip.

Good luck.


Paragon, Lake Lanier, GA
Next message Melinda Carver (Mel) posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 3:21 pm Edit PostPrint Post

I bought my 382 in FL in 2002 and had her trucked to NC by Deepwater Transport. The yard charged me $200 total to prep and load her onto the truck. This included unstepping and prepping the mast. The boat was not shrink wrapped and wasn't necessary. She arrived in fine shape. I can't imagine it took them 8-14 hrs; if so, they worked for about $15-20/hour! I'd ask around for another estimate.

Good luck; you'll love the boat!

Next message dick kilroy posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 4:06 pm Edit PostPrint Post
john: i pull the mast annually and after i loosen the rigging and straighten the cotter pins it takes about 45 minutes or less to pull the mast. obviously the wiring , radio antenna connection are done by me. this is all done as she sits on a bronwell truck after being pulled out on the trailer portion of the rig. as everyone else has said i would be there. our other boat was trucked from lauderdale to mass in 2000 with no problems at all, minor road dirt. one word of caution on the morgan make damn sure the hauler knows that the aft end of the keel is hollow or the holding tank is there so he can properly support the boat.

good luck

Next message Eric Leach (Ablkhat55) posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 6:31 pm Edit PostPrint Post
If you wouldnt mind too much, could you e-mail me the approx prioce to have a 382 trucked from Fla to NC?
I am in the panhandle (Panama City) and might move in the next year to NC. As much as I would love to sail her there, it may not be an option.
My email is
Next message john colpitts (John_colpitts) posted on Friday, June 02, 2006 - 7:08 am Edit PostPrint Post
I just talked to the rigger, and he confirmed that his 8-14 hour estimate was to remove sails, boom, disconnect shrouds & stays, pull the mast, remove spreaders, shrouds, etc from the mast pack all the rigging on the boat, and bubble-wrap the mast for shipping. This job used to take us about 5 hours on our J/30. I know this is is a bit different rig, but seems to me it would be good experience to do this myself, so I just bought an airplane ticket, booked a couple of days off, and I am headed for Annapolis next weekend.

Thanks for all your input on this, everyone.
Next message Alan & Cheryl Shedd (Paragon) posted on Friday, June 02, 2006 - 1:12 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Have a great time!

Take a camera - it sure helps the memory.

Annapolis is a great town to visit - arguably the sailing capital of the East Coast. Check out Fawcett Boat Supply down by the waterfront - great inventory and helpful people. The West Marine in Annapolis is also well stocked.

Next message Bill Williams posted on Sunday, June 04, 2006 - 10:30 am Edit PostPrint Post
If your step was pulled loose from the pan, did you see what length bolts were securing the step, and were they like lag bolts ? My boat is down in the Rio Dulce again, and early next year I plan to take it out to La Ceiba Shipyard in Honduras to have the mast pulled and the bolts on my step replaced. The nuts and top of the bolts really look in lousy shape. I'm visiting back in the States for awhile, and would like to buy the appropriate nuts and bolts while up here. Sometimes, it's difficult to find the aproppriate items down there.

Bill Williams
Next message Alan & Cheryl Shedd (Paragon) posted on Monday, June 05, 2006 - 9:42 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Hi Bill:

The stainless steel bolts are 1/2" diameter, 2" long, standard US coarse thread. The bolt heads were embedded in fiberglass resin with a thin layer (perhaps 1/16" - 1/8" resin covering the head) with the threaded end sticking up. The cast aluminum mast step has two slots that the bolts fit thru with flat washers, lock washers, and nuts. A 1.5" long bolt would probably have been long enough.

I know the mast step was never designed to resist the mast pulling out - only to keep the base of the mast in position side-to-side and fore & aft so this kind of installation is probably adequate.

I plan to re-install the bolts in the same manner but I plan to put a large washer onto the bolt, then lay one or two layers of glass cloth covering the washer and lapping over more of the mast bucket to improve holding. (Resin by itself is somewhat brittle and might not bond well to the stainless steel bolt.) Then reattach the mast step as before.

On our boat, the aluminum step had some corrosion, but the stainless steel bolts were fine.

I cleaned the cast-aluminum mast step, sandblasted it to remove corrosion, and painted it with some leftover Interlux 2000. I am drilling the weap hole at the bottom of the mast a little larger too to help it drain. Dirt, halyard fuzz, bugs, and nests end up at the bottom of the mast and can plug up the hole causing water to puddle and accelerate corrosion.

Good luck with your project. Let me know if you need something else.


Paragon, Lake Lanier, GA
Next message john colpitts (John_colpitts) posted on Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - 8:05 am Edit PostPrint Post
I am going to try to get the mast out this week, but my surveyor tells me he couldn't get the floorboards up. What would prevent them from coming up, and any ideas on how I can lift them? Brute force? Is the mast actually bolted to the mast step? I know there was work done on the mast step 2 years ago so I assume I shoudln't be in too much trouble if I can actually get the floorboards lifted so I can get to the step.

Once again, thanks so much for your help.

Next message Kevin MacDougall (Kamacdougall) posted on Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - 9:02 am Edit PostPrint Post
Has anyone used this area to ground the SSB. I've read that you can get a very good ground with an encapsulated keel? If so, where exactly did you install the ground bolt and how long did the bolt have to be in order to contact the lead.

Next message Alan & Cheryl Shedd (Paragon) posted on Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - 1:18 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Hi John:

Assuming yours is like mine, the two floorboards around the mast are held down with woodscrews. I took the inboard of the two out first. Most of the screws unscrewed but one was "stripped" (the hole was too big and the screw just turned in the hole) I pryed the floorboard out carefully using a screwdriver - you may also want to insert a stiff wire bent into a hook between the mast and floorboard to gently pull up. The corner of the other floorboard tucks under the wall to the head - this one was somewhat rotten at the corner from water and I'll have to rebuild or replace it.

