H16 - trailering backwards

Hey all,
I successfully stepped my mast solo last weekend. Whoohoo! But I'd say it sort of sucked. The hard part was balancing the top of the mast on the ladder while I got the step hinge in place. I've seen some discussion over on the Hobie forums about trailering backwards, both pro and con. The clear benefit would be having the mast at a steeper angle, which reduces that initial lift. But I'm also thinking there is a chance the forward mast support would be far enough from the mast step that it should not be hard to get the mast base positioned so I could pin the step hinge.

I tried to search the beachcats forum but failed. I'm wondering if anybody has any wisdom to impart on the topic. Does it trailer OK backwards? Do I have to take the rudders off? How is the weight distribution?

I'll probably try it for myself, at least at home, while I'm working on that cracked tramp frame casting. I'd like to work up to being comfortable soloing the boat.

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Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year. Future project
Hobie 16, 1977 - died a spectacular death https://youtu.be/Y7O22bp2MVA
Hobie 16, 1978 - current boat
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Trailering backwards OR forwards for any long distance, I would remove the rudders. It's not that big a deal.(I marked mine "P" & "S") I think the buffeting or bouncing would put a lot of uneeded wear on the gudgeons and pins. If the trailer is set up correctly, trailering backwards, works too. A previous owner of my H18, Tried to trailer it with the dagger boards in. The one board, (shorter now) is evidence of THAT bad decision. I can think that trailering backwards, you would want to be very sure of the mast stepping. A falling mast would land on your tow vehicle.



Edited by raisehull on Aug 31, 2021 - 03:41 PM.

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1978 H18
1983 H18 (some of it)
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There is no reason to lift a mast into place solo. A winch on the mast post with a gin pole either on the trailer or placed on the mast makes it an easy task when using your trapezee wires for side supports. There are more than a few Youtube videos to show how it is done.

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dk

Blade F-16
Hobie Tiger
Hobie 14
Corsair F-242
Mirage 25
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dssaakThere is no reason to lift a mast into place solo. A winch on the mast post with a gin pole either on the trailer or placed on the mast makes it an easy task when using your trapezee wires for side supports. There are more than a few Youtube videos to show how it is done.


Most cats still require a good support of the mast, usually well behind the rear crossbar. I did a solo mast raising on my 5.7 last month, and as waiex191 pointed out, the biggest problem is a secure way to support the mast so it can be seated in the ball or mast hinge. In my case I tried using a 2x4 as an extension to the mast support to try to pull the mast up with the main sheet. Well the 2x4 snapped like a toothpick. I was able to use the main sheet blocks to pull up the mast directly from the trailer mast support, but I needed a 7-foot mast support to hold the mast until I could get on the tramp and once I was there I just lifted it and used the blocks to finish the job and hold it in position. I have also considered mounting the boat on the trailer backwards, but the tow vehicle would take a lot of abuse in the event of a failed mast raising or lowering.

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Tom
NACRA 5.7 (1984 Sail 181)
Pennsylvania
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raisehullTI can think that trailering backwards, you would want to be very sure of the mast stepping. A falling mast would land on your tow vehicle.

That makes sense. I usually trailer with my $200 Buick, although I could also use one of the cheap Saturns. If I made the forward mast support taller, I could use my old rusty truck. So, not much of a risk for my car fleet.

dssaakThere is no reason to lift a mast into place solo. A winch on the mast post with a gin pole either on the trailer or placed on the mast makes it an easy task when using your trapezee wires for side supports. There are more than a few Youtube videos to show how it is done.

Yep, I've researched the gin pole and we even got a winch with the first H16. To me the hard part seems to be getting the step hinge in place. I'm thinking that would be easier backwards and it is no problem with a helper. Lifting the mast was not too bad. We did the math and I think the initial lift of the mast is something like 90 lbs off of the rear mast support.

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Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year. Future project
Hobie 16, 1977 - died a spectacular death https://youtu.be/Y7O22bp2MVA
Hobie 16, 1978 - current boat
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i am a huge fan of the backwards roll. I had a h16 and didn't sail when i didn't have crew due to fear of stepping issues
purchased an h18 and that is when i met the local fleet and was "shown the way"


it make solo stepping MUCH easier , and also when you have help - if you have 2 on the tramp, or 1 on the tramp and one on a rope tied to the halyard

https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=132203&g2_serialNumber=3&g2_GALLERYSID=864ad29b5bf1e79e34fb8e02d11fc2c0
I even have an extendable yoke to life it another 5' (in the down position in the image)

My buddy Rey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEHWujFuDsQ


Jin poles are great but add 30-45 min to your rigging and de rigging at first (maybe down to 20 - 30 with lots of practice?) i had an EZ-step with my h18

and YEP you could drop it on your car. I did in fact drop it one time when something went wrong - i had always prepared for it. made sure there was some space on the sides of my car so i could guide the mast one way or the other as it fell. The time it did fall, i had left my door open on the car. as the mast crashed it kissed (and closed the door) somehow without a scratch .

