Dropping an Alberg 30 Mast

Stark and JoAnn Ferris built this A-frame rig to enable the two of them to pull the mast of Whisper (#356) for transiting the Erie Canal. They donated the rig to the Alberg 30 Association and it's pulled innumerable masts since then. The blocks and lines have been changed, but the poles are the same rig that's been in use over 20 years.

It's the nature of the Alberg 30 Association that boat-owners help each other out, much like an old fashioned barn-raising. But if you're too far from Annapolis to use this rig, it should be relatively easy to make something similar.

Whether you use this rig or your own, though, please be careful. Stepping the mast is a dangerous job if anything should go wrong. In the process, the rig is poorly supported for awhile, and you should be careful not to rock the boat. If something should slip or break during the job, a major injury could result. You know your own abilities; you must decide if you've got the knowledge and manpower to tackle this job.

The procedure describe here has worked many times, but you have to use your own judgement. I've worked to make the photos and description tell the whole story, but there may be important details that are ambiguous or missing. There may be better techniques. This is just the one I know.

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This Old Boat book cover This Old Boat by Don Casey

Subtitled "turn a rundown fiberglass boat into a first-class yacht on a shoestring budget," this book is the best introduction I know boat maintenance for the new or prospective owner of a "modern classic" sailboat. Starting with guidelines for selecting a boat, Casey proceeds to fiberglass repairs, cabin and deckwork, spars and rigging, boat equipment, woodwork, electrical, plumbing, refrigeration, painting, canvas work and sails. All of this is described in clear, simple terms perfect for the inexperienced. This is the book that taught me fiberglass work. But don't let it fool you; this book is appropriate for experienced boatowners, too. I still refer to it.

Other books by Don Casey

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