Re: Raising Mast
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 13:49:41 EDT

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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In a message dated 8/22/99 10:07:23 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> I just returned home with a new to me Potter 15 # 1317. What is the best
> way tp step the mast and attach the forestay by myself. I am a new Potter
> owner and new to sailing.

You give no indication as to where you are. Are you in Tasmania, Norway or
New York? The best way to learn how to rig and sail your new boat is to have
the assistance of someone else who has done it a bit. There are Potters just
about everywhere. You should be able to find a fellow Potterer somewhere
close to you. Unless you are in Tasmania.

The next best way is to refer to the pamphlet/book, "The Many Ways to
Potter." You're biting off a big chunk trying to learn how to rig and sail
your boat a piece of information at a time from this list. You could do that,
but you might find that is a slow and difficult way to learn something
relatively simple. Another problem is that the information you get from the
list can come from anyone. There are some on this list who are quite
experienced and can give you some very good advice and there are others who
just got their hull wet for the first time and really want to help others,
but do not really have the time at the, "school of hard knocks" yet to be
able to give the best advice to others. Being new yourself, it's pretty hard
to discern what's what.

As a suggestion, I would take a lot of the advice (including this) as to how
to rig with a grain of salt. To perform properly, your boat must be rigged
correctly. To perform safely, besides rigging, you need to know how to
balance your boat, how to reef, how to trailer safely. Learning to sail is a
lot of fun. You can sail in a day, but learning how to be a sailor can,
literally, become a lifetime endeavor. Your boat can easily be rigged and
sailed alone as long as you are relatively healthy.

It's much easier to learn hands on with someone who's done it for a while.

All that said, I will try to give you a quick synopsis of stepping the mast.

There are several ways, but what I find easiest is the following:

I will constantly refer to "I" in this explanation, because this is what
works for me. I have kind of developed a routine over a few years of doing
it. It may not be the best way, and is certainly not the only way to rig a

First of all, I leave the side shrouds permanently attached. Always. I
stand on the cabin top, not the hatch cover, and lifting the mast, which is
not very heavy, I insert the bottom of the mast into it's fitting on the
cabin roof. Pushing the mast forward, I will push until the mast has pulled
the shrouds tight. Be careful here that the fittings on the shrouds, where
they attach to the mast haven't flopped over. If they do, you will not be
able to attach the forestay. I then take the jib halyard and tie it off to
the bow pulpit. I pull that halyard as tight as I can and secure it to it's
cleat on the mast. I then walk or crawl to the foredeck with the forestay in
my hand. Then by pulling on the halyard that is holding the mast up, I can
put enough pressure forward that the forestay is easy to attach. It attaches
to the most forward hole on the bow fitting. With the stay attached I can
disconnect the halyard from the bow pulpit and proceed in hanking on the jib.
In using this technique I am able to tension the shrouds and stay extremely
tight. They should "twang" when plucked with your hand. If there is any slop
at all in the standing rigging, it is too loose.

Good luck and happy sailing. Welcome to a great bunch of sailors. Visit the
web site. There's some great pictures and lot's of good information there.

P-15 Lollipop
N. Lake Tahoe, NV