BUT your mast can fall too - so there could be other people, other cars, a gaggle of babies, 2 guys walking with a huge pane of glass, etc... think about an exit strategy before you step and coordinate it with any crew helping (i.e. if something goes wrong aim for the empty space right there).

Rudders - as mentioned above - off for any trips of distance to reduce worming of your gear
I too am a big fan of backwards trailering. With the mast sitting on the yoke, just slide it back until it's even with the mast ball and pin it or do whatever is necessary to secure it depending on the design of your boat. I will trailer a short distance with the rudders on but I make sure they are straight, cannot move at all and cannot possibly fall down. Another thing about trailering backwards, it's real easy to make your own mast caddie that fits over the ball. Real secure. The only time backwards trailering made things difficult, and you might want to consider this, is one place I was launching for a while had a very gradual sloping beach. I wasn't strong enough to life the boat high enough to get the transoms started on the rollers. No problem with some help. When faced with this situation again, I had the boat frontwards and used a 6ft ladder to hold the mast. I bolted two 6in. verticals to the top of the ladder and secured the ladder with line to the boat so it wouldn't move aft when I slid the mast back. Not near as secure, but it worked.

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Bill Townsend
G-Cat 5.7
Sarasota
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I am sorry but a gin pole adds 30-45 mins to rigging time ... ah, no !! That is like saying it takes 2-1/2 hours to rig a spinnaker boat.

Two of my trailers have an open top in the mast post and I drop the gin pole down into them. That takes about 5 seconds tops. My other trailer (as well as how a buddy of mind does it on his Trailex trailer) is to pin the gin pole to the mast post. His takes about 15 seconds and I am sorry to say mine takes about a minute. With the pulley several feet above the mast ball, it is short work to crank up the mast.

As far as supporting the mast behind the cross bar, a cheap, light, aluminum 6' step ladder does the trick. Place the top end of the mast on the ladder and it can be slid back all the way to the hounds.

I do my F-24 mast in a similar manner and it is tons heavier than any cat mast ... solo if need be.

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dk

Blade F-16
Hobie Tiger
Hobie 14
Corsair F-242
Mirage 25
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Another tidbit .. if you tie your trap wires over the front cross bar and down to the trailer, those wires used to stabilize the mast side to side will loosen as they come up and tighten as they go down. Works great because the front of the cross bar is just in front of the mast ball. Once you have the length that works, put a clip on the end of the line and a nylon loop at the other. It takes about a minute to hook both of them up.

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dk

Blade F-16
Hobie Tiger
Hobie 14
Corsair F-242
Mirage 25
--
QuoteI am sorry but a gin pole adds 30-45 mins to rigging time ... ah, no !! That is like saying it takes 2-1/2 hours to rig a spinnaker boat.

Two of my trailers have an open top in the mast post and I drop the gin pole down into them. That takes about 5 seconds tops. My other trailer (as well as how a buddy of mind does it on his Trailex trailer) is to pin the gin pole to the mast post.


Ok - let me restate this: when I owned my h18, it took ME ABOUT 15 min to put on the E-Z Step gin pole, attach all the straps, attach the forestay, crank it up, get the pin in, and take all the straps off and stow the gear. Then another 15 min in reverse later

Vs walking the mast up and pinned in 30 seconds.

Sure if you have a mounted system, or have a gin pole you have modified to work with your tralier i am sure it is much faster.

PS my cat take over an hour to rig, and i would def add an another hour to rig my spin so 2 - 2.5 hours to rig is not out of the question. - Ymmv



Edited by MN3 on Sep 01, 2021 - 08:17 AM.
https://i.imgur.com/GPSOtG0.jpg
This is my gin pole. The angle pieces running from the front of the trailer back to the front hull cradle pivots. It stays on the trailer and simple folds up for use and down for storage. works very quick.



Edited by raisehull on Sep 01, 2021 - 10:52 AM.

