Mast Partner Mod

My shoulder and elbow on my right arm have been very sore this spring from martial arts related overuse. This past weekend I also managed to mess up my right arm to the point I can’t lift it to my shoulder without pain. So, although I’ve been thinking of figuring out a way to step the mast without lifting it and dropping it into the partner, this weekend I had lots of reasons to motivate me.

So, I decided to saw the aluminum bar on one side so that I could rotate the bar to release the partner. I figured I’d do it so that the bar would drop downwards onto the bolt. Only problem was the rake of the mast prevented that from happening…..hmmmmm.

So, I decided to rotate the bar upwards. The only thing I don’t like about this is gravity is always looking to move the bar downwards, leaving the mast potentially unsupported. So, I used a rudder hold-down I had ordered from Duckworks Boatbuilders Supply to prevent the bar from dropping downwards.

I don’t really know how much stress the small screw will be subjected to but I am going to get the guys on the Duckworks Yahoo Group to have a look at the following photos and let me know if they see any issues with what I have done.

It sure is niceto be able to just put the base of the mast into the mast foot and just lift the mast vertical into the partner and then rotate the bar and holddown to secure it into place.

Partner wide open after mast lifted into place.

Bar being rotated to secure the mast

Nearly closed!

Holddown before securing partner bar

Holddown in position to secure partner bar

Ready to finish rigging and go sailing!



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6 responses to “Mast Partner Mod

  1. Gil

    Why not flip the bolt bar and have it come down on the right lockbolt so the little safety key is not needed?
    G i l

  2. Ron

    Why not put a wedge behind the bar to match the angle of the mast?

    • Murray Stevens

      That would work…as would planing the mast partner to match the mast rake. I didn’t have a plane so I went ahead with the bottom approach. Changing the angle would also mean having to redrill or file out the bolt hole to the same angle. I don’t have a small round file or a drill press to do a proper job.
      Cheers, Murray

      • Allan Burke


        What I should have added is that most of the significant forces on your mast will be to the front & sides of your mast partner.Any rearward forces would be while you are on the beach before/after launching,or on the water if you are raising sail after having dropped it to fish,or whatever,& these forces will not be large as the main sheet will be running free & the sail will not be drawing.So the mast partner retaining bar will not normally come under a lot of pressure.


  3. Allan Burke

    Very neat Murray!Simple & functional…as Jim would want.

    I Have unrepared rotator cuff damage in both shoulders so share your frustration at having to suffer discomfort when performing simple tasks such as raising the mast….will have both fixed during next year or two….rather long re-hab time so have been putting the surgery off as long as I can & rely on cortisone injections to keep me going.Actually,the surgeon who will do the repairs suggested this approach,maily because of the long re-hab time,but I can’t put it off forever.

    You saw that I opted to secure my mast by using 3mm spectra lashing laced through holes drilled in the mast partner & secured in a wooden jamb cleat…..super simple & works great.

    Love the pics you have been taking.Sadly wife & I are hopeless at recoring with a camera…often we even forget to bring it along!Poor old Chuck is still wating for me to get some decent shots so I can submit a “splash” story.I’ll have to jerk my chain & get it done!



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