and so it begins again


Welcome 2017.

After a particularly lousy summer last year, and a rather late start to this year, we are finally in the water. Not without some new challenges it would seem. Both batteries were charged, and both were well below what was necessary to get the little Westerbeke to start. After screwing with a charger and a booster thing, we finally went old school, and tore one out of the truck to jump it with. Problem solved. (we hope)

Then, after tying up to the mooring, I went to put away the little pool float that’s used to keep the lines floating while we’re out; back into the anchor locker where it normally lives, and found a small sparrow construction zone. There’s enough lumber in there to build a good sized wreath for the front door. Just another of the 24,641 ways that things can get into the boat. Must be a popular place, there’s always spiders, grasshoppers, dragonflys, and of course, a never ending parade of mosquitoes trying to get in.

There was a question about mast raising on the Catalina270 list, and here’s some pictures with some explanation.


This is the mast crutch looking down from the top. It’s made from very high tech 2×4 material, with glue and screws. This construction method produces a fixture that is not light, reasonably strong, is cheap to build and mostly, won’t scratch the gelcoat easily.

The roller is used to make sliding the mast aft very, very easy. it’s mounted with some equally high tech angle brackets and screws, and has been cut at the roller so that the mast can’t scratch against them.


There are two clamps that go around the stern rails to hold the thing in place, the main uprights butt up against the rails, and the clamps hold the crutch. The assembly slides down over the rails from the top.


Here’s what it looks like installed. There are no other parts needed. (or to lose)

The black thing on the rail is the mount for the shiny new SeaBQue that I got for Christmas, and we’ve been using in the garage all winter. Seriously cool bbq, although, I did drill a bunch of holes in it to put retainer rivets against the grilles. They just sit in there, and when the thing is in the lazarette, it’s not level, and I really, really hate stuff that flops around!


Also new this year is the replacement vents. The old ones were severely weather beaten, probably were not UV stable, and even if they were, more than 15 years is a little old. Ronnie says “chrome won’t get you home”, but this is the only view he’ll ever see HA!

The base plates of the vents had screen put on with Silkaflex, to keep spiders out.


The crutch is 6′ tall. Here you can see the mast on the crutch, while still in the chocks on the bow. It’s not quite as easy as expected to slide it back, the furler seems to have a conflicting opinion always about what it wants to do. Somebody needs to hold a spreader to prevent the attempted rolling that the mast wants to do as you slide it back, but one person can easily slide it. Lifting the mast from the stern support to the top of the crutch is at the limit of how high I can raise it, which is partially why the crutch is only 6′. I believe the other is that the old truck had a short box, and 8′ was too long.


The A frames mount to the chainplates with two bolts each. Each pole bolts to a cross piece, and the cross piece bolts to the mount. This allows almost unimpeded swivel action through 360 degrees. In reality, it’s not quite like that, as the loads from the lift cause it to complain a bit as it goes through it’s rotation. The issue is that the pivot point of this assembly is not at the same height, and slightly aft of the mast pivot point. The 270 was never designed as a trailer boat, and wasn’t intended to have the mast raised and lowered like this. And anybody who knows us, would say, something like, “yeah. so? Why the would that stop you?”


You can see how the through bolts go into the chainplates.


Each leg of the A is free to move on it’s own.


The “rear” arm has a strap attached that goes around the mast, and does slide up and down a few inches. You can see some black tape, marking the spot where the strap is when the mast is lowered. The original design had the two frames tied together at the top. This turned out to be a problem because the front frame needs to have the halyards and lift lines attached, and there wound up being a need for a ladder on the deck, and on the trailer that’s bad news. This way works just fine anyway, With the rear stays attached, the mast isn’t going over the side and this just provides an added measure of protection.



The front frame has an eye on either side of the cross piece, which is assembled the same as the bottom, so that it can swivel freely, and it attaches to a 6:1 block combination that has the line led back to the winch. at the bow, it simply clips to the retainer in the anchor roller.




The plates for the bottom mount are simply three pieces of 1/4×3  aluminum that are riveted and bolted together. The attachment bolts have never been more than finger tight.


Next on the list is to get the rig tuned, and play with the new turning blocks, and the new spin crane that moves the top-down furler away from the Schaefer furler so there’s no chance they can get bound up.

Oh yeah, and there’s this little dodger frame on the deck that seems to be missing a couple of blue parts. Soon enough. Some sailing first!

Here’s to a fine summer, short as it may be.



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