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1978 H18
1983 H18 (some of it)
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If you're physically capable of stepping the mast don't bother with a gin pole. It's that simple.

--
Bill Townsend
G-Cat 5.7
Sarasota
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There is no universal answer - it depends on the boat and situation. I have always stepped the Mystere mast solo by hand. The H18 was a special situation - no proper ramp and many trees forced me to step it on the water, and it was impossible to do that by hand without breaking mast step castings because the boat just bounced around too much. I finally put bow bumpers on the dock, pointed the boat at it, and used a winch on the boathouse to raise the mast. The SC19 is just too damn heavy (and the angle on the trailer is wrong) to do solo, at least without some extra block+tackle trickery to the mast stand. So I built a copy of Dave Farmer's gin pole (it's in the photos section, I made a slight improvement) and I can raise that sucker safely and effortlessly solo in 10 minutes.



Edited by jonathan162 on Sep 01, 2021 - 02:17 PM.

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Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
*
1983 SuperCat 19
TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
Mystere 17
H18 & Zygal (classic) Tornado - stolen and presumed destroyed by evil people. Very unpleasant story.
Invitation and Mistral and Sunflower and windsurfers w/ Harken hydrofoils and god knows what else...
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I don't use the forestay to raise the mast. If I am sailing with a spinnaker, I use that halyard and if not then the main halyard (wing mast goes up 'backwards'). To be clear, the F16 mast is light enough to raise by hand myself even at my age. I choose not too at this point and any minimal time spent is worth the peace of mind.

I am curious in how you pin the forestay while you hold the mast?

--
dk

Blade F-16
Hobie Tiger
Hobie 14
Corsair F-242
Mirage 25
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dssaakI am curious in how you pin the forestay while you hold the mast?


I did this:
https://youtu.be/VpknsSKFOKY

I have a piece of rope to stand in for the jib, and used the jib halyard to hold the mast while I pinned the forestay. I even used the 3:1 to pull the mast forward enough to make pinning the forestay easy.

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Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year. Future project
Hobie 16, 1977 - died a spectacular death https://youtu.be/Y7O22bp2MVA
Hobie 16, 1978 - current boat
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dssaakI am curious in how you pin the forestay while you hold the mast?


Since you didn't quote, I'm not sure you're replying to me, but if so, here's what I did. The forestay pinning is actually my minor improvement over Farmer's original.

https://ibb.co/wy5yHYv

(Copy/paste the link, because it wasn't coming up right for me either when I clicked on the embedded link.)



Edited by jonathan162 on Sep 01, 2021 - 07:04 PM.

--
Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
*
1983 SuperCat 19
TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
Mystere 17
H18 & Zygal (classic) Tornado - stolen and presumed destroyed by evil people. Very unpleasant story.
Invitation and Mistral and Sunflower and windsurfers w/ Harken hydrofoils and god knows what else...
--
So on my lunch break today I walked over and put the H16 on backwards:
https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=135561&g2_serialNumber=3

No drama, and I still have positive tongue weight. Should I detect any instability on my test run I'll move the axle back one set of holes.

My nifty aft mast support is too short. I'm going to lengthen it, and also redo the front support. I have these objectives for mast support modifications:
1) Make the mast high enough that I can use my pickup to tow the boat. I have a cap on the bed and it is sort of tall.
2) Increase the angle of the mast a little bit, so when I start the step I'm a little higher.
3) Ensure the mast is balanced as I'm sliding it to pin the stepping hinge. It is pretty close to the middle of the mast. I'd like the mast to be balanced that it would rest on the tramp rather than on the car if I let go.
4) Add a couple of guides on the sides of the mast support, so it can't easily fall out of the V or rotate.

Also, the rudders are nicely lined up with the claptrap that is welded/bolted together for the forward mast support. I'm thinking I can make a removable bracket that I can bungee the rudders to for trailering.

Pictures to follow.



Edited by waiex191 on Sep 02, 2021 - 03:24 PM.

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Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year. Future project
Hobie 16, 1977 - died a spectacular death https://youtu.be/Y7O22bp2MVA
Hobie 16, 1978 - current boat
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nice
I’d be a little concerned about how much of the boat is sticking out past the back of the trailer and visibility of the tail lights. I believe there are usually state laws that define how far beyond the tail lights objects attached to the vehicle are allowed to extend. Probably need to place some red flags at the very least.

sm
Rules vary everywhere, but usually allow 3'-6' overhang beyond the lights before you have to add a flag (daytime) or a light (night) on the longest bit. At the moment the SC19 mast+rudders are overhanging 6.5'. The Mystere isn't here so I can't check, but it's similar and I've never been stopped anywhere over it, and I've never bothered with a flag or anything else.



