For all of you who are new to trimaran sailing, or for the avid Corsair trimaran sailor who wants a brush-up, here is an awesome list of 11 steps on how to raise your mast on a Corsair Trimaran. You should print this out and keep it on your boat for reference!
MAST RAISING PROCEDURE
- Untie the mast from all supports.
- Attach cap shrouds and forestay or roller furling headstay to the mast.
- Attach cap shrouds to the chainplates on the floats. Take a bungie cord and hook one end to the upper toggle of the levers (the levers need to be in the open position. If you have a 24, go to the top of the turnbuckles), and the other to the daggerboard up and down lines on the deck so that the levers are held in a vertical position.
- Place the yoke onto the deck hinges and pin into place. The yoke should be facing the bow with its curved edge facing down so that it clears the halyard blocks on the mast step. Place the long ½” pin on the deck nearby so that you are ready to pin the mast into place.
- Carefully walk the mast back until it is even with the yoke. Watch the spreaders on the aft beams as you go back so as not to bang them. Once in position, lift the yoke up to the mast, and place the ½” pin through the mast base, and put the clips in the pin so it cannot fall out. Be careful moving the mast at this point as it will become stern heavy, and want to lift up.
- Attach the mast raising wires to the pad eye on the mast, and to the loops on the deck. If a roller furler is used, make sure it is above the wire. Insert the mast-raising pole into the yoke, and attach the wire to the pad eye on the mast. On the 31’s, as you lift the pole into position, it will get a little hard as the spreaders are lifted over the rollers on the aft mast support.
- Unroll enough line from the trailer winch to go up and over the pole and a minimum of two feet beyond the pole. Attach the jib halyard to the winch line, pull it tight, and cleat it off on the cleat at the base of the mast. (In the case of the 24 with clutches on the mast: lockdown clutch and tie line to rotator bar for security). Take a final look around for potential snags on the shrouds, and make sure all is clear.
- If you raise the mast with the bowsprit in place, be aware that as the line wraps around the spool, it will not spool evenly, and can possibly jump off the spool if not caught soon enough. I recommend leaving the bowsprit out until the mast is up for this reason as well as the winch line will chafe a groove on the side of it. You are now ready to raise the mast.
- With one person at the winch, and one on deck by the mast base, begin cranking the winch. If the ground is not level, or there is a side wind, the mast will want to lean away from the center of the boat, so evaluate this possibility before getting too far and anticipate the direction it will want to go. The mast raising wires will prevent the mast from going too far, but it is best to be aware of this. The person on deck can help out here, by gently pulling on the correct mast wire. Continue raising the mast, the deck person is watching the shrouds to make sure there are no snags. If the mast starts to lean to one side a lot, or it gets suddenly hard to crank, STOP. Look around for something hanging up. Once the mast is part way up, NEVER WALK BENEATH THE MAST. If all is clear, continue to raise the mast until it rests on the mast step ball, and attach the forestay to the stem fitting. You can now release the trailer winch, and reattach it to the bow of the boat for launching. You can now remove the pole, yoke, and bungie cords from the levers.
- At this time, you can now string all the halyards through the mast base blocks and run them back through the rope clutches, and install the boom. Launch the boat, unfold, tension the shroud levers, and remove the mast raising wires.
- To lower the mast, just reverse this procedure in the exact order written. The bungie cords are not needed for lowering the mast.
Always make safety the first priority in both raising, and lowering the mast. Neither process is very difficult. With some practice, it will become an easy thing to do. If at any time, any of the mast raising gear gets damaged, repair or replace it before doing another stepping of the mast, as it may have become too weak to perform its job safely. Always check and maintain all parts of your boat for the best performance possible.
HAPPY TRIMARAN SAILING!
Reach out if you have a specific question about Corsair trimarans, we're happy to help.
180 Marine is the fastest growing Corsair Marine Dealer in the U.S., owned and operated by Richard Allen and Leslie Gabriel, long time Corsair trimaran racers, day sailors and cruisers.