It's possible that they are wedged in either by the mast or have swelled a little. Worst case, you could drill a hole thru the top so you could insert a toggle bolt to pull up with then later fill the hole with a teak bung.

The mast is not bolted to the mast step - it just slips over the outside of the casting. As in my case however, the mast may have corroded and could be stuck to the step. If it is, you may have to unbolt the step, then lift the mast a little - a couple of feet so that the butt of the mast and mast step is out of the bucket so you can "persuade" it. We used a propane torch and rubber mallet. You have to get the mast step off the bottom of the mast - it won't go thru the deck collar. There is also very tight clearance between the mast and deck collar for mast wiring I don't know what folks with Radar cables do.

Next message Alan & Cheryl Shedd (Paragon) posted on Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - 1:35 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Kevin & John:

Be sure to do a search of this website's archives for "mast step" There are several informative posts on the bolts, reinforcement & recalls, 5' vs 6' draft construction, etc.

The bolts that hold the mast step in place do not extend into the lead. Looks like from the earlier posts a few may have removed the original bolts and drilled and fitted longer bolts that could reach but if you have 6'draft, it looks like you would need very long bolts.

Next message Bill Williams posted on Thursday, June 08, 2006 - 8:33 am Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the info on the bolts.

Bill Williams
Next message john colpitts (John_colpitts) posted on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 9:21 am Edit PostPrint Post
Well, the mast is out of the boat, It was an interesting experience, but I am really glad I did it instead of hiring the local rigger, both from a cost and an educational perspective.

I had an interesting time figuring out where to disconnect the electrical cable (under the sink in the head), the cable for the wind instrument (in the bottom of the cabinet on the stbd side), and the TV antenna (fell victim to a wire cutter due to the fact I had no idea where it ran to and I was out of time to trace it)

But the interesting part came when we tried to lift the mast out and it tried to pick up the deck. Whoever installed the Spartite didn't apply the requisite vaseline to the inside of the collar. So we had to cut and hack and dig the Spartite out. That only took an hour, which at yard rates I figure only cost me $300-350. The rigger I was working with said there is no way they would install Spartite in a boat with such a small clearance around the mast.

The rigger was really worried about corrosion on the mast step, altho I was certain they had done some work on the step about 2 years ago. As it turned out, there is a bit of corroision on outside of the mast, but practically none on the step at all.

We stripped all the rigging from the mast, shrink-wrapped it and the boat is ready to go. Now if I can just get the trucker there.....

I gotta give a plug for the rigger Steve Madden of Madden Mast and Rigging (MMR). He quoted me 8-14 hours to do the work, which is why I decided to buy an airplane ticket and do it myself. But once I got there he was very helpful, and without his help with the Spartite we never would have got the mast out. He gave sdvise on packing the mast, and even sold me a roll of shrink-wrap from his stock to do the job. He really helped me out.

Thanks for all your help on this folks!

Next message Alan & Cheryl Shedd (Paragon) posted on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 10:35 am Edit PostPrint Post
Hi John:

Good to hear that the mast work went well (with the usual complications that are synonymous with any boat project). I'm interested in the rigger's comments about Spartite - I'm planning to use it to seal my mast when I put it back in at the end of the month based on good results and comments from others on this list. What does the rigger recommend instead? When I pulled the mast, it had a tapered rubber ring in the gap - it's aged and I'm not sure I can re-fit it. Spartite seemed like a good solution (with enough vaseline)

Next message john colpitts (John_colpitts) posted on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 12:31 pm Edit PostPrint Post

The rigger didn't offer any alternatives for a boat with that narrow an opening.

If the mast is out of the boat, you may be able to get sufficient vaseline around the inside of the collar. In fact I would probably consider doing that when we re-step it. I am convinced they put this Spartite in with no intentions of the mast ever coming out (which seems very typical of boats down that way, as opposed to up north, where we always took outr mast down for winter storage). We had to cut it the Spartite away from the metal plate that sits on the deck, as well as cut it out of the space between the mast and the collar.

I also noticed in the Spartite website they talk about self-threading screws holding the spartite in place - there were no screws holding anything in place on our boat - just the Spartite and some boot tape.

Next message Geoff Kane (Interlude38233) posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 5:53 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Allan, We were reading about your nice fix for the cast aluminum mast step from June, 2006. Is the Interlux 2000 still holding up? Does the larger weep hole you drilled out on the mast line up with the weep chanel in the alum mast step face aft towards the wiring and cable holes? Ours didn't, and it seemed you would want the water to exit as quickly as possible.
Next message Geoff Kane (Interlude38233) posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 5:56 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Alan, sorry for the double ll's. Thanks in advance, Kanes
Next message Alan & Cheryl Shedd (Paragon) posted on Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 4:03 pm Edit PostPrint Post
Hi Geoff:
So far, the repairs I made are working well. Of course with the boat on a freshwater lake, the environment is more gentle. The real answer will be when we move the boat to the coast next year - that will allow me to inspect the results and to learn if the spartite stuck everything together.

I'm sorry I did not take photos of the repairs. As you said, the weep channel in the step faces aft and I did line up the drain hole with the channel. Yes, you want it to drain fast and completely.

Here are photos from the mast removal in November 2005. After the mast crane tried to lift the boat out of the water by the mast, the bolts holding the step gave way. The yard staff used a hammer and heat to remove the step. Gunk plugged the weep hole and a bunch of nasty came out when they knocked the step loose. You can see the step after removal.Mast step removal 1Mast step removal 2
Mast Step after removal
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