Edited by jonathan162 on Sep 02, 2021 - 09:39 PM.

--
Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
*
1983 SuperCat 19
TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
Mystere 17
H18 & Zygal (classic) Tornado - stolen and presumed destroyed by evil people. Very unpleasant story.
Invitation and Mistral and Sunflower and windsurfers w/ Harken hydrofoils and god knows what else...
--
I think my overhang is the same as before, with the rudders on. But I agree it seems to be sticking out a lot. I actually marked the 4' length from the bows with blue tape. I'll see what it looks like when I pull it forward (backward? toward the car anyway) that far. The other benefit would be more room in the hangar.

If I need red flags, it will be easy enough to clip them on the bridle tangs.

I've got my forward mast support extension welded up. Tomorrow I'll weld it on.

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Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year. Future project
Hobie 16, 1977 - died a spectacular death https://youtu.be/Y7O22bp2MVA
Hobie 16, 1978 - current boat
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Trailer, schmailer! Bryan, the way you operate you should just buy a cheap, run-down shack on the lake. With your energy level, skills, and abilities, you'd have the place all fixed up (and mast up storage) before the weekend's out.

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Jerome Vaughan
Hobie 16
Clinton, Mississippi
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You know Jerome, I moved to a fly-in community and haven't flown for 8 years now. I don't want to jinx sailing too!

We took the trailer out today with the H16 on backwards. I like it. Much easier to step the mast. Here is a trial fit:
https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=135592&g2_serialNumber=3

Afterwards I took it down and finished the weldment. I welded a couple of things on the side to keep the mast from falling over/rotating in the rubber V block.
https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=135593&g2_serialNumber=3

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Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year. Future project
Hobie 16, 1977 - died a spectacular death https://youtu.be/Y7O22bp2MVA
Hobie 16, 1978 - current boat
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I finally got around to painting the forward mast support shown in the prior picture. I also had some large silicone tubing that was a tight fit on the side supports. I WD40ed them up, slid them on most of the way, then folded the tube over to the outside and tie wrapped it to itself and the support so it would not collect water on the top. Also, the rear mast support was too small to clear the front crossbar, so we welded in a 10" extension.
https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=135761&g2_serialNumber=3

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Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year. Future project
Hobie 16, 1977 - died a spectacular death https://youtu.be/Y7O22bp2MVA
Hobie 16, 1978 - current boat
--
QuoteAt the moment the SC19 mast+rudders are overhanging 6.5'. The Mystere isn't here so I can't check, but it's similar and I've never been stopped anywhere over it, and I've never bothered with a flag or anything else.


My mystere 5.5 is driven backwards and sits with 8' overhang
add 1.5' if i have a spin rigged - i do clip on a red flag to the spin pole
my 6.0 is 1' longer and i also trailer backwards



Edited by MN3 on Sep 20, 2021 - 03:23 PM.
I step the Prindle 18-2 and the Tornado mast singlehanded, sometimes weekly. I have tried trailering backwards and it beats up the rudders too much when I launched. 80% of the time, I am launching from a boat ramp. Trying to get the boat lined up and placed with a cross wind and cross current becomes more of a challenge than I want. When I go to step, I use a 6' ladder behind the boat. I have used a tail line from the ladder to the boat to make sure I place it in the correct spot. Sometimes it's too close and is at the diamond wires. I simply lift the mast back in stepping position, pin the base, do a double check of shrouds and then lift. I attach the trapezes to the front beam at the outside ends to keep the mast stable side to side. I have a line with block that attaches to the forestay that I use to hold tension when the mast is up and led to a cleat on the front beam. Luckily, I am big enough to just lift the masts from horizontal. But, I do try to back the boat to the wind so the wind helps lift and hold the masts while I pin the forestay. The Prindle is on the trailer and the block set-up is already in place. For the Tornado, I place the beach wheels forward at the tangs and use a line tied to the forestay, around the axle of the wheels and aft to the boat. I am finalizing a jin pole design that can be used on any boat. There have been times I have forgotten the ladder and used the PVC mast support to hold the mast up off the rear beam.

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Scott

Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
Tornado Classic "Fast Furniture"
Prindle 19 "Mr. Wiggly" - gone
Nacra 5.8 "De ja vu"
Nacra 5.0
Nacra 5.8
Tornadoes (Reg White)
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